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More Money, Focus Needed To Reach Maternal, Child Health MDGs

Though the global community has “made incredible inroads” on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), “the majority of developing countries are still expected to fall short of the MDG targets for reducing maternal and child mortality by 2015,” Carole Presern, director of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH), writes in the Huffington Post’s “Global Motherhood” blog. A report released recently by PMNCH “sheds light on the reasons why more progress is not being made to end these needless deaths” by examining “commitments made to advance the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health” launched by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2010, she notes.

More than $55 million of the $88 million called for by the Global Strategy has been committed to maternal and child health through 2015, “[b]ut stakeholders will need more money to finish putting the plan into action,” Presern writes. She recommends more focus on the childhood diseases of diarrhea, pneumonia and malaria; integrating reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health with other health services; increasing access to skilled health care workers; and improving accountability. “We know what needs to be done. We know what we have been doing so far is already working. Let’s step up our efforts to save millions of more lives by 2015, and beyond,” she writes (9/22).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.