Child mortality is at a new low — down by 62 percent since 1990. However, health service disruptions caused by COVID-19 threaten to undo this tremendous progress. Even prior to the pandemic, almost 15,000 children still died every day, mostly from preventable and treatable causes such as pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria. And nearly 300,000 women continue to die annually due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth.
In partnership with UNICEF, and with the strong support of Congress, the U.S. Government — through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) — has played a leading role in reducing child, newborn and maternal deaths by increasing access to lifesaving vaccines, quality nutrition, skilled birth attendants, breastfeeding and other cost-effective interventions. But in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in global health by 2030, USAID needs to do more.
The Reach Every Mother and Child Act (S.1451) would coordinate and implement U.S. Government policies to end preventable child, newborn and maternal deaths.
Top photo: Mafousatou, 25, and her baby Hadisa participate in a UNICEF-supported nutrition program in Bertoua, Cameroon. © UNICEF/UN0422226/Dejongh