Child Survival Action: A Blueprint for Advocacy and Action

Kudzai Makomva
May 25, 2023

Kudzai Makomva

Kudzai is a Managing Partner at Market Access Africa. She specializes in helping public and third sector organizations develop compelling strategies, finance and scale social impact initiatives

The Blueprint for Advocacy and Action on Child Survival guides a network coalition of national, regional, and global level actors, around a coordinated campaign with a common brand identity and a unified purpose to child survival

Child Survival: A Race to Keep the Promise

All over the world, countries set a goal to end preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5. This goal – Sustainable Development Goal 3.2.1 – aims to reduce deaths of children under 5 to less than 25 deaths per 1,000 live births in each country.  

However, as we approach the 2030 deadline for that goal, 43 African countries are not on track to meet that goal – that is 43 African countries out of a total of 54 countries globally that are not on track.  

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The data is compelling – too many children die because of common but preventable childhood illnesses – especially malaria, pneumonia, and diarrhea. Most deaths among children occur after the first month – known as the post-neonatal period. But many of these deaths are preventable and treatable with access to primary healthcare services.

Urgent action is needed to ensure that children survive early childhood, a critical first step in ensuring they can fully thrive. The persistence of child deaths from causes that are preventable and treatable is a crisis that demands urgent, country-driven leadership to turn around the current trends and get back on track.  

Extending the coverage and access to primary health care services, which provide immunization, nutrition counselling, and treatment, is also imperative.

Our national governments also need to align domestic and foreign funding and initiatives, strategically directing them based on local data and evidence and avoiding fragmentation caused by vertical programs that address only one disease threat, or one element of the health system at the expense of building systemic solutions.


Blueprint for Advocacy and Action on Child Survival

The Child Health Taskforce is a platform for a growing movement of country governments, civil society organizations, development agencies, and individuals working to improve child survival rates globally. The Child Health Taskforce commissioned Market Access Africa to lead the development of the Blueprint for Advocacy and Action.  

The Blueprint guides a network coalition of national, regional, and global level actors, around a coordinated campaign with a common brand identity and a unified purpose. Specifically, the Blueprint will advance the Child Survival Action movement in the following ways:  

  • Ensure that Child Survival Action is elevated to the highest levels of national, regional, and global level policymaking and prioritization, and countries are strategically positioned to mobilize resources and attention to accelerate action towards attaining SDG 3.2.1
  • Catalyze a focus on country-led, data-driven decision making, departing from previous models that have focused largely on multilateral action and advocacy.  
  • Foster mutual accountability that is made effective through existing peer networks and communities.  
  • Engage actors at the community level as key agents for advocacy and change, while also promoting a broad spectrum of both traditional, and innovative partnerships between public, private, and third sector actors.  

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