Click: USAID campaign puts spotlight on child mortality

    A 5-year-old girl named Ziba from Konarak in Iran. The U.S. Agency for International Development has launched a campaign called, "Every Child Deserves a Fifth Birthday," to raise awareness on child mortality. Photo by: UNICEF Iran / CC BY-ND

    Each year, seven million children die before they reach age 5. How do we prevent that?

    Nicole Schiegg, senior adviser at the U.S. Agency for International Development, said vaccines, bed nets, ready-to-use nutritional supplements, antiretrovirals and bag masks can help address the leading causes of preventable deaths in the developing world. But uploading your fifth birthday picture may also do the trick.

    The idea is part of the “Every Child Deserves a Fifth Birthday” awareness-raising campaign by USAID and other development partners. The campaign, launched Monday (April 23), aims to bring the unjust reality of child mortality on the spotlight.

    The campaign has already gathered quite a following. The fifth birthday album currently has 298 pictures, including those of USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan and U.K. Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell.

    The pictures, along with the posted messages, will be presented at the international development community at the Child Survival Call to Action event in June. The high-level forum will try to identify high-impact child survival strategies and smart investments that will help end preventable child deaths around the world.

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    About the author

    • Jenny Lei Ravelo

      Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.