Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed – Progress Report 2014

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In support of A Promise Renewed, this year’s annual report focuses on newborn survival. Neonatal deaths account for 44 per cent of all under-five deaths, so addressing neonatal mortality is a crucial component to ending preventable child deaths. This report not only discusses levels and trends in under-five and neonatal mortality since 1990, but it also analyzes key interventions for mothers and their newborns, highlighting a gap between contact with the health system and the quality of care received.

OVERVIEW Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed is a global movement to end preventable child deaths by accelerating progress on maternal, newborn and child survival. In support of the United Nations Secretary- General’s 'Every Woman Every Child' strategy, A Promise Renewed brings together public, private and civil society actors committed to advocacy and action for women, newborns and children.

Two years ago, in June 2012, the Governments of Ethiopia, India and the United States of America convened the Child Survival Call to Action in Washington, D.C.This high-level forum brought together over 700 representatives from government, civil society and the private sector to rejuvenate the global child survival movement.

What emerged from the Call to Action was a rejuvenated determination to scale-up progress by building on the success of the many partnerships, structures and interventions that exist within and beyond the field of health.

Since the Child Survival Call to Action, over 178 governments, as well as hundreds of civil society and faith based organizations, have signed a pledge, vowing to do everything possible to stop women and children from dying of causes that are easily avoidable. We now call this commitment A Promise Renewed.

ACCELERATING PROGRESS ON MDG 4 AND SUSTAINING THE MOMENTUM BEYOND 2015 A Promise Renewed promotes two goals.The first is to keep the promise of Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 4 — to reduce the under-five mortality rate by two-thirds, between 1990 and 2015 — and by accelerating maternal survival, addressed in MDG 5.

The second goal is to keep moving forward, beyond 2015, until no child or mother dies from preventable causes. A modelling exercise presented at the Child Survival Call to Action in June 2012 demonstrated that coun- tries can lower their national under-five mortality rates to 20 or fewer deaths per 1,000 live births by 2035.1 Achieving 20 by 2035 represents an important mile- stone towards the ultimate goal of ending preventable child deaths.

Reaching this goal is both ambitious and attainable.The world has the knowledge, the strategies, and the resources. The partners that support A Promise Renewed have jointly commit to five priority actions: 1. Increase efforts in the 25 countries that account for 80 per cent of under-five deaths
2. Scale-up access to underserved populations everywhere
3. Address the leading causes of under-five mortality worldwide, which account for nearly 60 per cent of all under-five deaths (preterm birth complications, pneumonia, intrapartum- related complications, diarrhoea and malaria)
4. Increase the emphasis on the underlying causes of child mortality, such as women’s education and empowerment
5. Rally around a shared goal and use common metrics to track progress.

A growing number of countries are taking action and implementing these strategic shifts within national strategies for maternal, newborn and child survival. From Bangladesh to Malawi, Zambia to Uganda, Ghana to India, governments are acting on the promise of MDGs 4 and 5 by sharpening national plans, in line with the five priority actions, setting costed targets, and mobilizing civil society, the private sector and individual citizens around the goals of A Promise Renewed.