Saving the Lives of 16 Million NOVEMBER 2012

World Pneumonia Day and World Prematurity Day


World Pneumonia Day and World Prematurity Day

November is a crucial month for action to improve children’s health. Through both World Pneumonia Day (November 12) and World Prematurity Day (November 17) we bring attention to two of the major preventable causes of mortality among children and towards achieving MDG 4. 

Pneumonia is the #1 killer of children under age 5 worldwide – responsible for nearly one in five global child deaths annually. In 2011 alone, 1.3 million young children died from this preventable and treatable illness. There are safe, effective and affordable tools to help children avoid and survive pneumonia. The new pneumoccal vaccine and antibiotics such as amoxicillin can prevent the majority of pneumonia deaths. The UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities is working to support research and pilot programs with demonstrated effective approaches to scaling-up such treatments. Together we can win the fight against pneumonia. Learn more about partners working on pneumonia in support of Every Woman Every Child. For more, visit the World Pneumonia Day website, which includes a new Act 2012 page with resources and information on how individuals and organizations can get involved. Follow #WPD2012 to join the call to action on Twitter. 

Preterm birth is the leading cause of neonatal mortality and now the number two cause of child mortality globally. Each year an estimated 1.1 million babies die from preterm birth, and preterm babies who survive may face a lifetime of disability. World Prematurity Day provides an excellent opportunity to build on the momentum achieved this year for preterm birth and newborn survival following the launch of Born Too Soon last May. Born Too Soon proposes actions for policy, programs and research by all partners from across all stakeholder groups that, if acted upon, will substantially reduce the toll of preterm birth, especially in high-burden countries. Click here to view an updated list of partners working on the issues of preterm birth in support of Every Woman Every Child. Click here to learn more about how to make a commitment. Follow #BornTooSoon on Twitter to join the discussion on November 17.

Gates- Feet.jpg  Photo by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation/John Ahern. A premature baby is cared for in the pediatric ward at Yekatit Hospital in Addis Ababa. One in thirty-two babies in the developing world will die within their first month. The Ethiopian government has launched new programs to train community health workers on clean and safe delivery methods and early postnatal care for the mother and baby.

Achieving MDG 4 also requires scaling up proven interventions that will save children’s lives, including continued access to vaccines, proper antibiotic treatment, improved sanitation, as well as the promotion of practices such as exclusive breastfeeding, frequent handwashing with soap, increased care seeking for sick children, and use of clean cookstoves to reduce indoor air pollution. Learn more about A Promise Renewed.


In this Issue

World Pneumonia Day and World Prematurity Day

Updates from October

Partner Spotlight: March of Dimes

News and Opinion



Calendar of Events


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

The Lancet
-Child health: reducing inequities

Gender Action Banking on Health: World Bank and African Development Bank Spending on Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa

Safeguarding Pregnant Women With Essential Medicines

The Financial Times Special Report: Combating Neglected Diseases

World Health Organization -Positioning Health in the Post-2015 Development Agenda
-Report: Global Tuberculosis Report 2012
-Atlas of health and climate

Save the Children
Born Equal: How reducing inequality could give our children a better future

British Medical Journal
Health campaigners question whether fall in maternal mortality in India is a result of more hospital deliveries

The World Bank
Africa Can Help Feed Africa: Removing barriers to regional trade in food staples

The Humanitarian Centre
Partnerships for global health: pathways to progress

Read More Publications and Resources »

Quote of the Month

"The health and survival of newborns, infant, children, youth, women and other vulnerable members of society is the number one priority of the health sector.”

The Honourable Dr Muhammad Ali Pate, Minister Of State For Health, Nigeria, at the “Saving One Million Lives” Initiative launch, in Abuja, Nigeria, 16 October 2012. .

Calendar of Events

November 12
World Pneumonia Day

November 13 - 20
Child Health Now Global Week of Action

November 14
World Diabetes Day

November 14
World Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Day

November 17
World Prematurity Day

November 22
Kangaroo Mother Care Conference

November 25
International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

View full calendar »


Updates from October

African ministers sign unprecedented pledge to speed access to life-saving commodities — At the ministerial meeting of the United Nations Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children, health ministers from seven African countries committed to speed-up access to and use of 13 life-saving commodities to all women and children in their countries by 2015. Read the signed pledge in English and French. Learn more.

Launch of Saving One Million Lives Initiative in Abuja — On October 15 Nigerian President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in Abuja launched "Saving One Million Lives", an ambitious and comprehensive initiative to scale up access to essential primary health services and commodities for Nigeria’s women and children and building on growing international momentum behind child and maternal survival. View press releases, remarks delivered at the launch of the initiative, media coverage and additional resources.
President Jonathan, health ministers and legislators during the
President Jonathan, health ministers and legislators during the launch of the "Saving One Million Lives" Initiative in Abuja, Nigeria. 

World Handwashing Day 2012 On October 15, over 200 million people were involved in celebrations in over 100 countries around the world in celebration of Global Handwashing Day. Learn more.

Rapper PSY joins Ban Ki-moon at reception in support of UNICEF and Every Woman Every Child  On Tuesday October 23 rapper PSY joined Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at a reception held by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the UN in support of UNICEF and Every Woman Every Child. Read the UN Secretary-General's remarks. Watch a video of the rapper teaching the UN Secretary General his famous "Gangnam style" dance.

