Urge Congress to Support the Reach Every Mother and Child Act of 2017

Sarah Musobya talks about how to prepare nutritious food at Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda
Uganda
© UNHCR/Jiro Ose
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Great Progress, Great Need

According to UNICEF’s Levels and Trends in Child Mortality 2017 report, the number of children dying before the age of five is at a new low. The rate of child mortality fell 62 per cent from 1990-2016. This is one of the greatest global success stories in the last 26 years. In partnership with UNICEF, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) played a leading role in reducing child deaths by increasing access to lifesaving vaccines, quality nutrition, and other cost-effective interventions.

Despite the incredible progress made,

  • 15,000 children still die every day -- mostly from preventable and treatable causes such as pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria;
  • 303,000 women die annually due to complications during pregnancy or childbirth;
  • The proportion of under-five deaths in the newborn period has increased from 41% to 46%.

In 2015, world leaders adopted the Sustainable Development Goals, including goals to end preventable child and maternal deaths, and to ensure healthy lives and well-being for all ages. That goal is possible only with sustained political will and investment in programs that work.

The Reach Every Mother and Child Act of 2017

Although USAID has in place a powerful strategy to save the lives of children and mothers in priority countries, it lacks the force of law needed to ensure its implementation. Bipartisan legislation called the Reach Every Mother and Child Act of 2017 (S. 1730 / H.R. 4022) would strengthen Congressional support and oversight for U.S. maternal and child health programs. The bill's sponsors are Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Chris Coons (D-DE); Jerry Moran (R-KS), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Michael B. Enzi (R-WY), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Christopher Murphy (D-CT); and Representatives Dave Reichert (R-WA), Dan Donovan (R-NY), Betty McCollum (D-MN), and Barbara Lee (D-CA).

This legislation would:

  • Require a U.S. government strategy to end preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths in a generation, with a focus on reaching the poorest and most vulnerable populations;
  • Authorize a coordinator to maximize the effectiveness of child and maternal health programs across numerous U.S. Government agencies, as well as foreign governments, international organizations and civil society; and,
  • Complement strong U.S. bilateral investments with innovative, public-private financing mechanisms.

This legislation would enshrine important development reforms into law, ensuring the U.S. continues to play a leadership role to end preventable child and maternal deaths in a generation. Ask your Members of Congress to cosponsor today!

 

Take Action Now

Ask your Representatives and Senators to cosponsor the Reach Every Mother and Child Act of 2017 (S.1730 / H.R.4022). 

 

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Letter to Congress

Subject: Please Support the Reach Every Mother and Child Act

Dear Member of Congress:

Since 1990, the rate of child mortality fell 62 per cent . This is one of the greatest success stories in international development in the last 25 years. In partnership with UNICEF, and with the strong support of Congress, the U.S. Government contributed greatly to this progress by increasing access to lifesaving vaccines, quality nutrition, skilled birth attendants, and other cost-effective interventions.

Despite this incredible progress, 15,000 children die every day -- mostly from preventable and treatable causes such as pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria; and 303,000 women die annually due to complications during pregnancy or childbirth.

The United States committed to help end preventable child and maternal deaths within a generation. Bipartisan legislation, the Reach Every Mother and Child Act of 2017 (S. 1730 / H.R. 4022), would authorize the strategy and leadership needed to reach that goal. The legislation requires a U.S. government strategy to help end preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths in a generation, focusing on the poorest and most vulnerable populations; ensures coordination among U.S. government agencies to maximize the effectiveness of U.S. programs; and creates innovative, public-private financing mechanisms to help fund these efforts.

I support the goal of ending preventable child and maternal deaths, and I believe the U.S. must continue to play a leadership role. Please co-sponsor S.1730 / H.R. 4022 today.

Thank you for your consideration,

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