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Save the Children unveils 'most ambitious campaign ever'

Civil Society Media

1367 days ago   Article ID# 847371
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Save the Children

LONDON, U K (Civil Society Media) - Save the Children has launched what it describes as its most ambitious campaign ever, in a bid to prevent eight million children dying each year from preventable causes.

No Child Born to Die was launched yesterday at an event in central London hosted by newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky and attended by Save the Children ambassadors Alexandra Burke (pictured), Amanda Mealing and Edith Bowman.

A 60-second TV ad featuring images of David Beckham, Nelson Mandela, Darcey Bussell and Usain Bolt and voiced by Helena Bonham-Carter aired for the first time during Coronation Street last night and will run for three weeks on primetime TV. The campaign itself will last for three years.

The policy report that underpins the campaign states that while progress has been made on infant mortality rates since the Millennium Development Goals baseline in 1990, eight million children are still dying each year from highly-preventable illnesses such as pneumonia, malaria and diarrhoea or from easily avoidable complications at birth.

Across the world childhood deaths need to be cut by four times the current rate if the MDG of a two-thirds reduction in child mortality by 2015 is to be met.

The charity identifies a number of reasons for the continuing high mortality rates and suggests various solutions. These include expanding access to immunisation programmes; reducing prices for new vaccines; training more health workers, and ensuring community health programmes are relevant to local needs.

US$17.9bn more needed per year

Money is needed to achieve these solutions; according to the United Nations, an extra US$17.5bn a year is needed each year between now and 2015 if the poorest 49 countries in the world are to meet the Millennium Development Goals on healthcare for mothers and children.

The campaign is backed by several celebrities and also comprises a YouTube homepage takeover and a microsite at http://bornto.savethechildren.org.uk/

A spokeswoman said that as well as engaging politicians and the public to tackle the problems, the charity had set itself some ambitious targets for the next three years: saving three million children’s lives from preventable diseases; training 50,000 health workers, ensuring 640,000 babies are delivered safely, treating 300,000 children for malnutrition, and helping three million children to eat more nutritiously. But she declined to say how much the charity was spending on the three-year campaign or how much it hoped to raise.

Save the Children’s chief executive Justin Forsyth said at the launch: “I joined Save the Children five months ago and I have been shocked by the numbers of children still dying from things like diarrhoea and pneumonia or even an upset tummy, for lack of a trained health worker.”

He said he hoped the campaign would spark an “unstoppable movement for change”. “Whatever you were born to do you can save a child’s life. In five years’ time I hope we will be able to look back at today and say it was a turning point, the moment the world acted.”

The spokeswoman added that the lack of a call to action at this early stage in the campaign was deliberate, but said the campaign would evolve. “We’ve got lots planned this year,” she said.

Copyright 2014 Civil Society Media   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 1367 days ago   Article ID# 847371

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