Senator Hassan Cosponsors Bipartisan Bill to Help End Preventable Maternal and Childhood Deaths
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan cosponsored the Reach Every Mother and Child Act, bipartisan legislation that would strengthen the United States’ efforts to help end preventable deaths of mothers, newborns, and young children in the developing world. The bipartisan bill was introduced by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and Chris Coons (D-DE).
“The death of any mother or child is a tragedy, and yet too often we know these deaths can be prevented through basic investments in health care,” said Senator Hassan. “This bipartisan bill will help implement evidence-based and cost-effective interventions in developing countries to reduce childhood and maternal mortality. As a global leader, America must continue to lead with our values and play a constructive role in defending the human rights of our most vulnerable populations. I applaud Senators Collins and Coons for their leadership in introducing this important bill.”
Nearly 300,000 women worldwide die annually from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. In addition, a significant proportion of those under five years old occur in the first 28 days of birth, with newborns accounting for nearly 50 percent of all under-five deaths. In 2019, 5.2 million children under-five died from mainly preventable and treatable diseases. The United States has been a global leader in reaching mothers and children in developing countries with life-saving interventions, including skilled birth attendants, basic resuscitation options for newborns, vaccinations, and other cost-effective, evidence-based interventions.
The Reach Act would help address the goal of ending preventable child and maternal deaths globally by 2030 by:
- Implementing a strategy focused on bringing to scale the highest impact, evidence-based interventions, with a focus on country and community ownership;
- Establishing a Maternal and Child Survival Coordinator at USAID who would focus on implementing the strategy and verifying that the most effective interventions are scaled up in target countries;
- Improving government efficiency across several agencies that would collaborate with the Coordinator to identify and promote the most effective interventions to end preventable maternal and child deaths globally;
- Promoting transparency and greater accountability; and
- Requiring detailed public reporting on progress toward implementing the strategy.
Senator Hassan has long worked to improve maternal and newborn health care in New Hampshire and across the country. In 2018, former President Donald Trump signed into law bipartisan legislation cosponsored by Senator Hassan to help reduce shortages in maternity care by identifying areas lacking maternal health professionals and incentivizing providers to practice in these underserved communities. Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Hassan recently introduced two bipartisan bills to increase maternal vaccination rates and ensure that these vaccines are free of cost for Medicaid enrollees. Additionally, Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Hassan introduced the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act, a bipartisan bill to help save lives and improve the health of newborn babies by providing federal funding for comprehensive and standardized newborn screening tests for conditions such as critical congenital heart disease, cystic fibrosis, and hearing loss.
Click HERE to read the full text of the bill.
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