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Important Message for 2008 Universal Children's Day
Date:11/19/2008

"Unacceptable and Inexcusable"

25,000 young children will die today for lack of basic survival needs

UNICEF USA Appeals for Public Involvement, Presidential Initiative to Save 9.2 Million Children Annually

NEW YORK, Nov. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Calling the daily preventable deaths of 25,000 children worldwide 'profoundly shameful and unnecessary', the U.S. Fund for UNICEF today marked Universal Children's Day by launching "Believe in Zero", a campaign that encourages policy makers and the general public to reduce daily child deaths from 25,000 to zero.

"These children are not dying from incurable diseases or causes. These children are dying from diarrhea, pneumonia, measles and malaria---things that cost pennies to treat or prevent," said Caryl Stern, President and C.E.O., U.S. Fund for UNICEF. "It is unacceptable and inexcusable that defenseless children continue to die when the technology, expertise and solutions to save them exist right now."

In 1980, the annual rate of under-five child deaths hovered at 14.6 million, which totaled 40,000 children a day. By 1990 that number was reduced to 12.7 million children annually. Last year annual child deaths declined to about 9.2 million, in spite of rapid population growth, many prolonged civil conflicts and the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

UNICEF health experts cite basic health interventions, such as the immunization of children, the use of insecticide-treated bed nets to prevent malaria, and the provision of vitamin A supplementation as leading factors in the reduction of child deaths. The basic cost of a lifetime vaccination package, which includes, vaccinations against measles/mumps/rubella, polio, tetanus and meningitis, as well as the tools to administer the vaccines, totals $17.

The U.S. Fund led initiative will be rolled-out over multiple platforms and comprise
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SOURCE US Fund for UNICEF
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