CAPE TOWN, South Africa– From the Countdown to 2015 conference held in South Africa last week, the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health made a public call to G8 leaders to fulfill their previous commitments to global health. Those commitments have a price tag for essential interventions that could avert the deaths of over 6 million mothers, newborns and children every year.
The Partnership, a coalition of more than 240 member organizations from around the world working towards Millennium Development Goals 4 & 5 on child survival and maternal health, has estimated the cost to ensure universal coverage of basic services needed to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5 on reducing child and maternal mortality by 2015:
an additional US$10.2 billion annually.
Of this $10.2 billion, half must be earmarked for maternal and newborn health, including reproductive health. This often neglected area of the maternal, newborn and child health continuum of care needs particular attention to ensure programs are scaled-up and necessary infrastructure and supplies are available for universal access.
"The world is expecting G8 leaders to show the way in confronting this health crisis faced by millions of mothers and children who do not have access to essential care," said Jeffrey Mecaskey, a representative of the Save the Children Alliance. "The Countdown report gives us all the information we need. We can achieve MDGs 4 and 5, it’s simply a question of making the right political choices."
The Partnership statement addresses not just Group of 8 nations, in advance of the G8 Summit to be hosted by the Government of Japan in July of this year, but all donor governments as well as business leaders. While donor funding for maternal, newborn and child health has increased significantly in the past few years, from US$2.1 billion in 2003 to almost US$3.5 billion in 2006, it remains far below the total funding needs of the 68 countries identified as accounting for 97% of maternal and child deaths worldwide.
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