I’m in China, at the Shanghai International Forum for Children, where Chinese and global experts noted the great progress that has already been made, and the remaining challenges of ensuring access and quality for all.
“We need to reduce disparities to spread progress”, noted Shanghai Vice Mayor Zhao Wen.
“At the national level, China has already reached the Millennium Development Goal on reducing child mortality. But this is not yet a reality in more remote areas, or for many children of migrants in the cities,” noted Save the Children China Director Wyndham James.
“We will all need to work together,” said Deng Li, Director of the Children’s Department of the All China Shanghai Women’s Federation. “Corporates, NGOs and governments all bear responsibility for improving children’s health.”
It was at this event that we shared details of our global campaign on child survival, EVERY ONE, which will help bring people together to reduce child mortality across the world. Globally 9.2 million under-five children die every year, but most of these deaths are preventable.
We noted how Save the Children’s record of developing health interventions has enabled us to contribute to many technical innovations; and how, equally, our engagement with millions of volunteers, givers and grassroots development workers has taught us the importance of popular engagement for any effective change. Expert input and popular engagement will both be needed to speed up global progress on child survival.
Save the Children chose China as the first place to unveil this global campaign because China’s success in reducing child mortality can provide lessons and inspiration for progress around the world. The Chinese Government has announced plans to further increase investment, strengthen the health system and reduce disparities so that everyone – no matter who they are or where they live – will be able to enjoy a basic healthcare package.
At a children’s session facilitated by Save the Children, children of migrant families shared their experiences and their vision for the future. “Our hope is that every child in China and the whole world can have a healthy and happy life,” urged the child delegates.
Corporate leaders from AMCHAM, IKEA, Johnson & Johnson and Shanghai AB Food and Beverage also shared details of their work to support child health. “Whilst the role of corporations in child health is very different from that the government plays, it is still critical to improving the well being of children in China,” they noted.
The Shanghai Forum brought together representatives from government, NGOs, corporations, researchers, and children themselves. There was consensus from every one that quality health care for every child is possible. We all committed to doing everything we can to make that a reality, in China and around the world. China launch done. Now to the others.