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

h as skilled attendance at birth, compared with poorer families. In every country studied, women with secondary or higher education are more likely than uneducated women to give birth with a skilled attendant. Greater attention is needed to providing universal access to care by reaching the poorest, and to educating girls and women.

Focus on newborn survival

"Around the world, 43% of child deaths occur during the first month of life and this percentage is continuing to rise. Reducing newborn deaths is essential if countries are to achieve MDG 4 and ultimately eliminate preventable child deaths, as the world has promised to do," says Jennifer Requejo, Ph.D, lead author of the new Countdown report and manager of Countdown to 2015.

"By scaling up cost-effective interventions that can be delivered through antenatal, childbirth and postnatal care services like antenatal corticosteroids, neonatal resuscitation, drying and thermal care for the newborn, cord care, kangaroo mother care and treatment for newborn sepsis that terrible toll of newborn deaths can be reduced by three-quarters, without the need for intensive care," she says. "And, improving antenatal, childbirth and postnatal care services has the added benefit of saving women's lives and reducing stillbirths and preterm deliveries."

Tracking reproductive health funding

Family planning is another key concern of Countdown to 2015 because of its contribution to reducing unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortions, as well as its contribution to enabling women to control their reproductive lives. More than half of the 75 countries studied in the report have a total fertility rate of four or more children per woman; 35 of these countries are in sub-Saharan Africa where contraceptive use is low.

A companion Countdown paper, Reproductive health priorities: Evidence from disbursements of official development aid, published in the May 19 issue of T
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Contact: Marshall Hoffman
marshall@hoffmanpr.com
703-533-3535
Hoffman & Hoffman Worldwide
Source:Eurekalert

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