Revitalizing Collective Action for the Survival of Mothers and Children
Senegal is among the countries that have made great progress in reducing maternal and child mortality rates.
DAKAR (Sénégal), 22 March 2023 – To mark the tenth anniversary of the 2012 Global Call to Action for Maternal and Child Survival, the governments of Senegal and India, alongside USAID, FCDO (UK), and UNICEF, organized an event in Washington (USA) on March 21 to reinvigorate collective action to reduce maternal, neonatal, and infant mortality worldwide.
The 2012 Call to Action was a groundbreaking event that sparked a global movement to dramatically improve maternal and child survival. Since 2012, significant progress has been made in reducing maternal and under-five deaths, and a handful of countries are on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
Senegal has reduced under-five child mortality by more than two-thirds, from 121 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2005 to 37 per 1,000 live births in 2019, a significant victory for children.
Despite these advances, five million children under the age of five continue to die worldwide each year from preventable diseases, and nearly half of them are newborns less than a month old. The maternal mortality rate continues to stagnate and even increase in some parts of the world.
In Senegal, although children are more likely to reach their fifth birthday today than 10 years ago, they continue to fall victim to easily preventable diseases such as neonatal infections, malaria, pneumonia, diarrhea, and prematurity, as well as limited access to healthcare. The neonatal mortality rate has not changed significantly in recent decades, falling from 28 per 1,000 live births in 2005 to only 21 per 1,000 live births in 2019.
Titled "Maternal and Child Survival: A Decade of Progress and Action for the Future," the event highlighted the progress made by countries over the past decade, emphasized the approaches needed to close the gap in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in reducing maternal, newborn, and child mortality, introduced USAID's new strategic framework for accelerating progress toward ending preventable child and maternal deaths, and strengthened the integration of primary healthcare and the delivery of quality essential services to women and children.
In Senegal, the Ministry of Health and Social Action and its partners organized a panel discussion bringing together experts from pediatrics, gynecology, the Ministry of Health, and regional authorities (the Médecin-chef de Région de Diourbel) to celebrate progress over the past decade, identify remaining challenges, and discuss actions to overcome them. This panel was followed by a live broadcast of the event from Washington at the UNICEF premises in Dakar.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.