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Focus On Vulnerable Mothers Needed To Reduce Preventable Child Deaths

Writing in the Huffington Post’s “Global Motherhood” blog, Leith Greenslade, co-chair of the Child Health Pillar for the MDG Health Alliance, examines the circumstances of mothers who experience multiple child deaths. “It is no coincidence that child deaths are concentrated in the places with the greatest numbers of disempowered mothers — India, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan and Ethiopia. Half of all child deaths occur to mothers in these five countries,” she writes. Greenslade highlights a study about child deaths in three states in Northern Nigeria, and continues, “The mothers who had nobody to turn to for support, who rarely or never had anyone to help look after their children, and who felt that they were not respected by their peers were much more likely to have children die before they turned five.” She adds, “This is why it is so important that when we talk about child survival we talk about mothers” (7/22).