“Every Child Deserves a 5th Birthday” Campaign Begins

The US Agency for International Development (USAID), a member organization of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health has launched their “Every Child Deserves a 5th Birthday” campaign this week.  According to the website, fifth birthdays are regarded as a milestone birthday after which one is much more likely to survive into adulthood. Seven million children die before their fifth birthday, and many of these are preventable deaths in developing countries.

The campaign was launched at the Kaiser Family Foundation in Washington, DC.  USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah was on hand for the unveiling, and called for supporters to share photos from their fifth birthdays on the campaign website, as well as inspirational messages on Twitter and Facebook.

The campaign is part of a larger event called “Child Survival: Call to Action,” which will bring the governments of Ethiopia, India, and the United States along with UNICEF, health experts, and technical experts to identify obstacles, best practices, and potential strategies to end preventable child deaths. These leaders and key thinkers will come from a variety of fields related to child health, including nutrition, malaria, PMTCT, maternal and newborn health, family planning and immunization.

More information about the campaign and how to be involved is available on the campaign website and video, and on the PMNCH website.

Entry Comments

  1. I still think getting back to nature’s gift to health protection is the very best way out. Industrialization and civilization has worked us out from the tenements of health security. Breastfeeding is a crucial point of interest which if given the same focus as other aspects will yield a double digit decrease in infant morbidity and mortality.
    Borrowing the words from a W.H.O document: “Recognizing that the encouragement and protection of breastfeeding is an important part of the health, nutrition and other social measures required to promote healthy growth and development of infants and young children; and that breastfeeding is an important aspect of primary health care;Recognizing further that inappropriate feeding practices lead to infant malnutrition, morbidity and mortality in all countries, and that improper practices in the marketing of breast milk substitutes and related products can contribute to these major public health problems”
    Clinicians, public health advisors, nutritionists and others have been attempting to increase breastfeeding rates, using various initiatives, for the last few decades with varying degrees of success. However, health-related behaviors do not occur in isolation: by recognizing the importance of community social circumstances we can improve our understanding of infant feeding, thereby improving our ability to increase breastfeeding in our communities.
    These initiatives include: the implementation of Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) recommendations in maternity hospitals, education of mothers on how to breastfeed successfully, paternal support and use of peer counselors to support breastfeeding mothers. The purpose of BFHI is to actively protect, promote, encourage and support breastfeeding through education of health care workers in maternity and neonatal services. However, using health workers to give early support for exclusive breastfeeding in Italian women was reported as ineffective (Di Napoli et al., 2004).  In Cameroon, mostly in the rural communities where the majority of women deliver outside health facilities, the BFHI strategy alone, being hospital based, would miss out most mothers.
    Program data from Ghana, Madagascar and Bolivia used several methods which included skills training, harmonized messages and peer group support and interaction to promote breastfeeding in the community. The rates of timely initiation of breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding (by 24-hour recall) increased over the three year period of implementation of the program (Quinn et al., 2005).
    Peer counseling is an effective way of promoting exclusive breastfeeding and it has also been reported to decrease the speed of weaning.
    In Niger these community based peer counselors are referred to as “femme relais”
    Peer counseling is an effective way of promoting exclusive breastfeeding and it has also been reported to decrease the speed of weaning.
    The Institute of Science Technology Breastfeeding Research and Advocacy Center a member of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health coordinates efforts by organizations, agencies, institutions, and individuals towards the development of strategic plans, policies, and goals for breastfeeding and ensures that breastfeeding practices and attitudes are improved in Cameroon (particularly in the rural areas) and given priority as an indispensable step to achieving Millennium Development Goal four (4). This initiative is unique among existing malnutrition-prevention efforts in its focus on programs and activities that promote early breastfeeding initiation as a primordial factor influencing infant nutritional and growth status.

  2. this is the first time I got to know about such a fact that many children die before reaching the age of 5. Juss looking on to the heading I thought of reading the article and I liked reading the whole . thank you for the share.

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