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Senators Collins, Coons Introduce Bipartisan Bill to End Preventable Maternal and Childhood Deaths

Click HERE to watch Senator Collins’ floor remarks.  Click HERE to download high-resolution video.

Click HERE to read her remarks.


Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Chris Coons (D-DE) introduced the Reach Every Mother and Child Act to strengthen the United States’ efforts to end preventable deaths of mothers, newborns, and young children in developing nations around the world.


Every day, approximately 800 women, almost entirely from developing countries, die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.  In addition, more than 15,000 children under five years old die each day of treatable conditions such as prematurity, pneumonia, and diarrhea — with malnutrition being the underlying cause in nearly half of those deaths.


“Although progress has been made in improving the health of mothers and children, it is a tragedy that so many preventable deaths still occur,” said Senator Collins. “Our bill aims to reach these mothers and children with simple, proven, cost-effective interventions that we know will help them survive.  I urge my colleagues to join me and Senator Coons in supporting this legislation that will save the lives of mothers and children around the world.”


“Over the last decade, we have made tremendous strides in reducing global mortality rates for mothers and their children, but preventable illnesses like diarrhea, malaria, and pneumonia still account for the vast majority of deaths among young children, and malnutrition remains the underlying cause of 45 percent of preventable child deaths. For too many women and families, pregnancy and childbirth are risky, life-threatening conditions that are filled with stress and fear rather than joy and expectation,” said Senator Coons. "The Reach Act directs USAID to deliver a comprehensive strategy that prioritizes high-impact, evidence-based interventions to prevent these tragic deaths. This bipartisan bill will bring relief to mothers who can safely carry, deliver, and raise their newborns knowing that the care they need is now available."


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 has been endorsed by CARE International, PATH, RESULTS, Save the Children Action Network, and WorldVision. The bill would provide the focus and tools necessary to accelerate progress toward ending preventable maternal and child deaths by:


  • Establishing the goal of ending preventable maternal, newborn, and child deaths by 2030;


  • Requiring the Administration to implement a strategy to achieve this goal by scaling up the most-effective evidence-based interventions;


  • Permitting USAID greater flexibility to use “pay-for-success” financing models where foreign aid is only expended for results rather than inputs, and


  • Establishing a permanent Maternal and Child Survival Coordinator at USAID who would be focused on implementing the strategy and verify that the most effective interventions are scaled up in target countries.


Senators Collins and Coons’ legislation is cosponsored by Senators Pat Roberts (R-KS), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Ed Markey (D-MA), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Ben Cardin (D-MD), John Cornyn (R-TX), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Todd Young (R-IN), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) Mike Enzi (R-WY), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Jack Reed (D-RI).


Click HERE to read the bill.