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Making Life Saving Commodities Available in Nigeria: the Sokoto State story

By: Mu’azu Muhammad, Women Deliver 100 Young Leader

“Every year, millions of women and children die from preventable causes.These are not mere statistics. They are people with names and faces.” – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

The above statement by Ban Ki-moon resonates with me, because the situation in Nigeria is the same. Each year, approximately one million Nigerian children die from preventable illnesses before their fifth birthday. And for every 100,000 live births, there are 1,549 women who will die from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth. The especially dire mortality rates come from the northeastern and northwestern regions of the country where Bauchi and Sokoto States are located. Both states face huge challenges bringing health care services to their people. Read more...

Advancing Breastfeeding: The Power of the Network

By: Mariam Claeson, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Ruth Landy, Social Impact; Originally posted by Impatient Optimists

Chinese celebrity Ma Yili has over 50 million social media fans, and now she’s using her influence to promote breastfeeding in her home country, where only 28 percent of babies are exclusively breastfed. The “10m2 of Love” campaign Ma is publicizing includes a mobile app to help Chinese women locate and use public breastfeeding spaces.

From China to Pakistan, Venezuela and Viet Nam, countries are experimenting with new approaches to promote a life saving, natural practice under threat in the modern world. Read more...

Raise Your Voice for Newborn Health

Worldwide, 2.9 million babies die within their first month, largely from preventable causes. A new report released by Save the Children, "Ending Newborn Deaths", shows that the the first 24 hours of a child's life are the most critical, with more than one million babies dying each year on their first day. Yet half of these deaths could be prevented if the mother and baby had access to free, quality health care. A group of partners, led by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF, are working to turn the trend of newborn deaths around and have developed a strategy with goals and targets around ending newborn deaths titled Every Newborn: an action plan to end preventable deaths.

In order to make the plan as effective as possible, experts and advocates are asked to submit comments before Friday, February 28th on this page.The draft action plan highlights the tremendous progress made to improve child and newborn health, and affirms newborn health as a human right as recognized in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Read more...

Leaders’ Support Key to Success of Breastfeeding Advocacy

By: Rehema Namukose, Women Deliver

This week, the Impatient Optimists blog, and a subsequent Facebook post by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, spotlighted the politics of breastfeeding promotion. For leaders who haven’t joined the cause to promote breast feeding, now is the time. It is estimated that over 800,000 child deaths in the developing world could be prevented if mothers are encouraged and supported with breastfeeding. These deaths can be avoided if we unite to support mothers in giving their children better lives from breastfeedingRead more...

Press Release: Some 35 Million More Children Under Five at Risk if Child Mortality Goal Not Met

Originally posted at UNICEF

A new UNICEF report shows that if current trends continue, the world will not meet Millennium Development Goal 4 – to cut the rate of under-five mortality by two-thirds by 2015. Worse, if current trends continue, the goal will not be reached until 2028. The cost of inaction is alarmingly high: as many as 35 million more children could die mostly from preventable causes between 2015 and 2028, if the global community does not take immediate action to accelerate progress. Read more...

A New Global Focus on Preterm Births

World Prematurity Day highlights effective, low-cost care and new commitments to address the problem

Preterm birth is the world's largest killer of newborn babies, causing more than 1 million deaths each year, yet 75 percent could be saved without expensive, high technology care.

That's the primary message and motivating theme of World Prematurity Day, November 17, a global effort to raise awareness of the deaths and disabilities due to prematurity and the simple, proven, cost-effective measures that could prevent them. Read more...

AU Builds Common Platform For African Champions of Maternal Health – And Looks For More

Today the African Union’s Commissioner for Social Affairs, H.E Dr Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko launched a new website for its Campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal, Newborn and Child Mortality in Africa (CARMMA) – www.carmma.org.

The new website which has been pulled together by a team in the Department of Social Affairs promotes maternal and newborn survival, and provides evidence on progress in achieving the targets African leaders have set. Read more...

Osotimehin: Every Woman, Every Child

By: Babatunde Osotimehin; Originally posted on The Guardian - Nigeria

Dr. Osotimehin is a United Nations Under-Secretary-General and the Executive Director of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. He wrote this opinion in support of Every Woman Every Child, a global movement spearheaded by UN and other global leaders to save the lives of women and children and improve the lives of millions more by 2015.

The launch two days ago (Wednesday) of the report of the United Nations Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children is a major milestone in Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s push to ensure the success of the Every Woman Every Child movement. It is now two years since the movement was launched in New York during the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Summit. Its agenda – to save the lives of 16 million women and children by 2015 – is ambitious, but achievable. Read more...

Committed to Every Woman Every Child

By: The CORE Group

This blog is published in collaboration with a larger campaign spearheaded by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and conducted by Heads of State and Government; Heads of U.N. Agencies; CEO’s; Leaders of Civil Society Organizations; and other global leaders who have demonstrated their leadership in the health field, in support of Every Woman Every Child. Learn more at www.everywomaneverychild.org.

CORE Group is committed to supporting the Every Woman Every Child campaign’s goal to save the lives of 16 million women and children by 2015. As a global health network organization, CORE Group exponentially saves lives by bringing together its member NGOs, associate organizations and partners working all over the world to develop solutions, best practices, and technical tools and resources to improve maternal and child health. Read more...

