We are closing the gap. Since 1990 more newborns, babies and toddlers are surviving each year thanks to the efforts of supporters like you.
Considerable progress has been made. The number of newborns, babies and toddlers dying of preventable disease and malnutrition has dropped 35 percent since 1990, when 12 million children died each year. In other words, 12,000 more child lives are saved every day.
This progress has been achieved because of increased investment and concerted effort. Although disease and hunger still threaten millions of lives around the world, there is evidence that cost-effective approaches are having impact.
U.S. funding for child survival and other global health programs has helped save millions of lives and reduce the burden of several diseases over the past three decades. For example:
- The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), established by President Bush in 2003 and 2005, accelerated progress against preventable deaths and illness, spurred other governments and private donors to contribute significant additional resources, and demonstrated American leadership and goodwill.
- More than 3.2 million HIV-infected men, women and children received life-saving treatment with anti-retrovirals worldwide, and more than 114,000 infants were born HIV-free because their mothers received appropriate treatment during pregnancy, supported by PEPFAR. (PEPFAR/PMI 2010)
- Care and support were provided to about 3.8 million children left orphaned and vulnerable by HIV and AIDS (PEPFAR 2010)
- Nearly 33 million people accessed HIV testing and counseling made available through PEPFAR, an important entry point to prevention, treatment and care. (PEPFAR 2010)
- More than 700,000 children were saved from malaria across 34 African countries in the past decade, most during the past five years, a time when U.S. leadership, commitment and funding to anti-malaria efforts intensified dramatically. Global health investments from other donor governments and foundations, multilateral institutions and even the private sector have worked alongside American support and with resource-poor countries to make significant advances against child mortality:
- Malaria deaths have dropped by over 20 percent globally over the last decade as more than one-third of 108 malaria-endemic countries successfully cut their malaria cases by at least half. Examples include Cambodia (50 percent), Philippines (76 percent), Eritrea and Zanzibar (80 percent), and Sao Tome and Principe (90 percent). (WHO/ Gates Foundation, Progress Against Malaria: Winning the Fight Against a Deadly Disease, February 2009.)
- New HIV infections have slowed and AIDS-related deaths have dropped as a result of global prevention and treatment efforts.
- During the first decade of the 21st century, an estimated 2.5 million deaths in children under age 5 were prevented by measles, polio, and diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccines.
- Measles recently killed nearly 900,000 people a year (as of 1999), mostly children under 5, but expanded vaccine coverage resulted in a 78 percent drop in measles mortality from 2000 to 2008, and averted an estimated 12.7 million measles deaths. (CDC)
- Nutrition interventions and expanded vaccination coverage are two of the most cost-effective ways to advance global well-being, according to economists (Copenhagen Consensus 2008) Simple interventions can reduce child deaths dramatically—by as much as two-thirds or more by 2015, to achieve Millennium Development Goal 4. What’s needed are further political will and resources to make it happen.