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Prioritizing low-cost, simple health measures would save 2.5 million child lives a year
Date:11/15/2009

New York, Nov. 16, 2009 Almost a third of the children under age five who die each year could be saved if governments rebalance health spending to ensure low-cost, simple interventions such as safe water and hygiene, bed nets and basic maternal and newborn care, leading aid agency World Vision said today. Currently, 8.8 million children a year die before age five, most of preventable causes.

A new report by the Christian humanitarian agency calls for scaling up simple preventive health measures for mothers and children, particularly at the community level. This must be a priority to make rapid progress against the top child killers of pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria, the international analysis shows. Citing interventions that can cost pennies, the study concludes that more strategic use of funding and resources would keep millions of children from dying before they reach their fifth birthdays.

"Our world is in the grip of a chronic humanitarian crisis with more than 24,000 children dying each day," said World Vision International's President Kevin Jenkins. "Yet we know that even in the poorest countries, most child deaths are not inevitable."

"The truth is politics, not poverty, is what is killing these children. For many politicians, saving infants and children from illness and death is simply not a priority. Our campaign will mobilize and equip people worldwide to hold their leaders to account for ensuring child health now," said Jenkins.

The report comes as World Vision launches Child Health Now, its first global advocacy campaign, for the 100 countries in which it works. The five-year initiative aims to help reduce child mortality by two-thirds by 2015 through ensuring government leaders deliver on their commitments to help meet this goal.*

"At least 2.5 million children's lives could be saved each year by implementing low-cost, simple interventions such as water and hygiene, bed nets, and basic maternal and n
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Contact: Geraldine Ryerson-Cruz
gryerson@worldvision.org
202-615-2608
World Vision
Source:Eurekalert

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