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Country action is needed for maternal and child health in Africa
Date:6/21/2010

are, only 29% of children with pneumonia receive antibiotics, and less than a quarter of women have access to contraception.

No country can scale-up and implement all possible interventions at once; priorities need to be set. The second paper in the series, by Professor Robert Black and colleagues, reports the results of a priority setting analysis using the Lives Saved Tool (LiST). Estimates of mortality reduction for 42 sub-Saharan African countries show that nearly 4 million deaths would be averted if well known interventions such as emergency obstetric care, breastfeeding counselling, kangaroo mother care for preterm babies, and treatment for diarrhoea and pneumonia reached 90% of families. A detailed analysis of nine diverse African countries found that feasible increases in the coverage of high-impact outreach interventions could save 486,000 lives and would cost an estimated additional US $1.21 per capita. Feasible increases in the coverage of facility-based interventions could save 105,000 lives at an estimated additional cost of US $0.54 per capita.

As the MDG target of 2015 approaches, the authors of the series conclude that each day 13,000 African mothers, newborns and children die. Progress is being, made especially in a few leading countries, but "even more lives could be saved if countries used data to increase coverage and quality of care in the short term. Local and national governments, policymakers and donors should be encouraged to make better use of science and data to inform effective action now," say the authors.


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Contact: Andrew Hyde
press@plos.org
44-122-346-3330
Public Library of Science
Source:Eurekalert

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