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Copenhagen Consensus Center

Post-2015 Consensus: Health Viewpoint - Infant Mortality, Gerland and You

Viewpoint Paper

Gerland and You comment specifically on the perspective paper from Fink. In their view, with millions of children still at risk of dying of preventable causes, maternal, newborn and child survival must remain at the heart of the post-2015 global development agenda. It is fundamental for everyone to be aware that the necessary knowledge and technology exists to ensure that no child should die of preventable causes and no mother should die giving life through childbirth. Fink’s paper rightly emphasizes the growing need to focus more attention on reducing neonatal and post-neonatal mortality. It is, however, critical to keep in mind the wide variety of conditions and needs across countries, and that any benefit-cost estimation, no matter its intent, relies on a number of simplifications and assumptions. In particular, expanded and sustained access to skilled health providers is a tremendous challenge in many countries.

Two goals seem most compatible with the overall goals and objectives of the post-2015 agenda: to reduce the neonatal mortality rate to 12 or less deaths per 1,000 live births and reduce the under-five mortality rate to 25 or less per 1,000 live births. Progress is more possible through the coordinated efforts of the public, private and civil society sectors, working together to improve outcomes in nutrition, water and sanitation, health, education and other sectors that impact outcomes for women and children.