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Preventing 4.4M Child Deaths In Next 1,000 Days Is Possible

“To reach the goal of decreasing deaths of children who have not yet reached their fifth birthday to four million in 2015, we estimate that 4.4 million children’s deaths must be averted in the next 1,000 days,” U.N. Special Envoy for Malaria Ray Chambers writes in the Huffington Post’s “The Big Push” blog, in the first of what he says will be a series of entries discussing successes, challenges, and actions. Noting that April 6 marks 1,000 days until the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), he asks, “Can the global community from the South, North, East and West, government leaders, business people, community health workers, moms and dads and students across the world work together to reach this goal?” He continues, “[M]y answer is a simple, yes.”

“[A]fter decades of struggle against [malaria] … we’ve finally pieced together the requisite combination of effective prevention and treatment, public awareness, political will, business tools, collaboration and funding from the global community,” Chambers says, adding, “Yet we’re now at an historic crossroads — a moment when the progress we’ve made is threatened and when the future of this promising movement may soon be decided.” He notes that national governments have contributed less to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria over the past year, and writes, “The result is a current shortfall of approximately $3.6 billion in the funding required for anti-malaria programs between now and 2015.” Chambers continues, “The fact that progress has been so impressive and hopes are so high, makes today’s funding crisis all the more heartbreaking — and all the more urgent,” stating, “Fortunately, there are signs of a turnaround,” with the Global Fund recently announcing “its largest funding round in almost three years” (3/26).

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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.