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Countries Urged to Step Up Efforts to Reduce Child Deaths

Current projections show that interventions in 74 Countdown countries will not meet 2035 goals
FRIDAY, Sept. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Historical trends in coverage of interventions to improve maternal, newborn, and child health indicate that targets for child and neonatal mortality will not be met by 2035, according to research published in the Sept. 21 issue of The Lancet.
Neff Walker, Ph.D., of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, and colleagues analyzed coverage data for interventions to improve maternal and child health in 74 priority countries enrolled in Countdown to 2015 for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Survival, and used the results to predict under-5 and neonatal mortality in 2035.
The researchers found that odds of coverage for anti-malarial treatment, skilled attendant at birth, and use of improved sanitation facilities have decreased. Odds of coverage have increased rapidly for prevention of malaria but slowly for other interventions. If historical trends continue, the number of countries with an under-5 mortality rate under 20 deaths per 1,000 live births per year and a neonatal mortality rate under 11 deaths per 1,000 live births per year will increase from four (5 percent) and three (4 percent) countries in 2010 to nine (12 percent) and 10 countries (14 percent), respectively, by 2035. Under the best performer scenario, these two goals will be achieved in 15 (20 percent) and 67 countries (91 percent), respectively, by 2035.
"Substantial reductions in child deaths are possible, but only if intensified efforts to achieve intervention coverage are implemented successfully within each of the Countdown countries," the authors write.
Abstract (http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(13)61748-1/abstract )Full Text (subscription or payment may be required) (http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(13)61748-1/fulltext )Editorial (subscription or payment may be required) (http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(13)61942-X/fulltext )
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