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Child Survival Symposium: Urgent action needed to reduce child mortality worldwide by 2015

The Lancet, UNICEF, and the Norwegian Government will host a key meeting in New York on September 18th to assess the progress being made to reduce child deaths by two-thirds by 2015--the fourth Millennium Development Goal (MDG 4). Heads of State and health experts will convene to map out the global action still urgently required to make MDG 4 a reality.

The meeting will coincide with the publication of a special issue of The Lancet devoted to child survival. The issue will include the latest findings from the Child Survival Countdown, a worldwide effort to monitor the use of interventions that can improve child survival in 60 countries where 94% of child deaths under five occur.

The new research findings in The Lancet special issue, to be presented at the meeting, under embargo until 00:01H ((London time) Monday September 18, 2006, include:

  • Only seven of the 60 countries with the highest child mortality show trends in under-five mortality that suggest they will meet the child-survival MDG

  • 39 countries are making some progress, and 14 countries are cause for serious concern

  • Only 10 countries are on track with regard to exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life

  • Only 10 countries have implemented appropriate vaccination campaigns against diseases such as measles, diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus

  • Only 6 countries are meeting the required targets for effective control of pneumonia, diarrhoeal disease, and malaria treatment

Other key findings include:

  • The current level of official developmental assistance to maternal, newborn, and child health is inadequate

  • Global aid flows will need to increase sharply during the next 5 years to reach MDG4

  • The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) should redistribute its resources to countries with the lowest vaccine coverage
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Contact: Joe Santangelo
j.santangelo@elsevier.com
212-633-3810
Lancet
17-Sep-2006


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