Countdown to 2015 launches the 2012 Report
The Lancet: Building a future for women and children
The Lancet issued a Special Edition on 8 June 2012. Link on your right for the highlights and links to articles. Below, The Lancet editorial on the Countdown to 2015 and its 2012 Report:
The Lancet Commentary
Countdown to 2015: Maternal, Newborn and Child Survival is a unique initiative in the global health landscape. Conceived in 2003 by The Lancet Child Survival Series team, Countdown includes academics, governments, representatives of multilateral and bilateral agencies, professional associations, non-governmental organisations, and other members of civil society who share the common goal of increasing accountability for progress towards the fourth and fifth Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The fourth report of Countdown was launched on June 13, 2012, at the Child Survival Call to Action, following previous successful reports launched at events in London (2005), Cape Town (2008), and Washington (2010).
Countdown is the product of a realisation that existing cost-effective interventions could save the lives of millions of women and children if delivered at scale. At its heart is the use of vetted and internationally comparable data to show, in graphic form, levels of coverage of proven and effective interventions for the 75 countries where more than 95% of all maternal and child deaths occur, the Countdown countries. Countdown also tracks health policies and systems indicators as well as financial flows relevant to the achievement of MDG 4 and MDG 5. Its diverse mix of partners allows Countdown to produce cross-cutting analyses of factors associated with progress for the purpose of engaging with policy makers and civil society, especially in the Countdown countries. A particular focus is on equity, and Countdown has established a comprehensive database of intervention coverage according to wealth quintiles and other stratification variables within Countdown countries.
The 2012 report shows that substantial progress has been made since 1990. As of 2010, the number of maternal deaths has declined by almost half and the number of child deaths has declined by over a third. But this reduction is not enough, relative to what can be achieved. Progress in most Countdown countries still falls short of the rate of decline required to reach MDG 4 and MDG 5, unless progress is greatly accelerated in the next 3 years.