Saving the Lives of 16 Million APRIL 2012

In Focus: World Health Day, World Malaria Day, & International Immunization Week


World Health Day April 7

Every year, World Health Day is celebrated on April 7 to mark the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948. This year’s theme is ageing and health. Ageing concerns each and every one of us – whether young or old, female or male, rich or poor – no matter where we live. Good health throughout life can help all people lead fuller and more productive lives. Older women are especially vulnerable when they are unable to access the care they need. Learn more.
World Malaria Day child in bednet
Child under an insecticide-treated bed net. Photo via UNF/NothingButNets.

World Malaria Day April 25

April 25 is devoted to the fight against malaria, which afflicts as many as half a billion people and kills one child every 45 seconds. It’s been four years since UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon set the goal of reaching near-zero malaria deaths by 2015. Since then, nets have been delivered to protect 700 million men, women and children in sub-Saharan Africa, where 90% of malaria deaths occur, and malaria deaths have declined by one third in less than a decade. Despite this remarkable progress, challenges remain. Long-term success will depend on continued support for life-saving malaria control interventions. Learn more about World Malaria Day 2012 here. Click here to watch a video on the history of malaria.

International Immunization Week April 21-27

Access to vaccines has grown significantly in the last decade, with vaccines now saving the lives of 2.5 million children from preventable diseases every year. Yet, one in five children still lacks access to life-saving immunizations. In accordance with the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, including vaccines in a package of key, low-cost interventions could save the life of a child every 20 seconds. Learn about the GAVI Alliance’s introduction of 2 new vaccines to protect children in Ghana at an event on April 26th led by President John Atta Mills. View 40 commitments made by 38 partners on vaccines in support of the Global Strategy. Learn more about International Immunization Week here.


In this Issue

World Health Day, World Malaria Day, & International Immunization Week

Updates from March

Partner Spotlight: Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI)

News and Opinion



Calendar of Events


A monthly roundup of pertinent resources. Please submit your recent reports via email for consideration.

Countdown to 2015: Accountability for Maternal, Newborn & Child Survival: An update on progress in priority countries

Decade of Vaccines Global Vaccine Action Plan (Draft)

mHealth Alliance White Paper: Making the Connection Between Mobile Health and Mobile Finance

USA Today: Investing in Women & Girls IV

Read More Publications and Resources »

Quote of the Month

"If we're serious about improving global prosperity, we need to be serious about clearing obstacles like malaria that stand in our way. You don't have to be an economist to realize that if children stay healthy, they can go to school and grow up to be productive members of their communities. When we invest in malaria, we invest in the future."

Yvonne Chaka Chaka, South African Singer and Goodwill Ambassador for the Roll Back Malaria Partnership.

Calendar of Events

March 31 - April 5
Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union

April 4
World Health Day Panel

April 5
TEDxChange 2012 live from Berlin

April 7
World Health Day

April 10 - 13
World Vaccine Congress

April 11
Every Woman Every Child Stakeholders Meeting

April 14 - 15
6th Summit of the Americas

April 20 - 22
6th Meeting of the IMF and World Bank Group

April 21 - 27
International Immunization Week

April 23-27
13th World Congress on Public Health

April 23-27
45th Session of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD)

April 23 - 28
4th Conference of the AU Ministers of Youth

April 25
World Malaria Day

April 28 - May 1
Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting

View full calendar »


Updates from March

UN Launches Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children — Too often, affordable, effective medicines and health supplies do not reach the women and children who need them. On March 23, UNICEF and UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, launched a high-level commission in support of Every Woman Every Child to improve access to essential but overlooked health commodities that could save the lives of millions of women and children every year. Read the press release, concept note, and list of commodities on the Commission’s new microsite, housed on Watch video statements by Commission Co-Chairs President Goodluck Jonathan and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg on why the Commission is important.

Boy peers at medicines
A boy in Cambodia waits to receive medicines at a public hospital. Photo via UNF/M. Fingleton.

Side Event at CSW Highlights Role of Accountability in Women's and Children's Health  On March 2, the Government of Canada, Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH), and United Nations Foundation co-hosted a side event on enhancing accountability for women’s and children’s health. The event articulated the links between this year’s Commission on the Status of Women theme – the empowerment of rural women – and the goals of the Global Strategy. Read an event summary. View photos of the event on Flickr.

Conference Shines Spotlight on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in Children — Held exactly six months after the UN High-level Meeting on NCDs, the NCD Child Conference reviewed the Political Declaration and called for increased efforts to protect children and adolescents from non-communicable diseases. An overview of the Conference can be found here. Follow @NCDChild on twitter for updates and information on post-conference reports and outcomes. Learn more about NCDs and Every Woman Every Child.

White Ribbon Alliance Tanzania Celebrates White Ribbon Day — Accountability has gained great traction at the national level in Tanzania following the Government’s ambitious commitment to advance the Global Strategy and President Kikwete’s global leadership role as co-chair of the Commission on Information and Accountability. On March 15, White Ribbon Alliance Tanzania celebrated National White Ribbon Day by raising awareness of this commitment and urging stakeholders - including the Prime Minister, Parliamentarians, health workers and communities - to play their part in holding the Government to account. Learn more.

UN Secretary-General Reports Broad Progress on MDGs; More Work to Be Done to Reach Global Targets by 2015 — In remarks on March 8, the Secretary-General reported major achievements, including a reduction in the number of people living in extreme poverty, and a reduction by half of people living without sustainable access to safe drinking water. But he also emphasized that big challenges remain. Read his remarks.

Every Woman Every Child and Partners Recognized in Women Deliver 50 — Women Deliver, a global advocacy organization, has announced the “Women Deliver 50,” a compilation of the 50 most inspiring ideas and solutions that are delivering for girls and women across the globe. Every Woman Every Child and partners including the GAVI Alliance, the Elders, the UN Foundation, UNFPA, FHI 360, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) are honored to be among the winning selections. View the entire Women Deliver 50 list at

Women Deliver Holds Regional Consultation in Uganda Around Inter-Parliamentary Union — Over 100 stakeholders from all over the world met in Kampala on March 27-28 to discuss successes, lessons learned and pathways for future progress on maternal and reproductive health. Dhaka, Bangladesh will be the site of the next regional consultation in May, followed by Mexico City, Mexico in June. For more information click here


Partner Spotlight: GAVI Alliance

GAVI Alliance logoIn 2010, GAVI made a commitment in support of Every Woman Every Child to help the UN address pneumonia and diarrhea – leading childhood killers – by increasing access to life-saving vaccines for children. Since the initial GAVI commitment in September 2010, the first ever replenishment conference was held, which resulted in an additional US $4.3 billion from public and private donors to support GAVI's new vaccines and health systems strengthening programs. Learn more.

News and Opinion

March 27

Nigeria: Improving Health of Women and Children


March 27

Merck for Mothers and U. S. Government Announce Partnership to Save Mothers' Lives in Africa


March 22

UN Secretary-General Commends Malaysia's TB Commitment


March 20

Maternal Deaths Drop, but Progress is Slow


March 19

Africa: Youths Seek Greater Role in UN Matters


March 14

Health Partnerships Reach Out to G8 Leaders


March 14

Mesoamerican Health Officials Announce Commitment to SM2015 Initiative to Reduce Health Equity Gaps


March 9

United Nations to Hold Global Conference on Women in 2015


March 8

UN Secretary-General Sends Message to World Countries on International Women’s Day


March 6

World’s Nations Achieve UN Goal to Improve Access to Safe Drinking Water


March 6

Norway Commits $9.9 Million to Maternal and Newborn Health


March 1

USAID Announces Gender Equality and Female Empowerment Policy


March 1

Global Campaign Takes Aim at Health Hazards of Cookstoves: Women, Children Bear Brunt of Burden


See All News »

Every Woman Every Child aims to save the lives of 16 million women and children by 2015.  It is an unprecedented global movement that mobilizes and intensifies international and national action by governments, multilaterals, the private sector and civil society to address the major health challenges facing women and children around the world.

Learn more at

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