Unicef's 'Call to Action' report adopted
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Issues concerning children were the subjects of discussion recently, at the Sheraton Hotel, in Brufut. Drawn from government agencies, the national assembly, non-governmental and youth organisations, including the faith based organizations, the media, the private sector as well as children bodies, the participants, whose discussion centered on technical review on child survival, deliberated, shared experiences and also proposed concrete actions and strategies regarding their commitment towards accelerating the march toward reducing child deaths by two-thirds, by 2015, as per the postulates of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG4).
At the end of the meeting, the participants recommended the scaling up of production of insecticide treated bed nets (ITNs), by 2010, to offer access to 80% of pregnant women and children under five. Other recommendations were the promotion of practices like hand-washing, breastfeeding of all children between 0-6 months, provision and promotion of oral re-hydration, continued advocacy for child friendly budgeting at the level of policy makers, commitment towards the strengthening of national health care system and also commitment to strategic public-private sector partnerships for resource mobilization and leveraging of resources for children.
The participants also engaged themselves in placing special emphasis on the '4 Quick wins', which aim at reducing new malaria cases by 75%, and to reduce child deaths by 20%, among others.
They also request the policy makers, including government officials, UNICEF and other UN agencies for children, among other stakeholders, to mobilize an energetic partnership towards the reduction of Child deaths, with particular attention to attaining the Millennium Development Goal (MDG-4), to contribute in a substantive way toward funding the gaps in key areas where children are missing out on attaining adequate health care in The Gambia; and also to commit more human, material and financial resources for pregnant women in The Gambia. Participants also recommended that national assembly members follow through on the commitments made during the 2015 count down meeting in April 2008, in South Africa, on child health.
Author: by Musa Ndow