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Small investment could save 11 million African lives
Date:7/26/2010

In the next five years, 11 million African women and children could be saved by creating near-universal availability of key life-saving interventions, according to The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health and the Countdown to 2015 Decade Report (2000-2010).

The Countdown report estimates that these interventions -- antenatal care, emergency care at the time of birth, post-natal care, treatment of childhood illnesses, and immunization, among others -- will cost an additional $32 billion, or about $8 per person per year over the next five years. This would allow 95 percent population coverage.

This achievement would bring most African countries in line with UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5, which call for reducing the number of deaths among children under 5 by two thirds, and reducing maternal deaths by three-quarters by 2015.

Africa, with 11 percent of the world's population, accounts for more than half of its maternal and child deaths, 85 percent of malaria cases and 72 percent of HIV/AIDS related deaths. The continent also has the world's lowest average life expectancy, experiences the highest proportional yearly increases in communicable diseases, and faces an ever-growing burden of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

Countdown to 2015, a global scientific and advocacy movement, tracks progress in maternal and children health in 68 high-burden countries where more than 95% of all maternal and child deaths occur. In its 2010 report, Countdown found that 49 out of the 68 high burden countries are not on track to meet MDG 4 on child health. Thirty nine of the 49 countries that are not on track to reach MDG 4 are in Sub-Saharan Africa, and that progress has not been sufficient to meet MDG 5, again particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa.

"Africa's ministers of health need tools to help them make the case for more spending," says Modou Diagne Fada, Minister of
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Contact: Marshall Hoffman
marshall@hoffmanpr.com
703-533-3535
Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health
Source:Eurekalert

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