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Women, children, and adolescents: the post-2015 agenda

Summary of paper: The Lancet, volume 384, no. 9949, p1159, 27th September 2014

Child mortality in under-five-year-olds has fallen globally from 12.7 million in 1990 to 6.3 million in 2013, although this is still not enough to meet MDG 4 (a reduction of under-five child mortality by two thirds by the end of 2015). Furthermore, the maternal mortality ratio has fallen by only 22% between 1990 and 2013, far off the target of a 75% reduction. Maternal, newborn, and child survival must therefore remain at the heart of the post-2015 global development agenda with specific focus on newborn survival (44% of under-5 mortality is among newborns) and on improving reproductive choices for girls, confronting difficult areas such as stillbirths; unsafe abortions; child marriage; violence against females and gender inequality perpetuated by religious beliefs.

The independent Expert Review Group on Information and Accountability for Women's and Children's Health stated in its 2014 annual report, “high-quality health care for women and children should be a right not a privilege”. This paper urges us not to wait for the SDGs to be fully developed and agreed, but to start now with a more inclusive global strategy based on a continuum-of-care for reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health that also involves non-health sectors such as education.

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Editors (2016). Women, children, and adolescents: the post-2015 agenda. Nutrition Exchange 5, May 2015. p6. www.ennonline.net/nex/5/womenchildrenadoles

(ENN_5124)

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