This week the global health tribe meets again to celebrate yet another “call to action”. It’s Child survival’s turn, this time, and Washington DC is the place to be. Last week we already included a bunch of articles on the topic and this week we came across some more – and trust us, you don’t want to know the number of tweets on the summit. If you want to see some of the action on the second (more technical) day, click here.

 

Most of these articles tend to emphasize that we know what to do to reduce child mortality to 20 deaths per 1000 live births globally by 2030. What do we actually know, though?  Currently over 7 million children die each year of preventable death. We’ve known for about 10 years or so what they are dying from and how to prevent these deaths – at least on paper.

 

1. JAMA (viewpoint) – Ending Preventable Child Death in a Generation

Roger I. Glass et al.;

http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleID=1183434

In a viewpoint published in JAMA, Glass et al. explain the target that this meeting embraces and the way to get there. However, Glass’s viewpoint and Orin Levine’s blog post (on the CGD website) both fall a bit short on the question ‘how to scale up’. Levine for example calls for “the deployment of existing interventions to the right places at the right time” and for “locally adapted efforts to deliver services to poor communities”.  They both invoke innovations and scaling up to save them all. Sounds a bit vague, though, if you ask me (DH).  Actually, the issue is not ‘what to do’ but how to get these interventions into effective policies that reach those in need in a context where other priorities are rising on the agenda and financial resources are limited.

 

  • Health Policy & Planning just published a paper on newborn survival. The paper is part of a timely released series and tries to disentangle the evidence on progress toward neonatal survival – the next challenge once the low hanging fruit in child survival has been plucked. Interestingly, the authors look – beyond epidemiological and quantitative data – at the context and health systems conditions for effective scaling up of interventions.
  • Some other voices also see the need for an inclusive health system approach more clearly, like Cristian Baeza on the World Bank’s “Investing in health” blog. The WB is committed to improving maternal and child health through strengthening national health systems, Baeza claims.
  • The fact that maternal & child health have become a global political priority, is partly due to Norway, argues Richard Horton in his weekly Offline article.

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