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Fewer child deaths a big achievement

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The good news written about in the Deseret News Editorial on May 15, "Ending Childhood Death," should be underscored. It is truly amazing what can be accomplished when we put attention, time and a little money to a basic human problem.

Thirty years ago, 40,000 children were dying daily from preventable causes. Now, that number has been cut in half. This did not happen by accident. The U.S., in our foreign aid, led the world in providing access to basic, inexpensive health care. Things like immunizations, oral rehydration therapy and antibiotics save millions of young lives every year. We are now at the point that public health experts are talking about ending all preventable child deaths.

Next month, the U.S., India, Ethiopia and UNICEF are co-hosting a "Call to Action" meeting at which a roadmap will be created to end preventable child deaths within a generation. Congress should align with this goal and preserve funding for global child health and other aid programs, which save lives with less than 1 percent of the federal budget.

Scott A. Leckman

Salt Lake City