Public Release: 

Progress conference on child survival as called for in 2003 Lancet series to take place next week


An editorial in this week's issue highlights an upcoming conference on child survival that was called for in the 2003 Lancet Bellagio child survival series. As a result of the Bellagio initiative, progress towards improving child survival will be tracked in a series of 2-yearly rolling meetings, the first of which takes place at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine on Dec 13-14. The conference is called Tracking Progress in Child Survival: Countdown to 2015.

The Lancet comments: "The fourth Millennium Development goal (MDG) documents the world's commitment to reducing by two-thirds the 10•8 million deaths of children younger than 5 years by 2015. The key to achieving MDG-4 will be a reduction in neonatal deaths, which represent 36% of this burden. The Lancet's 2005 neonatal survival series, found that a two-thirds reduction in mortality is within reach if only a few simple, readily transferable health-care interventions of proven efficacy are applied...Next week's conference, Countdown to 2015, will provide politicians, financiers, and health-care workers with clear opportunities to save one newborn life for every $2100 invested. Perhaps the only thing more devastating than the loss of a newborn child is the fact that that two-thirds of such deaths could have been avoided in a world that had the resources, but lacked the will to use them."

Also in a Comment in this week's issue, Jacques Sylla, Prime Minister of the Republic of Madagascar and Macky Sall, Prime Minister of Senegal, describe their respective country's commitment to child survival.


The Lancet press office 207-424-4949/4249,

Notes to editors:
Tracking Progress in Child Survival: Countdown to 2015 (London, Dec 13-14) has been organised by: The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health; the Bellagio Child Survival Study Group; World Health Organization; UNICEF; The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine; The Lancet; Save the Children (UK and US); US Agency for International Development (USAIDS); Basic Support for Institutionalizing Child Survival (BASICS); Department for International Development UK (DFID UK); The World Bank, and International Paediatric Association (IPA) and other organizations. For more information please visit:

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