Julian Lob-Levyt's statement on ”Tracking Progress in Maternal, Newborn & Child Survival, The 2008 Report”
The 2008 report issued today in Cape Town provides a significant assessment of the progress in maternal, newborn and child survival. I am pleased to see the report's particular focus on the pivotal role of immunisation in efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), especially MDG 4, which aims at reducing by two thirds the mortality rate among children under five. Significant increases in immunisation rates serve as among the most promising trends for reducing childhood mortality and achieving MDG 4.
The Countdown's use of the Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine for the first time as an indicator of country responsiveness illustrates the power of new health interventions. Recent studies in Uganda and Kenya show that the growing use of the Hib vaccine is responsible for eliminating deadly and extraordinarily painful Hib meningitis. As a result, thousands of lives are now being saved.
GAVI will continue to strive to inspire new progress in the 52 countries that are not yet on track to meet MDG 4 by working with partners on the ground to reduce deaths among children through vaccination. With a dedicated country-driven approach and ongoing efforts to find new ways to finance healthcare programmes for developing country governments, the Alliance is dedicated to achieving equal access to life-saving vaccines for all the world's children.
* The "Tracking Progress in Maternal, Newborn & Child Survival, 2008 Report" was released by the Partnership of Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH) at the Countdown 2015 Conference in Cape Town, South Africa on 16 April 2008. http://www.countdown2015mnch.org/