Worldwide we lose about 1,000 mothers and more than 22,000 children under the age of 5 every day, largely from preventable and treatable causes. But we can act now to save tomorrow's mothers and children.
Millions of mothers and children could be saved by expanding support for basic, low-cost health services and the frontline health workers who deliver lifesaving care. Unfortunately, funding for these programs is at risk of being caught in the current congressional budget fight. Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA) and Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) are currently circulating a letter in the US House of Representatives supporting funding for Newborn, Child and Material Health and Survival in FY 2012.
Please take action by contacting your Representative today and requesting that he or she sign onto the Reichert/McCollum letter. Let's work together to give the gift that all too many mothers still want most-- the chance to deliver and raise healthy children.
As your constituent, I urge you to sign a letter currently being circulated by Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA) and Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) reinforcing strong U.S. leadership in saving the lives of newborns, children and mothers throughout the world and supporting funding for the Maternal and Children Health (MCH) account in the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2012.
The United States has a long and proud history of leadership in the fight to save children's lives. American researchers pioneered simple solutions that have led to a remarkable decline in child mortality in recent decades (for example: oral rehydration solution to cure diarrhea, vitamin A supplements to fight malnutrition and disease, and lifesaving vaccines). Much of this success was accomplished with generous funding from the United States government.
Working together with developed and developing country partners, we reduced the total number of under-5 deaths worldwide by more than one-third -- from 12.4 million per year to 8.1 million -- in less than two decades. Yet tragically, 22,000 children still perish each day, mostly from preventable or treatable causes.
During these difficult economic times, your support for this legislation is more important than ever. In addition to the value of the lives saved, these programs serve America's national security and long-term economic interests. We must continue to invest in programs that help to alleviate poverty, strengthen societies, foster stability and security, and spur economic long-term growth at home and abroad.
Your signature on the Reichert/McCollum letter requesting robust funding for the Maternal and Children Health (MCH) account would send a clear and unambiguous message that the US is a compassionate and caring country, and reinforce strong US leadership in saving the lives of newborns, children and mothers throughout the world. I look forward to your response on this important issue.