Abt Associates: Bold thinkers driving real-world impact
Abt Associates has joined several other partners in a major worldwide effort to prevent deaths from childhood diarrhea and pneumonia by improving access to affordable, effective treatment.
The Declaration on Scaling-Up Treatment of Childhood Diarrhea and Pneumonia is creating a platform for partners to align their resources to scale-up use of oral rehydration salts and zinc for diarrhea and amoxicillin for pneumonia. The declaration was announced June 14 at the Child Survival Call to Action meeting convened by the Governments of Ethiopia, India and the United States in close collaboration with UNICEF.
“Evidence from the field shows that the majority of early childhood deaths can be prevented by using simple low-cost effective interventions that are already available,” said Vicki MacDonald, a senior associate in Abt’s International Health division. “However, this requires political will, an enabling regulatory environment, and sufficient public and private sector resources. By endorsing this declaration we hope to spur global commitment to address these needs.”
Abt already is implementing programs in these areas, including through the USAID-funded Strengthening Health Outcomes through the Private Sector Project (SHOPS).
Two million children under five die from diarrhea or pneumonia each year, mostly in a few countries in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. That accounts for 29 percent of all deaths of children under five. However, most of these could be prevented. Oral rehydration salts can prevent more than 90 percent of diarrhea deaths. Zinc can reduce the duration of the diarrhea episode and protect a child from future episodes of diarrhea and pneumonia.
The Zinc Alliance for Child Health – a private-public-civil society partnership that includes Teck Resources Ltd., the Micronutrient Initiative, and the Canadian International Development Agency – are joining the declaration and committing $15 million to increase zinc and ORS treatment in prioritized high-burden countries. Also, McCann WorldGroup – one of the world’s largest marketing communications companies – pledged $5 million of in-kind resources and technical assistance to support the design and implementation of marketing campaigns to increase awareness of and demand for ORS and zinc.
Other Declaration signatories include: the U.S., Canadian, and Nigerian governments; UNICEF; the Clinton Health Access Initiative; the MDG Health Alliance; and a number of implementing partners. A copy of the declaration and more information on the commitments is available at www.apromiserenewed.org.
Abt Associates is a mission-driven, global leader in research, evaluation and program implementation in the fields of health, social and environmental policy, and international development. Known for its rigorous approach to solving complex challenges, Abt Associates is regularly ranked as one of the top 20 global research firms and one of the top 40 international development innovators. The company has multiple offices in the U.S. and program offices in more than 40 countries.