The State of Africa's Children, 2008: Child Survival by UNICEF

By UNICEF

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National strategies must lend priority attention to the removal of obstacles to effective scale-up and implementation at different levels of the health system. 15 Donors need to rally behind national strategies for improved child survival, health and nutrition. Both the shortterm, disease-specific eradication initiatives – firmly supported by new international donor partnerships – and longer-term, health-sector development programmes can, and should, continue to coexist. The ultimate responsibility for ensuring children’s right to health and nutrition lies with national governments.

Cholera, typhoid fever and other water-related diseases remain prevalent. Water for People is a North America-based non-governmental organization working with communities to provide more than 150,000 people with improved sanitation and access to water. The organization partners with local non-governmental organizations and district governments to support community-based efforts to enhance the quality of water and sanitation facilities. Typical water projects include borehole wells, hand-dug shallow wells, rainwater catchment tanks, community tap stands and simple pit latrines covered with sanitary platforms.

The Accelerated Child Survival and Development (ACSD) programme is a promising recent effort that has grown rapidly in West and Central Africa. ACSD concentrates on three service-delivery strategies to augment coverage for children, newborns and pregnant women and bundles them in an integrated, cost-effective package. Based on preliminary data presented by district health teams in Ghana, this integrated approach, which includes immunization, infant and young child feeding, integrated management of childhood illnesses, and antenatal care, is already having a positive impact on routine immunization coverage.

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