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More Must Be Done To Improve Health Of Women, Children Worldwide

“[W]omen and children everywhere deserve quality health care,” Kathy Bushkin Calvin, CEO of the United Nations Foundation, writes in the Huffington Post’s “Global Motherhood” blog. “As many in the development community say, investing in the health of women and children isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s also the smart thing to do,” she continues, adding, “When women and children are healthy, they can learn more and earn more, which leads to more stable and productive communities.” Though the world has made “important progress on this front,” “[w]e must continually assess our progress and talk about where we need to do better, because when the international community mobilizes, we can generate meaningful change,” she says, noting “we have more work to do … in order to achieve Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5, which set critical targets for reducing child and maternal mortality by 2015.”

“To date, more than 250 organizations, including the United Nations Foundation, have made commitments worth nearly $58 billion in support of Every Woman Every Child,” launched in 2010 by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “to mobilize and intensify global action on women’s and children’s health,” Calvin writes. “[T]he initiative encourages transparency and has helped catalyze new attention and investment in some of the most neglected causes of women’s and children’s mortality, including access to contraceptives and preterm birth,” she says. “To help more women and children survive and thrive, we need additional financial resources, a focus on communities that have been left behind, greater access to life-saving vaccines for children, and a sustained commitment to women’s sexual and reproductive health, among other steps,” she writes, adding, “And we all can do more to increase accountability, monitor progress, and make sure we deliver results” (10/3).

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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.