The Rx for Child Survival Campaign Helps the World’s Most Vulnerable Children Survive and Thrive

Share Article

This holiday season Americans have the opportunity to give the world's most vulnerable children a fighting chance at life. Each year more than 10 million children worldwide die before their fifth birthdays, a majority from preventable or treatable causes such as diarrhea, pneumonia, measles and malaria. Experts agree that nearly all of them would have had a much better chance at life if they had access to basic, inexpensive health interventions. To improve the situation, the national Rx for Child Survival campaign, in partnership with Save the Children, CARE, UNICEF and the Global Health Council, encourages everyone to speak out, volunteer time and energy, and donate to programs that are already making a difference in children's survival.

This holiday season Americans have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children in developing countries by providing basic health interventions they need to survive. Each year, more than 10 million children worldwide die before their fifth birthdays, a majority from preventable or treatable causes such as diarrhea, pneumonia, measles and malaria. Experts agree that nearly all of them would have had a much better chance at life if they had access to simple, inexpensive health measures. To improve the situation, Rx for Child Survival—A Global Health Challenge™ offers ways for everyone to become involved in child survival—a critical global health crisis with simple solutions.

Rx for Child Survival is an innovative campaign created by the WGBH Educational Foundation and Vulcan Productions, in collaboration with Save the Children and CARE, and in association with UNICEF and the Global Health Council. Rx for Child Survival is the corollary of an unprecedented global health media and education project anchored by the compelling PBS documentary series Rx for Survival—A Global Health Challenge™ that aired last month.

What actions can individuals and organizations take? One of the most immediate and direct ways to help is by donating to provide “Child Survival Packs.” A donation of just $25 will allow our partners to ensure that a child will receive important health interventions that will give him or her a fighting chance to reach age five, a significant milestone for children’s survival. Each Child Survival Pack includes:

  • Immunizations to prevent childhood diseases
  • Vitamin A and other micronutrients to combat infectious diseases and/or provide the basic requirements for growth
  • Oral rehydration therapy to prevent and treat dehydration from diarrhea
  • Insecticide-treated netting to prevent malaria, and
  • Antibiotics to treat pneumonia

Children will receive the interventions appropriate for them and may not receive all five interventions.

“Vaccines, micronutrients and other basic health tools that keep children alive and healthy here can keep kids alive and healthy everywhere,” said Nanda Chitre, Rx for Child Survival’s campaign manager. “Americans responded immediately and generously to help communities impacted by the horrific natural disasters, from the Southeast Asia tsunami last year to Hurricane Katrina this year. It is our hope that the Rx for Child Survival campaign inspires long-term commitments to improving the lives of children affected by preventable, treatable diseases every day.”

Contributing funds towards an Rx for Child Survival “Neighbor Pack,” a “Family Pack” or a “Child Pack” can help deliver five vital interventions to one or several children in the world’s poorest countries. Donations can be made by logging on to http://www.pbs.org/rxforsurvival or calling 800-242-4483. At least $0.88 of every dollar donated to Rx for Child Survival will be used by CARE and Save the Children to provide these interventions through existing programs in Afghanistan, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, and Vietnam. A percentage of the Rx for Child Survival donations will be used by UNICEF to purchase vaccines.

In addition to the Rx for Child Survival fund, the campaign helps people of all ages learn about and participate in global child health, both locally and globally. Whether volunteering time, informing others or donating funds, one person’s gift can bring hope to a child, a family or a village in a developing country. Activities include:

  • Raise awareness about health interventions and encourage friends to support Rx for Child Survival by sending e-postcards.
  • Create colorful holiday gifts to show support for child survival by making Rx for Child Survival T-shirts. Downloadable iron-on transfer templates are available online at http://www.pbs.org/rxforsurvival.
  • Host a viewing party of the PBS documentary Rx for Survival—A Global Health Challenge™ and discuss critical health issues examined in the series. DVD and VHS sets can be purchased online at shop.wgbh.org or by calling 888-255-9231.
  • Host a neighborhood bake sale or garage sale and donate the proceeds to the Rx for Child Survival fund.
  • Teach children about children in developing countries and ways to share good health through games such as “Growing Up Healthy” and “How Hard Can It Be To Carry Water?”

Visit the Rx for Survival Web site, http://www.pbs.org/rxforsurvival, to discover more ideas and activities to donate, speak out, spread the word and volunteer time. In addition to serving as an entry point to learning more about child survival and participating in the campaign, the in-depth site functions as an educational resource featuring global health facts, figures and frontline reports.

Co-produced by the WGBH/NOVA Science Unit and Vulcan Productions, Rx for Survival—A Global Health Challenge™ is the six-part documentary series narrated by Brad Pitt and broadcast on PBS stations in November. The Rx for Survival project assembled independent media coverage from PBS.org, TIME magazine, NPR and The Penguin Press during November, the National Month of Global Health. Additionally, the WGBH Educational Foundation and Vulcan Productions created Rx for Child Survival, a far-reaching outreach campaign to raise public awareness and engagement in child survival issues. Rx for Child Survival encourages individual and community action through tools and activities that continue in 2006. Major funding for Rx for Survival is provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Merck Company Foundation.

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Mary Beth Lefaivre
WGBH
617-300-4248
Email >