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Report Evaluates Countries’ Progress In Equitably, Sustainably Combating Child Mortality

In a new report (.pdf) published Wednesday, “Save the Children is highlighting progress in combating child mortality in many developing nations in Africa, while also warning of the need to address inequalities to help children have a better chance of surviving” in other regions, VOA News reports. According to the report, “the world has made ‘remarkable’ improvements in child health, but that kids in poor and rural areas, as well as girls and infants, remain more at risk of dying,” the news service writes (10/23). “The report introduces a new approach to assessing efforts in 75 developing countries to reduce child deaths,” a Save the Children press release states, adding, “For the first time, the findings show both how quickly progress is being made towards this U.N. goal, but also whether progress is equitable — across different social and economic groups — and sustainable, measured in terms of political will and stability.” The report, titled “Lives on the Line,” highlights Niger’s success in reducing child mortality, which “has benefited children across all income groups, boys and girls equally, and in rural areas as well as urban slums,” according to the press release (10/23).

“The report urges governments to focus on preventing infant deaths, which have fallen much less than those of other children under age five, and on addressing the malnutrition it says underlies almost half of child deaths,” VOA writes. “It also says countries can make greater gains by instituting routine immunizations, promoting breastfeeding, the use of treated bed nets, and ensuring proper nutrition for mothers during pregnancy,” according to the news service (10/23). In addition, Save the Children is calling on the U.S. government to “[c]ontinue to provide global leadership and robust funding for addressing maternal, newborn and child health issues and nutrition; [f]ulfill commitments made to addressing nutrition at the Nutrition for Growth conference including reducing stunting by two million by 2017; [i]ncrease efforts to ensure that a skilled health worker is within reach of every child and announce concrete ways the U.S. plans to do this at the Third Global Forum on Human Resources for Health in Brazil in November 2013,” the press release states (10/23).