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Remarkable progress in reducing child mortality and improving maternal health
Date:5/31/2013

as been far slower compared with the rate of progress in reducing the deaths of older children.

Infectious Diseases. Malaria, pneumonia, diarrhea, sepsis, measles, AIDS, and other infectious diseases account for at least half of all young child deaths. Many of these deaths can be prevented with cost-effective interventions. These priorities are highlighted by several recent efforts to scale up action to reduce child mortality, including the Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhoea, launched last month by WHO and UNICEF; the Global Vaccine Action Plan, endorsed by the 194 member-states of the WHO in 2012; and Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed, led by the governments of India, Ethiopia and the US, supported by UNICEF.

Breastfeeding. Although early and exclusive breastfeeding would improve nutrition and reduce susceptibility to disease, coverage levels of these interventions vary widely across the countries studied. In many countries, fewer than half of all babies are breastfeed immediately after birth or exclusively breastfed during their first six months of life.

Reaching the most vulnerable

The Countdown report shows that some countries are moving more quickly than others, reporting wide differences in coverage levels for key interventions and services across countries where data is available (2007-2012).

For instance:

  • The median coverage of skilled birth attendance is slightly more than 60% for the countries studied (54), but the coverage between these countries ranges from 10% to 100%:
  • The median for postnatal care of babies is 26%, ranging from 5% to 77% among the 11 countries studied;
  • The median for antibiotic treatment for pneumonia is 42%, but the range is 7%-88%.

The Countdown report also reveals vast inequalities in coverage within countries, as richer families are more likely to seek and receive essential care, suc
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Contact: Marshall Hoffman
marshall@hoffmanpr.com
703-533-3535
Hoffman & Hoffman Worldwide
Source:Eurekalert

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