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Reach Every Mother and Child Act: Ending Preventable Deaths

Reach Every Mother and Child Act
The Reach Every Mother and Child Act of 2015 would work to end the preventable deaths of mothers, newborns and young children in developing countries.

U.S. Senators Chris Coons, D-Del., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, introduced the Reach Act this summer as a solution for deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth.

“Over the past several years, we have made great strides in saving moms, babies, and kids in some of the poorest parts of the world, but it’s clear that more help – and more resources – are needed,” Sen. Coons said in a press release.

The Reach Act seeks to build on the progress made over the past few years in maternal-child health. According to Countdown to 2015’s report for this year, the global maternal mortality ratio has decreased by 45 percent over the past two decades, and the number of maternal deaths has dropped from about 523,000 a year to 289,000.

Maternal education and income growth have had a significant impact on the improvement of conditions for mothers and children in developing countries, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation said, as well as technological innovations in medicine and other areas.

However, problems such as HIV, poor hospital conditions, and malnutrition still plague mothers and children in those countries. The Reach Act would help provide the means to solve these problems.

If enacted, the Act would:

  • Require a ten-year strategy to achieve the goal of ending preventable maternal, newborn, and child deaths by 2035;
  • Establish a permanent Maternal and Child Survival Coordinator at USAID who would be focused on implementing the ten-year strategy and verifying that the most effective interventions are scaled up in target countries.s
  • Require the Administration to develop a financing framework that would allow the use of U.S. government dollars to leverage additional commitments from the private sector, nonprofit organizations, partner countries, and multinational organizations.

The Reach Every Mother and Child Act of 2015 is currently being referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Email your congressional leaders in support of the Reach Every Mother and Child Act and help save the lives of 600,000 women and 15 million children by 2020.

Ashley Tressel

Sources: Senate, Health Data, Countdown to 2015: Maternal, Newborn & Child Health Data
Photo: Flickr