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$5.1 billion would save 6 million children

Six million children could be saved if $5.1 billion in new resources for preventive and therapeutic interventions were provided each year, according to researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and other institutions. Approximately 90 percent of all child deaths occur in 42 countries around the world. In those countries, the average cost per child saved would be $887 or $1.23 per capita. With the recent publication of the potential impact of proven interventions that are feasible to deliver in low-income settings to children younger than age 5 years, this is the first time the global cost of implementing child survival programs could be estimated. The study is published in the June 25, 2005, issue of The Lancet.

"Achieving the Millennium Development Goal for child survival is clearly affordable. Protecting child health should be the priority for countries with the highest rates of child death and for international donors. The biggest challenges are increasing the delivery of health services and the lack of readily available funds," said Robert E. Black, MD, MPH, corresponding author of the study and chair of the Bloomberg School of Public Health's Department of International Health.

One of the United Nations-based Millennium Development Goals is to reduce child mortality by two-thirds by 2015. Past studies completed by Black and his colleagues found that two-thirds of the almost 11 million child deaths worldwide could be prevented with existing knowledge and treatments. In order to decrease child death rates, adequate funding must be available to provide comprehensive child survival interventions to the areas that need them most, according to the study authors.

The researchers compiled child survival interventions previously shown to reduce mortality from the major causes of death in children younger than age 5 years. They focused on preventive interventions that could be put in place during 18 visits with a primary
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Source:Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health


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