Senators Collins, Coons Reintroduce Bill to Help Save Lives of Mothers and Children Around the World

Washington, D.C. (April 30, 2021) — Save the Children Vice President of Policy, Advocacy, and Campaigns Christy Gleason today applauded U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) for reintroducing the Reach Every Mother and Child Act, widely-supported, bipartisan legislation that would help save the lives of mothers and children around the world.

“Even before the pandemic, increased focus on ending preventable child and maternal deaths was urgently needed. The first month after birth carries the highest risk of death for newborns and their mothers. We know which interventions will save their lives, such as quality antenatal care and skilled birthing attendance, yet each year 2.5 million newborns still die, 2.6 million babies are stillborn, and more than 300,000 women die as a consequence of pregnancy or childbirth,” said Gleason.

Adding to these existing challenges, the emergence of COVID-19 has severely disrupted access to essential health services, and as a result, fewer women are receiving critical antenatal care or giving birth at health facilities. Estimates indicate even a 10 percent decline in essential pregnancy-related and newborn care in low- and middle-income countries would result in 28,000 additional maternal deaths and 168,000 additional newborn deaths.

Save the Children recently launched a global research study to generate rigorous evidence on how the COVID-19 pandemic and measures implemented to mitigate it are impacting children’s health and nutrition, among other facets of their lives. It found that the vast majority (89%) of parents and caregivers had trouble accessing health care, medicine, medical supplies or items needed to stay healthy, and nearly two-thirds of parents and caregivers faced barriers accessing nutritious foods.

The Reach Every Mother and Child Act would address these urgent challenges by requiring a coordinated U.S. government strategy for ending preventable child and maternal deaths, including addressing backsliding on progress due to COVID-19, and establish rigorous reporting requirements to improve transparency and accountability of USAID programs. Further, the bill would ensure USAID focuses on increasing access to the highest impact, evidence-based interventions to maximize its return on investment.

Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. Since our founding more than 100 years ago, we’ve changed the lives of more than 1 billion children. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share. Follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitter and YouTube.

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