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

ewborn care," said World Vision's Jenkins. "As many as six million children could be saved yearly by combining these approaches with more strategic allocation of resources to meet needs at the community level, and by fulfilled global donor commitments."

In the U.S., government leaders have the opportunity to build on the country's global health funding leadership by appropriating the resources promised in last year's Global AIDS, TB and Malaria bill, and moving on to pass the newly introduced Global Child Survival Act of 2009, which calls for a clear, coordinated strategy to save the lives of newborns, infants and children in developing countries.

Recent history shows substantial progress is achievable: child deaths have been cut by more than half since 1960, when 20 million children died from preventable causes. Child mortality has decreased in all regions of the world because of increased access to interventions such as oral rehydration therapy and immunizations and further progress can be made by expanding those approaches, emphasizing hand washing with soap and providing needed vitamins, among other basic steps

Report author Regina Keith, World Vision's senior health campaign adviser, said much health funding both from donor nations and developing countries' budgets -- is spent in ways that fail to have the greatest impact.

"Prevention is better, and cheaper, than treating children once they get ill," said Keith. "Yet an estimated 270 million children live in what amounts to a health care desert, lacking access to even the most basic provision, while millions more face patchy, low-quality systems they can't afford. If countries want to ensure the survival of their next generation, they must focus on providing low-cost, simple interventions to keep these young children healthy."


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Contact: Geraldine Ryerson-Cruz
gryerson@worldvision.org
202-615-2608
World Vision
Source:Eurekalert

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