Two United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) conferences this week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, gathered “international policymakers, government ministers, and lawmakers” to address the half a million maternal deaths annually, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports. Although the U.N. “hopes to reduce maternal mortality by three quarters between 1990 and 2015,” this Millennium Development Goal target “has seen the least progress in recent years,” the news organization writes.
Maternal, Newborn and Child Health
Gates Foundation Praises U.S. Global Health Investments, Calls For 15-Year Goal Of Cutting Child Deaths Worldwide By Nearly Half
As part of a “major push to convince the United States to maintain government spending on worldwide health initiatives, despite the financial crisis and a soaring U.S. budget deficit,” the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is urging U.S. policymakers to commit to cutting “the number of child deaths each year, from 9 million to 5 million” by 2025, CNN reports.
At the 7th Global Conference on Health Promotion, which kicked off in Kenya on Monday, participants discussed reducing maternal mortality and the related Millennium Development Goals (MDG), the Daily Nation reports. According to the newspaper, Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki “said that globally, the number of maternal deaths had â€¦ risen to 536,000 per year, translating to one death per minute.”
Bill and Melinda Gates are expected to ask Washington officials on Tuesday to “continue funding global health initiatives despite the recession and to commit to nearly halve the number of child deaths worldwide by 2025,” the Washington Post reports.
At a U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, “[h]ealth ministers from around the world have agreed that swift action must be taken to reduce the number of women dying during pregnancy and childbirth,” the BBC reports. While there appeared to be some agreement “that family planning was the most cost-effective way of [tackling] the problem … no unanimous declaration was adopted at the Addis Ababa talks,” according to the news service (10/26).
Filipinos are “struggling to live in flooded suburbs or crowded shelters one month after devastating rains began pounding the Philippines, and officials warn no quick fix is in sight,” Agence France-Presse reports. According to the WHO, 1.43 million people, “mostly in and around Manila, continue to endure a dangerous existence living in flooded districts” (Morella, 10/26).
Lancet Infectious Diseases Review Examines Progress On Dengue Vaccine “The spread of dengue virus throughout the tropics represents a major, rapidly growing public health problem with an estimated 2.5 billion people at risk of dengue fever and the life-threatening disease, severe dengue,” write the authors of a Lancet Infectious Diseases…
At the launch of the Campaign to End Pediatric HIV/AIDS (CEPA) on Thursday, advocate Graca Machel urged African leaders to redirect state spending to prevent and treat HIV infections among women and children, Agence France-Presse reports. An estimated “1.8 million of the world’s two million [HIV-positive] children” live in Sub-saharan Africa, where “[m]other-to-child prevention and treatment coverage currently averages 30 to 40 percent against a target of 80 percent,” the news service writes (10/22).
Wednesday’s release of the WHO, UNICEF and the World Bank joint report on childhood vaccines highlighted gains in recent global vaccination campaigns and also found that nearly 24 million infants worldwide don’t get the recommended first-year vaccination. The following news outlets examined the challenges associated with the expansion of global immunization campaigns to reach this population:
A joint report by the WHO, UNICEF and the World Bank on worldwide vaccination efforts released Wednesday found “a record 106 million infants were vaccinated last year against life-threatening diseases, but nearly a fifth of the world’s babies still are not protected fully,” the Associated Press reports.