Keeping Our Promises to Women and Children: Roadblocks to Ending Maternal and Child Deaths

By: Carole Presern, The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health; Originally posted on Huffington Post Impact

In three short years we will reach the deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

The international community has certainly made incredible inroads since these targets were set by world leaders in the year 2000 to significantly slash extreme poverty and disease. Read more...

The PMNCH 2012 Report Press Release

Originally posted on The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, & Child Health (PMNCH)

$20 Billion for Women's and Children's Health
New Funds to Spur Progress in Meeting Health Targets

The Global Strategy for Women’s and Children's Health has received about $20 billion in new money, according to a new report from The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH).

The report, "The PMNCH 2012 Report: Analyzing Progress on Commitments to The Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health," shows that of this $20 billion, about $10 billion has already been spent.

Commitments to the Global Strategy come from 220 partners; 98 of these are expressed in financial terms, including 27 from low- and middle-income countries. Read more...

Corporate Buzz: Agroamerica and UN Explore Efforts to Support MDG 5

By: Smita Gaith, Women Deliver

In Guatemala, where about 120,000 girls and women die from pregnancy-related causes each year, the agricultural company Agrofruit is exploring ways to reduce maternal mortality. The company specializes in growing tropical fruits, and is based in Guatemala.

The efforts began in 2011, when Agroamerica teamed up with a team of American doctors from the University of Colorado to explore the southwestern area known as “trifinio,” where three provinces called San Marcos, Retalhuleu and Quetzaltenango converge. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Improving Reproductive and Child Health Services in Ghana

By: Smita Gaith, Women Deliver

In Ghana, 350,000 women and 57,000 children under five die each year. Access to quality, comprehensive health care could have saved many of these lives.  In response, from 2005 – 2009, the Quality Health Partners project (QHP) was put in place to support efforts that were already under way in Ghana to ensure high quality reproductive and child health services. Read more...

‘A Promise Renewed’ to be Launched at Child Survival Call to Action

Under the umbrella of the United Nations’ Every Woman Every Child program, the Governments of India, Ethiopia, and the United States, together with UNICEF, will convene on June 14-15th at the Child Survival Call to Action. Hundreds of leaders and global experts will meet to discuss mobilizing political leadership in preventing child deaths, achieving a global child mortality prevention strategy which incorporates proven best practices, and sustaining collective action and mutual accountability in ending preventable child deaths. Read more...

Countdown to 2015 Report: Fewer Maternal/Child Deaths; Too Many Still Dying

Countdown to 2015 launches its 2012 Report on June 14, 2012, at the Child Survival Call to Action, a two-day high-level meeting in Washington, D.C. 

Countdown’s new report, Building a Future for Women and Children: The 2012 Report, highlights country progress—and obstacles to progress—towards achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5 to reduce child mortality and improve maternal health. Read more...

65th World Health Assembly Meeting Addresses Women and Children

The World Health Assembly, which took place this year from May 21-26, 2012, resulted in 21 newly adopted resolutions and three health-related decisions. The resolutions and decisions revolved around early marriage and young pregnancies, international health regulations, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), non-communicable diseases, and social determinants of health, and several other health- and disease-related topics. Read more...

Corporate Buzz: GBCHealth Announces New MDG Health Alliance

By:  Smita Gaith, Women Deliver

The creation of the MDG Health Alliance was recently announced by GBC Health, a private sector nonprofit coalition that works to improve health around the world. The announcement took place at their two-day GBCHealth Conference, in May.

The Alliance is working in alignment with the Millennium Development Goals targeting maternal and child health.  According to the Alliance, there are 5 underlying initiatives, and they will work towards 7 main goals: 1) improve child health; 2) improve maternal health; 3) achieve near-zero malaria deaths; 4) achieve near-zero transmission of HIV from mother to child; 5) recruit, train, and equip one million community health workers; 6) save one million lives from TB-HIV co-infection; and 7) ensure universal access to reproductive health.  Read more...

UN Commissioners Aim to Adopt New Recommendations to Increase Access to Health Commodities

Affordable, life-saving medicines and health supplies with the potential to save millions of lives are not reaching the children and women who most need them. To help change this, members of the United Nations Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children will today review and finalize recommendations to help increase access, reduce costs, and increase demand for 13 products. Read more...

Save the Children’s 2012 State of the World’s Mothers Report

This year’s thirteenth annual State of the World’s Mothers report features more than 60 countries and a foreword by USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah. Filled with ground-breaking research, this year’s report focuses on the importance of nutrition during the first 1,000 days between pregnancy and a child’s second birthday.

This year’s report also includes their annual Mother’s Index, ranking the best and worst countries in which to be a mother based on health and status indicators for women and children in 165 counties. Norway, as in 2011, ranks first; Niger, replacing Afghanistan in 2011, ranks last. The United States comes in at #25 among the 43 developed countries ranked. Eight of the 10 worst countries to be a mother are in sub-Saharan Africa. We must continue to work to ensure that moms everywhere can care for their kids. Read more...

“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. Read more...

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