Melinda Gates and I have a lot in common. We are around the same age, both moms, both have Master’s Degrees, and married brilliant men. We left our regular jobs behind after having our children, and directed our energy into advocacy. We both strive towards improving poverty and global health issues, but most of all, Melinda and I are both passionate about global maternal and child health.
She recently wrote a post on the Gates Foundation blog, Impatient Optimists where she talks about how she looks forward to the UNICEF report each year. Each year it tells us how we have improved child mortality rates in what she calls “the most important statistic in the world”. I feel the same way. Seeing such progress gives me immense hope for what we are able to accomplish. Every incremental bit of improvement should be celebrated, because it brings us that much closer to the greater goals.
This year the UNICEF report is entitled Committing to Child Survival: A Promised Renewed , and it outlines what we are getting right, and what needs more focus. The celebrated fact is that the number of children dying each year has declined steadily for the past 50 years. Hundreds of thousands of lives saved, yet in some areas of the world the statistics are still alarming.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, one in every 10 children born still dies before their fifth birthday, nearly 16 times the average rate in high-income countries.-per this year’s UNICEF report
Children believe in promises more than anyone, especially when coming from an adult. UNICEF has entitled this year’s report Committing to Child Survival: A Promised Renewed to make sure we do not lose the momentum in the promises we made. While the statistics show child deaths down, they don’t tell the whole story. Newborn deaths are still high. More children die before they reach their 5th birthday than any other age range, and mostly from preventable causes.
The UNICEF Committing to Child Survival: A Promised Renewed Report is a call to action.
Call to Action Goals from the report:
- Mobilize political leadership to end preventable child deaths.
- Achieve consensus on a global roadmap highlighting innovative and proven strategies to accelerate reductions in child mortality.
- Drive sustained collective action and mutual accountability.
I wrote this post as part of The Global Team of 200, a highly specialized group of members of Mom Bloggers for Social Good that concentrates on issues involving women and girls, children, world hunger and maternal health.
Our Motto: Individually we are all-powerful. Together we can change the world. We believe in the power of collective action to help others and believe in ourselves to make this world a better place for our children and the world’s children.