Lois Privor-Dumm

As we all know, children can’t speak for themselves, but if they could, they’d probably point out the obvious: they need more attention.    There have been some great strides over the years and some compelling examples such as those shown in Bill and Melinda Gates’ Living Proof project and the Measles Initiative.  In the recent installment of Raj Shah, the new USAID Administrator, he touts the progress that his new agency has already made in preventing unnecessary deaths.  He is pragmatic and encouraging as he also says that much more should be done.  To save more lives, we need to make sure the US investments are there. Look at the numbers: More is needed to ensure two leading childhood killers are addressed.  More global funding is needed for new vaccines such as pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines offered through the GAVI Alliance to prevent much of the disease in these at risk children.  Vaccines can’t do the whole job, so inexpensive treatments such as antibiotics or oral rehydration therapy are also needed along with training of health workers to prescribe or education of parents to seek care – certainly not impossible, but requiring some effort and focus.

Sources: US Global Health and Child Survival Budget, 2009 and UNICEF, State of the World’s Children, 2008

Sources: US Global Health and Child Survival Budget, 2009 and UNICEF, State of the World’s Children, 2008

Now is the time to speak up and insure that the right investments will be made.  Please Call to USAID to take action on pneumonia and diarrhea.  You can submit a letter to Dr. Shah both welcoming him and asking for him to speak up for children.  Visit: http://www.change.org/actions/view/call_to_usaid_to_take_action_on_pneumonia_and_diarrhea.

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