MSH Joins Public/Private Partnership to Scale Up Treatment of Childhood Diarrhea and Pneumonia
Today, two private companies, the U.S. and Canadian governments, and multiple leading global health organizations have joined together to accelerate progress toward ending preventable child deaths from diarrhea and pneumonia in the highest burden countries.
Announced at the Child Survival Call to Action meeting convened by the Government of Ethiopia, India and the United States in close collaboration with UNICEF, the partnership embodied by the “Declaration on Scaling Up Treatment of Childhood Diarrhea and Pneumonia” seeks to unite governments, private sector partners, donors, and non-government organizations around saving over two million children’s lives every year.
Diarrhea and pneumonia are among the leading killers of children under the age of five worldwide- responsible for 29 percent of all child deaths. The majority of these deaths occur in a few high-burden countries in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Yet most deaths could be prevented with highly effective and low-cost treatment. The need to rapidly scale up access to treatment was highlighted by the recent UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children, which included oral rehydration salts (ORS), zinc, and amoxicillin within its mandate.
No one organization, company or government can end preventable child deaths within a generation. Scaling up treatment for these two diseases requires an intensive simultaneous push by public and private sector partners who each bring unique contributions to translate plans into actions.
Recognizing that reaching this ambitious goal requires a new way of doing business, the Declaration creates a platform for partners to align financial and technical resources to scale up the use of ORS and zinc for diarrhea, and amoxicillin for pneumonia, for maximum impact. The partnership will be a catalyst to support partners’ in-country efforts to build political will and awareness, support sustained demand creation, promote improved access to effective, high-quality treatment products in both public and private sectors, support the creation of public-private partnerships within focal countries, scale up use of these life-saving products for every case of childhood diarrhea or pneumonia, and harmonize tracking of progress.
In support of this Declaration, the Zinc Alliance for Child Health (ZACH) - a private-public-civil society partnership that includes Teck Resources Limited (Teck), the Micronutrient Initiative, and the Canadian International Development Agency- will allocate $15 million to support the implementation of national scale up plans for zinc and ORS in prioritized high-burden countries. In addition, McCann Health, one of the world’s largest marketing communications companies, committed $5 million of in-kind resources and technical assistance to support the design and implementation of marketing campaigns to increase awareness of and demand for ORS and zinc – a critical barrier to ensuring universal use of these products. Through these pledges, the companies and organizations will provide more than $20 million to support the scale-up of diarrhea treatment programs.
In addition, several of the highest burden countries – including Nigeria – are developing and adopting ambitious national strategies to rapidly expand the proportion of children with access to essential medicines for the treatment of diarrhea and pneumonia.
Signatories to the Declaration include the U.S. and Canadian governments, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, the MDG Health Alliance, Teck, McCann Health, and the International Zinc Association along with a number of implementing partners. A copy of the Declaration and more information on the commitments may be found at www.apromiserenewed.org and www.usaid.gov .
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