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World leaders to focus on child and maternal health at G8 Summit

Cost-effective interventions can reduce child deaths by 65 percent. Yet so far, world leaders lack the will to roll them out across poor countries where they’re most needed.

May 2010



Women and children in Mali.
In countries like Mali, child malnutrition is as high as 48 percent. Malnutrition is the main cause of infant deaths in Mali.
Photo ©2009 Justin Douglass/World Vision

Next month, President Obama will attend the G8 Summit, a meeting of leaders from the world’s most powerful and wealthy countries. The influence that these countries have on the rest of the world cannot be understated — particularly their impact on the poorest and most vulnerable, like mothers and children living in poverty.

Will they follow through?

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, host of the 2010 summit, has confirmed that addressing child and maternal health will be a priority at the summit. This is encouraging news for the millions of mothers and children susceptible to deadly but preventable diseases. But will G8 countries follow through?

While preventable deaths among children have decreased in recent years, child mortality is still far too high. Nearly 9 million children are dying each year of preventable causes like diarrhea, pneumonia, and malaria. That’s more than 24,000 children a day.

Cost-effective interventions can reduce child deaths by 65 percent and maternal deaths by 80 percent, as proven in a number of developing countries. Yet so far, world leaders lack the will to roll them out across poor countries where they’re most needed.

Six million children could be saved

Act Now.
Ask President Obama to take concrete action at this year’s G8 Summit to help end preventable child deaths.

Donate Now.
Help provide life-saving medicines and supplies for children in need.

Last year, the G8 agreed to the Consensus for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, which sets out the key steps to save the lives of more than 10 million women and children between now and 2015. This year, the G8 leaders must show that they have the resolve to keep their promises to fund these interventions.

Established in 2000, the Millennium Development Goals provide a roadmap for eradicating extreme poverty by 2015. The fourth goal is to cut by two-thirds the number of children under 5 who die. Six million children a year will survive if G8 leaders keep this commitment. However, at present rate, it appears that the target will go unfulfilled.

“2010 is a crucial year,” says Robert Zachritz, World Vision’s advocacy and government relations manager. “We only have five years left to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. The consequences of success or failure at this summit are greater than ever.”

What the G8 can do

To increase progress toward these child and maternal health goals, World Vision is asking the G8 to:

  • Increase the level of health funding to meet the Millennium Development Goals and G8 health commitments.
  • Improve health aid coordination, targeting, and accountability.
  • Implement a global action plan for maternal and child health.
  • Ensure adequate food and nutrition security for communities.
“We have come a long way in improving the health of children and their mothers, but the current economic crisis and global food insecurity pose new and greater challenges and threaten to reverse this success,” explains Zachritz. “The G8 must take a stand for mothers and children and follow through on their commitments if we are to meet the Millennium Development Goals.”

Says Zachritz, “All children should have the opportunity to celebrate their fifth birthday and many more.”

Learn more


>> Learn about our Child Health Now campaign. Together, we can end preventable child deaths.

Three things you can do

>> Pray for the country leaders who will meet at the G8 Summit. Pray that they will be mindful of the health needs of children and mothers and take action to reduce preventable maternal and child deaths.
>> Send a message to President Obama. Ask him to take concrete steps to stop the preventable deaths of 8.8 million children.
>> Donate now to help provide life-saving medicine and supplies. Your gift, combined with supplies donated by top pharmaceutical companies, multiplies 15 times to help save children and families in 32 of the world’s poorest countries.

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Learn more

Learn about our Child Health Now campaign. Together, we can end preventable child deaths.

Three things you can do

Pray for the country leaders who will meet at the G8 Summit. Pray that they will be mindful of the health needs of children and mothers and take action to reduce preventable maternal and child deaths.
- -

Send a message to President Obama. Ask him to take concrete steps to stop the preventable deaths of 8.8 million children.
- -
Donate now to help provide life-saving medicine and supplies. Your gift, combined with supplies donated by top pharmaceutical companies, multiplies 15 times to help save children and families in 32 of the world’s poorest countries.

 





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