 World Polio Day 2012  On the occasion of World Polio Day, we celebrated with partners the rapid declines in polio worldwide since 1985. With fewer than 200 cases in 2012, polio remains endemic in just three countries: Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan. But if the disease is not eradicated once and for all, more than 10 million children under the age of five could be paralyzed in the next 40 years. Eradication is within reach, but we must mobilize resources and join together to finish the fight. Learn how you can get involved.

United Nations Day 2012  United Nations (UN) Day marked the anniversary of the day in 1945 when the United Nations officially came into being. Sixty-seven years later, the UN continues to work toward solving the world’s greatest challenges, including barriers to women’s and children’s health. In remarks on October UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said, “let us reaffirm our individual commitment and our collective resolve to live up to the ideals of the United Nations Charter and build a better world for all.” Read more.

Partner Spotlight: March of Dimes

March of Dimes logo

The March of Dimes commits to a new global awareness and advocacy campaign to increase international attention to and funding for research and programs to reduce the tragic toll of death and disability caused by preterm birth. Read the full commitment. Visit the World Prematurity Day Facebook page and watch a video produced by the March of Dimes and featuring Celine Dion on preterm birth.

News and Opinion



October 1

Nigeria: Kwara Assembly Passes Health Insurance Bill

Ghana: National health Insurance Bill passed into law

October 9

More than 30 African Governments Take Huge Step Toward NTD Control

October 11

Op-Ed: A Wake-Up Call on Contraceptive Rates in Africa

Life-saving pneumonia vaccine now available for free in Republic of Congo—UNICEF

October 12

South Sudan: WFP Girls’ Ration Increases School Attendance in Eastern Equatoria

October 15

Government Will Save One Million Lives By 2015, Says Minister Pate

October 17

A Star of Senegal: Increasing Access to Family Planning

October 18

Government commits to providing life-saving commodities for women, children

October 25

Nigeria Takes Huge Step to Save Women's and Children's Lives


Central Asia, South Asia & Asia Pacific

October 5

Nepal: Key role for female health volunteers

October 9

UN: Pakistan First in Region to Launch Pneumonia Vaccine

October 11

Bangladeshi girls call in ‘wedding busters’ to tackle child marriage

New generation of health financing schemes can help India progress towards UHC, says new

      World Bank study

October 14

Learning to tackle malnutrition: Afghanistan’s silent child killer

October 15

Philippines: public schools promote hygiene practices

October 22

Fall in polio vaccination refusal cases in Pakistan

October 30

China eliminates maternal and neonatal tetanus


Latin America & Caribbean


October 19

Uruguay First Latin nation to legalize abortion

October 23

New Caribbean Public Health Agency Holds First Stakeholder Meeting to Advance Region's Public Health

October (Month)

Cuba’s health system at a crossroads: Interview with Dr. José Luis Di Fabio, the Pan American Health Organization and World Health Organization representative in Cuba




October 8

FIGO joining forces to achieve health-related Millennium Development Goals


October 8-11

Global Press Institute Series on International Day of the Girl


October 9

Secretary Clinton To Launch New Public and Private Initiatives To Raise the Status of Girls

VIDEO: Get Well, Maya: Universal Health Coverage Ensures Healthy Futures

Accenture Grants Save the Children an Additional US$1.8M to Assist Young Adults in Egypt,   



October 10

Tutu promotes campaign to end child marriage

Girls Out of School and Into Wedlock (Sarah Brown)

The food security risk index—map

How empowering mothers is a simple solution to malnutrition

UNFPA Announces $20 Million Commitment to Reach Most Marginalized Adolescent Girls at

     Risk of Child Marriage


October 11

Disasters fuel forced marriage

You Think You Know Me? IT’s All About the #DayoftheGirl

Preventing blindness and saving lives with vitamin A

UNICEF focuses on ending child marriage on International Day of the Girl Child


October 12

Refining the Social Contract for Health to Build on the Millennium Development Goals

For International Day for Disaster Reduction, UN highlights key role of women and girls


October 13

UN warns of looming worldwide food crisis in 2013


October 15

Handwashing most effective way to prevent deadly diseases

HPV Vaccine Does Not Alter Sexual Behavior, Study Finds

UN Secretary-General’s message on the International Day of Rural Women


October 16

New TB vaccine on the horizon

VIDEO: Childhood stunting (Special report by Christiane Amanpour)


October 17

Tuberculosis effort in real danger—WHO

Op-Ed by Olivier De Schutter: In a world hungry for biofuels, food security must come first


October 22

Shortchanging Women’s Rights

Nurses tackle cancer in developing nations

Public-private partnerships for innovation (Interview with Sharon D’Agostino, J&J)


October 24

Parliamentarians as key allies in the movement towards universal health coverage

Making it work: Integrating Human Rights Into National HIV Plans


October 26

Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi calls for zero discrimination of people living with HIV


October 28

New test to improve HIV diagnosis in poor countries

UN Taskforce says more must be done to protect young girls


October 29

Could the next MDGs take inclusive business to scale?


October 31

Public-Private Partnerships: Recognizing each other’s value-add to curb hunger

“Into the Hands of Women”: A Major Shift in Disaster Recovery and Prevention


Month of October

NPR Series on Polio


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.

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