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WHO boss urges child death reduction

WORLD Health Organisation regional director Dr Matshidiso Moeti inoculating Vitamins A to Chileleko, as the mother looks on. The first round of child health week 2015, was launched at Kalingalinga Health Centre in Lusaka yesterday. PICTURE: ROYD SIBAJENE/ZANIS.

CAROLINE KALOMBE, Lusaka
WORLD Health Organisation (WHO) regional director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti has urged Government to accelerate interventions to further reduce child deaths and to sustain achievements made in meeting the millennium development goal (MDG) number four.
Speaking when she officially launched the Child Health Week in Lusaka yesterday, Dr Moeti said although progress has been made in attaining MDG four, the number of child deaths in Africa is still high.
“By scaling up pneumonia and diarrhoea interventions such as introduction of pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccine, we can end under-five mortality attributed to pneumonia and diarrhoea by 2025,” she said.
Dr Moeti noted that the mechanisms put in place to reduce under-five child deaths are important, adding that Africa records 473,000 deaths from pneumonia, 300,000 from diarrhoea and 443,000 from malaria annually.
She commended Government for strides it is making in ensuring provision of quality healthcare services and called for concerted efforts to sustain the achievements.
Dr Moeti noted that interventions such as the Child Health Week bring together promotive, preventive and curative child survival mechanisms.
She said WHO will continue to provide support that will assist the country achieve MDG number four by ensuring life-saving interventions and services reach all.
And Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health permanent secretary Elwyn Chomba said it is Government’s intention to end child deaths from preventable diseases by 2023.
Professor Chomba said Government will do this by refocussing, monitoring interventions, doubling efforts and providing quality health services.
“The goal of Government is to accelerate and end child morbidity and mortality from preventable diseases before the year 2023,” Prof Chomba said.

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