Published on June 12, 2012 at 2:33 AM
The following are summaries of several opinion pieces published in anticipation of the Child Survival Call to Action event to be held on June 14-15 in Washington, D.C. Convened by the Governments of United States, Ethiopia and India, and organized in close collaboration with UNICEF, the event will focus on ending preventable child death through the survival of newborns, children and mothers and will convene 700 prominent leaders from government, the private sector, faith-based organizations and civil society to kick off a long-term, focused effort to save children's lives.
- Dagfinn Hoybraten, The Hill's "Congress Blog": "Next week in Washington I'll join hundreds of leaders -- from world governments, the private sector, and faith-based organizations -- to launch the Child Survival Call to Action, a long-term, focused effort to save children's lives," Hoybraten, vice president of the Norwegian Parliament and chair of the board of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), writes, adding, "The urgency behind this effort, and the Call to Action, is driven by a sobering fact: 7.6 million children around the world die each year and countless children in developing countries don't live to their fifth birthday." He concludes, "The conference has an ambitious goal of ending preventable child deaths within a generation. This goal is indeed achievable. But this will require a new level of collaboration, additional resources and increased accountability … I passionately believe that vaccines should reach children wherever they live" (6/8).
- John McCullough, Huffington Post's "Global Motherhood" blog: "For a brief moment, the world is about to turn its attention to the issue of child survival and nutrition," McCullough, executive director and CEO of Church World Service, writes, adding, "If you know anything about the problem, then you know it deserves even more of our attention. … The moral imperative in fighting malnutrition is at the top of the chart." He continues, "Going forward, as civil society and the faith community in particular enter into talks with those of government and the private sector at the Child Survival: Call to Action summit, we need to keep in mind both the moral imperative and good economic sense, without violating our values," concluding, "Together, we must be determined that all children have that same possibility, because every child must be treated just as great as your own" (6/8).
- Craig Rubens, Huffington Post's "Global Motherhood" blog: "Tremendous reductions have been made in global child mortality, but with seven million children dying every year before their fifth birthday, our fight is far from over," Rubens, executive director of the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth, writes, adding, "As a global community, we must prioritize child survival and child health, and commit additional resources to ending preventable child deaths." He notes, "Rapid advances in technology mean rapid improvements in the delivery of care in the developed world," and writes, "Safer and healthier pregnancies will put every child in a better position to live a long and healthy life. That's why in addition to increasing the delivery of new healthcare technologies, it is equally important that we study what happens during pregnancy." He concludes, "Let's commit to helping every child reach his or her fifth birthday. Let's commit to making every birth a healthy birth" (6/9).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.