News / Africa

Africa: Using Health Scorecard to Monitor Child Mortality Rates

Mothers from southern Somalia hold their children at medical center in Mogadishu, Somalia, August 3, 2011.
Mothers from southern Somalia hold their children at medical center in Mogadishu, Somalia, August 3, 2011.
African governments will implement a health scorecard to reduce child deaths on the continent. Delegates attending the African Child Survival Conference also set higher targets to bring down the child mortality rate.
 
The health scorecard is a monitoring system that publicly collects and reports health data and it has produced good results in several African countries such as Ethiopia. Delegates adopted the scorecard to reduce child deaths as they gathered at the African Union headquarters for the African Child Survival Conference. They also set a new target date by which child deaths should be reduced.
 
Peter Salama is the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) representative to Ethiopia. He is impressed by the new commitments made by African governments especially the commitment to the scorecard:
 
“They’ve agreed to bring down child mortality to 20 per 1000 live births.  What that means is these poor countries have agreed to bring child mortality down to the levels of an upper middle-income country, right across the continent. They committed to make sure this is not just an empty promise, and that’s really through this initiative of strengthening robust monitoring systems, one of which will be this national scorecard," Salama said.

The scorecard consists of three parts:   information on policy issues and availibility of resources, information on the process of treatment and information on the results of treatment.
 
Efforts to reduce child mortality are urgently needed in sub-Saharan Africa as 1 in 8 children dies before the age of five. One of the goals of the United Nations millennium development project is to bring down the mortality rate by two-thirds by 2015. Many African countries are not on track yet to reach these goals as reduction is currently at 39 perecent.
 
Ethiopian Minister of Health Kesetebirhan Admasu hopes the new commitments will contribute to health policies in the long run. “Beyond 2015 we should consider and develop new strategies to ensure the inclusion of more innovative and proven interventions in equitable manner for children survival,” Admasu stated.
 
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is one of the African countries that has not been able to improve its rates due to the conflict situation in the country. Still today, 158 out of 1,000 children die in Congo during birth. DRC Health Minister Felix Kabange Numbi says the scorecard can reduce that rate:
 
“In Congo we are doing monitoring and we have a plan of evaluation and follow up but we don’t have a scorecard and I was very happy to see how Ethiopia presents its scorecard with each province and each indicator. Its why we say in DRC, from here to the end of March we must have our scorecard and to follow up how we can go forward,” Numbi noted.
 
The scorecard provides better data on what sort of policies are needed to eliminate preventable child deaths.

Peter Salama of UNICEF says the it can therefore be used all over the continent as it gives an insight on what causes children to die. “Making sure that you tailor your programs and interventions very much according to that evidence base. There is a large number of these interventions so you have to choose the package for your child mortality pattern in your country, and all of the countries are now working on these plans to refine them to make sure they choose exactly the right high impact interventions that are most cost effective.”
 
Even countries that have improved their rates when it comes to preventable child diseases, such as Namibia, are positive about introducing the scorecard. But Namibian Minister of Health Richard Nchabi Kamwi says regional integrated health approaches are just as important to fight other diseases that kill children such as malaria:
 
“The next step is to engage other colleagues because there is no way that we alone can make it work. We can only work when we stand working together as a team,” said Kamwi.
 
United Nations officials say the most effective and efficient interventions for preventing child deaths are by tackling malaria, pneumonia, diarrhea and neonatal mortality. The hope is to have ended all preventable deaths among children by 2035.

Liberia is currently the best scoring African country by reducing its under five-mortality rate by 67percent.

You May Like

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Could Be in Use by January

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid