TechNet-21 - Forum

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  3. Thursday, 28 June 2012
On the occasion of the first Global Summit on Child Survival held in Washington DC on 14th and 15th June 2012 and hosted by governments of USA, Ethiopia and India – with the collaboration of UNICEF and USAID – the Africa Public Health Alliance calls on global stakeholders and African governments to implement urgent and improved multisectoral policy and investment in non-health social determinant sectors impacting on health – access to clean water, sanitation, hygiene, food security and nutrition, alongside improved investment in the key health sector areas such as immunization – all crucial to improving child survival in Africa and globally. Highlights of research analysis, and a new 2012 Africa Child Survival Scorecard by the Africa Public Health Information Service and the Africa Coalition on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health show that: · While Africa has made significant progress on reducing Child Mortality, the continent still looses about 3.8 million children under 5 annually – that is half of global under 5 deaths due to causes that could be largely prevented by a combination of vaccines, improved access to clean water, sanitation, hygiene and nutrition. This number of child deaths is equivalent to Africa loosing the entire populations of countries like Liberia or Mauritania in one year. · Continental and sub regional giants like Nigeria, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo account for the majority of these deaths; and there are 11 countries where annual child mortality ranges from 100,00 to 861,000 being – Angola, Burkina Faso, DRC, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda; plus the combined territory of Sudan/South Sudan. (See attached scorecard.) · The 50 worst countries globally for child survival include 42 out of Africa’s 54 countries. Between 10% and 20% of children born in most African countries die by their 5th birthday. That is 1 in 8 children in sub-Saharan Africa, compared to for instance, 1 in 167 in most industrialized countries, and 1 in 15 in South Asia. · Only 12 out of Africa’s 54 country governments finance between 50% and 100% of their Expanded Program on Immunisation, and in some countries government investment in the Expanded Program on Immunization is 0%. · In 49 of the 54 African countries, between 31% and 91% of population do not have access to improved sanitation facilities; in majority of these countries between 20% and 70% of population are without access to clean drinking water sources. Not surprisingly majority of under 5 mortality is in these countries. · Pneumonia, diarrhoeal diseases, malaria, preterm birth complications, birth asphyxia, neonatal causes, a range of vaccine preventable diseases, and increasingly mother to child transmission of HIV are leading causes of under-5 deaths in Africa. · Malnutrition is an underlying cause of more than a third of under-five deaths. Between 23% and 58% of under 5 children in 44 African countries suffer from malnutrition and stunting: As a result of stunting, many of these children will not develop full intellectual and cognitive capacity thus negatively impacting on Africa’s long term sustainable development. · Improved and urgent multisectoral Investment in non-health social determinant sectors impacting on health - alongside improved investment in the health sector - is crucial to improving child survival in the continent. Consequently, the Africa Public Health Alliance expresses grave concern over poor multi sectoral investment in social determinants of health including access to clean water, improved sanitation and hygiene, food security and nutrition that are not directly under health sector policy and budgeting, but significantly impact on health outcomes – especially the health of children – and calls on global partners and African governments to prioritize and adopt urgent Integrated and Multi Sectoral Policy and Investment Plans to improve access to these for Africa’s children who account for half of the world under 5 deaths annually. *Commenting on the scorecard and research findings which underline Africa Public Health Alliance’s Multisectoral Strategy, and its transition to the Africa Health Human and Social Development Alliance, its Coordinator Rotimi Sankore Stated: “While global solidarity is important, African governments must take primary responsibility and leadership for saving the lives of the continent’s next generation. It is not indicative of sustainable progress that there are 42 African governments covering less than half of the costs of their Expanded Program on Immunisation, and with some at 0% of domestic investment in vaccine coverage. Sankore further underlined that “The difference between child mortality in many parts of Africa and the rest of the world lies in the lack of multi sectoral planning, investment, and implementation. The huge negative impact of non-health sectors on health outcomes emphasises the gap in coordination between sectors of government in national planning. He added that “Despite relative progress, it is deeply concerning that the child mortality numbers year on year continue to be shocking: 861,000 under 5’s die a year in Nigeria; 465,000 a year in DRC; 271,000 a year in Ethiopia; 143,000 a year in Sudan and South Sudan; 133,000 a year in Tanzania; 122,000 a year in Kenya; 121,000 in Angola; 120,000 in Mali.” As the world turns its attention to the issue of Child Survival through the Call to Action Summit, holding June 14-15 in Washington, D.C. we call on the over 700 participants including leaders from governments, private sector, and civil society to focus not only on health specific interventions but also prioritising and improving investment in social determinants as the big step towards saving the lives of more children and increasing their chances of reaching their 5th birthday. For further information please contact Ogechi Onuoha, Partnerships and Communications Officer Tel: +23417601902; Email: [email protected] 14 Akintan Street, Ogba, Lagos, Nigeria 2012-Africa-Child-Survival-Scorecard-GlobalChild-Survival-Summit-.pdf
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