Child Survival Symposium: Urgent action needed to reduce child mortality worldwide by 2015

September 17, 2006

The Lancet, UNICEF, and the Norwegian Government will host a key meeting in New York on September 18th to assess the progress being made to reduce child deaths by two-thirds by 2015--the fourth Millennium Development Goal (MDG 4). Heads of State and health experts will convene to map out the global action still urgently required to make MDG 4 a reality.

The meeting will coincide with the publication of a special issue of The Lancet devoted to child survival. The issue will include the latest findings from the Child Survival Countdown, a worldwide effort to monitor the use of interventions that can improve child survival in 60 countries where 94% of child deaths under five occur.

The new research findings in The Lancet special issue, to be presented at the meeting, under embargo until 00:01H ((London time) Monday September 18, 2006, include:

Other key findings include:

Speakers at the September 18th meeting include:
Richard Horton, Editor of The Lancet
Jens Stoltenberg, Prime Minister of Norway
Ann M. Veneman, Executive Director of UNICEF
Joy Phumaphi, Assistant Director General, WHO

For more information regarding The Lancet special issue or the meeting:
Udani Samarasekera, The Lancet T) +44 (0) 207 424 4949

For media accreditation and more information:
Angela Hawke, UNICEF New York: (+1 212) 326 7269
Jessica Malter, UNICEF New York: (+1 212) 326 7412
Erica Kochi, UNICEF New York: (+1 212) 326 7785

For interviews with Prime Minister Stoltenberg:
Trude Måseide T) +47 95 72 65 10
Anne Thurmann-Nielsen T) +1-6462479834/+1-212-310 1557
Notes to editors

Child deaths
10.5 million children die every year before 5 years of age, mostly from preventable causes.

The Millennium Development Goals
In 2000, governments worldwide committed to improving the health and nutrition of children by adopting the Millennium Declaration, with its ten Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

MDG 4 calls for a two-thirds' reduction in deaths of children younger than five years between 1990 and 2015.

How can MDG 4 targets be reached?
Achieving this will require widespread use of effective interventions known to improve child survival. These interventions include exclusive breastfeeding, vaccination, access to safe drinking water and sanitation services, the use of insecticide-treated nets for preventing malaria, delivery attendants when babies are born (to ensure newborn health), prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, oral rehydration therapy (ORT), and treatments for malaria and pneumonia.


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