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Efforts Must Intensify To Reduce Child Mortality, Study Says

According to a study published on Thursday in The Lancet, there will still be 5.4 million deaths among children under age five in 2035 if historical trends of successful interventions continue, HealthDay News reports (Preidt, 9/19). Researchers, led by Neff Walker of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, “project[ed] rates of child and neonatal mortality in 2035 in 74 ‘Countdown to 2015’ priority countries,” the study states. “In June 2012, at a global meeting convened by UNICEF and the governments of Ethiopia, India, and the U.S., a target was proposed of 20 or fewer deaths of children [under five] per 1,000 live births by 2035 in all countries,” the study notes (Walker et al., 9/20). “Rates of child and mother deaths have fallen in most countries since 2000, when the Millennium Development Goals [MDGs] were set,” but “efforts to improve mothers’ and children’s health must intensify to keep achieving significant reductions in the number of child deaths in low- and middle-income countries, according to the authors of the study,” HealthDay writes (9/19).

The study “calls on governments, both of the countries most affected by maternal and child deaths, and of nations providing development assistance, to redouble their efforts to deliver known and proven interventions at high and sustained levels, and search for new interventions that will save the lives of more children,” according to the Information Daily (9/20). “‘Countdown to 2015’ is a movement of academics, governments, international agencies, health care professional associations, donors, and non-governmental organizations worldwide that works in partnership with The Lancet to support progress toward meeting the [MDGs],” HealthDay notes (9/19).