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Notice to Readers: World Health Day --- April 7, 2005

The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated April 7, 2005, as World Health Day. The theme for this year's World Health Day is, "Make Every Mother and Child Count," with a focus on efforts to decrease mortality from pregnancy-related causes and in early childhood. Maternal and early childhood mortality persists as a major problem around the world, especially in developing regions. Approximately half a million women die each year from pregnancy-related causes (1). Approximately one in every 12 children throughout the world will not survive to age 5 years; in the least developed countries of the world, this figure is approximately one in six (2). Implementation of existing low cost, effective interventions could substantially close the gap and provide opportunity to reduce excessive maternal, perinatal, infant, and child mortality.

"Make Every Mother and Child Count" aims to account for every mother and child through the collection, analysis, and use of public health data. These data are often critical in helping organizations and governments to 1) design, support, and evaluate interventions; 2) identify emerging threats to maternal and child health needs; and 3) monitor the quality of services delivered to women and children. Toward this end, CDC continues to be a partner in domestic and global activities, providing the infrastructure needed to conduct surveillance and special studies to count every woman and child affected by a disease, disorder, or event.

Additional information on World Health Day and associated activities is available from WHO at and from the Pan American Health Organization at


  1. United Nations Population Fund. State of world population 2004, the Cairo Consensus at ten: population, reproductive health, and the global effort to reduce poverty. New York, NY: United Nations Population Fund; 2004.
  2. United Nations Children's Fund. Childhood under threat: the state of the world's children 2005. New York, NY: United Nations Children's Fund; 2004.

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