On September 29th, The Lancet published a commentary, Women’s and children’s health: no time for complacency, by Richard Horton, Editor of The Lancet. The commentary describes discrepancies between research groups that estimate maternal and child mortality. Horton calls on these groups to work together to reach some level of consensus in order to help country leaders and program implementers to make important decisions. He also discusses big challenges with equity, accountability and monitoring of recent pledges for women’s and children’s health.
When new figures for under-5 child mortality were released this month, the headline message was that aid works. Deaths among children younger than 5 years fell from an estimated 12 million in 1990 to 6·9 million in 2011. That remarkable achievement means that 14 000 fewer children now die each day than in 1990. There are many examples of success. In Niger, rates of under-5 mortality almost halved between 1998 and 2009. Rates of reduction of newborn mortality have also accelerated since the 1990s. These are truly impressive results, fully deserving of celebration. But not complacency.
Read the full commentary here.