The U.N. on Wednesday "presented a plan to make life-saving health supplies more accessible, while a new report found that, despite impressive reductions in maternal and child mortality in the past decade in some countries, millions of women and children still die every year from preventable causes," the U.N. News Centre reports. "With its new plan, the U.N. Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children aims to improve access and use of essential medicines, medical devices and health supplies that effectively address causes of death during pregnancy, childbirth and into childhood," the news service writes (9/26). "Prices for long-acting contraception will be halved for 27 million women in the developing world through [the] new partnership, former President Bill Clinton and other world leaders announced" on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, the Associated Press writes. "The deal will help avoid almost 30 million unwanted pregnancies and save an estimated $250 million in health costs, the partnership said," according to the AP (DePasquale, 9/26).
"The plan comes as the Secretary-General's independent Expert Review Group on Information and Accountability for Women's and Children's Health issued its first report, concluding that while reductions in maternal and child mortality during the past decade have been impressive in some countries, millions of women and children still die every year from preventable causes," the U.N. News Centre notes (9/26). "Declining donor funding is one of the reasons most of the world will not meet the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals for women's and children's health by 2015, according to" the report, HealthDay News/U.S. News & World Report writes (9/26). "The report's authors said governments, donors, non-governmental organizations, health professionals, researchers, foundations and the private sector can all play an important role in improving child and maternal health," and made several recommendations, CBS News adds (9/26).