Quarterly Newsletter 2024, Issue 2

African mother holding her baby in a carrier on her back, smiling


Dear Friends,

We are delighted to share our second quarter newsletter with you. In this issue we have exciting updates on the Child Survival Action (CSA) Initiative, details on a new school health and nutrition e-learning course, and a new milestone on the host of our next Steering Committee meeting. Additionally, we highlight the recent activities of our subgroups.

We have a busy quarter ahead and I encourage your involvement. There are several ways to engage — consider joining a Task Force-hosted webinar, attending a subgroup meeting, engaging with us on social media, or becoming part of a CSA team.

Thank you for your continued support and dedication to ensuring all children survive and thrive throughout the lifecourse.

Dyness Kasungami, Director of the Child Health Task Force

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CSA at the 77th World Health Assembly

Minister Demby and Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa

"We have a mammoth task at hand. We’re fighting for the people at the foundation of their life. If we get it right, they are set for life.” - Austin Demby, Minister of Health, Sierra Leone

On May 26, Dr. Austin Demby, Sierra Leone Minister of Health and Vice-Chairman of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa, hosted African leaders from Burkina Faso, Guinea, Chad, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, South Sudan, and Somalia in a World Health Assembly side event, Health Minister Discussion on Child Survival Action. The event highlighted the critical need for the CSA initiative while also providing the opportunity for ministers to discuss similar challenges across Africa. Ministers shared opportunities from their respective countries, including political will and commitment. The discussion also looked at how the proposed WHA resolution, Accelerate progress towards reducing maternal, newborn, and child mortality in order to achieve Sustainable Development Goal targets 3.1 and 3.2, could be leveraged to collectively usher aligned, regional momentum to achieve SDG targets.

Shortly after the event on May 30, the proposed resolution was passed, signifying a global commitment to address the leading causes of maternal, newborn and child deaths and an opportunity to spur further action. In support of CSA advocacy, below are new resources you can use:

Health Minister Discussion on Child Survival Action WHA side event

New! Children are our Future: Keeping a focus on child survival brief 

The CSA Results and Accountability Action Team developed a results framework with a core set of indicators to raise visibility on equitable progress on child survival. A new CSA technical brief was developed, led by the Results and Accountability Action Team, that details the results framework, provides an assessment of progress on this indicator set, and presents a way forward to improve child survival. Organized into four sections, the brief: reviews child mortality trends and causes of child deaths; provides a snapshot of child nutritional status; examines coverage of select child health and nutrition interventions, with a focus on countries that are off track for SDG 3.2.1; and describes how accelerations in child survival can be achieved through a primary health care approach and renewed global and country commitment to children.

Read the Brief

New! CSA Toolkit

Image of the CSA Toolkit Wheel

On April 30, we launched the CSA Toolkit, a curated set of practical tools, resources, and examples for country and global stakeholders who are working towards accelerating progress in child mortality outcomes. Developed by the Toolkit Advisory Group and led by the Country Engagement Action Team, the searchable Toolkit is adaptable and can be used across contexts and various stages of CSA implementation. It can also support stakeholders as they assess the country context, identify game-changing priorities, advocate for these changes, develop/sharpen and implement action plans to achieve them, operationalize existing strategies, monitor implementation, and ensure accountability. 

At the launch webinar, participants learned about the background of CSA, the impetus for creating the toolkit, its purpose and development process, and key features and use cases. The recording and slides are available on the Task Force website. We invite you to explore the entire Toolkit and share your feedback with us.

Explore the Toolkit

New! Two-Pager from ENAP, EPMM, and CSA

At the WHA side event, Minister Demby and Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, introduced a new ENAP, EPMM, and CSA two-pager that outlines six clear actions to accelerate progress for MNCH care. The document was written and developed by Every Newborn Action Plan and Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality (ENAP EPMM) and CSA and designed by the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health.

Read the Two-Pager

Future CSA Updates

The Task Force will start hosting quarterly CSA webinars in an effort to provide members updates on the initiative's activities and achievements. It will also serve as a forum for members to pose questions and become more engaged in the process. More information to come.

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School health programs are a win-win for educators, health professionals, and most importantly, the children and adolescents whom they serve. We are excited to share a new addition to the School Health and Nutrition (SHN) Microlearning Toolkit – a self-paced e-learning course, School Health and Nutrition: From Principles to Practice, developed in partnership with USAID. This open-access course provides learners with the foundations to support the design, delivery, and monitoring of school-based health and nutrition interventions. 

Divided into three modules, the course progresses from theory to action:

  • MODULE 1: The Diverse Landscape of School Health and Nutrition
  • MODULE 2: Multi-Sector Coordination at the Heart of School Health and Nutrition
  • MODULE 3: Tools to Guide the Design of School Health and Nutrition Programs

We are planning a launch webinar in July that will delve into the course and its features, and details will be shared soon. To begin the course and explore other SHN resources, please visit the School Health and Nutrition Microlearning Toolkit.

Take the Course

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Image of a check list on a clipboardIn an effort to be closer to the countries where we work, the Task Force Steering Committee (SC) will convene on August 1–2 in Malawi. The timing of the SC meeting will also coincide with the country's mid-term review of the Child Health Strategy II (2021–2026): Pathway to Newborn, Infant, Child Survival and Health Development. SC members will contribute in the results dissemination meeting and discussions on recommendations for next steps for the country, while also connecting with key stakeholders. As usual, a full report outlining the agenda, progress, challenges, and next steps will be shared with Task Force members following the meeting.

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Did you know the Task Force is on social media? You can now find us on X. Be sure to follow @ChildHealthTF for more events, resources, and insights. We are also active on LinkedIn and encourage you to connect with us! Have something you would like us to share on our socials? Send us an email: ChildHealthTaskForce@jsi.com


Childhood Vaccination         
The subgroup hosted a meeting on March 20th in preparation for World Immunization Week 2024 that served as a forum to share partners' campaign initiatives and explore potential synergies for collaboration.

Private Sector Engagement, Newborn and Child Health Commodities, and Institutionalizing iCCM

The subgroups co-hosted a webinar on May 15, ORS and Zinc as standard of care for diarrhea management: Actions to improve uptake. Using key findings from a USAID-funded and PATH-led initiative, the webinar covered key global enablers/barriers to improve the use of ORS and zinc and included country experiences from Zambia, Nigeria, and Pakistan.

The Institutionalizing iCCM and Private Sector Engagement subgroups will co-host another webinar on implementation lessons from iCCM/FP introduction in Madagascar on June 25.



Digital Health and Innovations
The subgroup hosted a planning meeting on February 27 and webinar, Introduction to a New Online Smart digital Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (Smart dIMCI) course in collaboration with WHO on May 16.


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Monitoring & Evaluation          
The subgroup continued to lead the development of the CSA Results and Accountability framework and finalized a list of impact and outcome indicators. They also collaborated with with the CSA Country Engagement and Advocacy Action Teams to develop a CSA toolkit as part of the implementation milestones work.

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Nutrition and Child Health         
On April 4, the subgroup hosted a webinar, Is relapse after initial severe acute malnutrition (SAM) recovery a problem? Preliminary findings from a recent multi-country cohort study. The webinar covered the latest research on post-discharge outcomes following initial SAM recovery in CMAM programs.

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Quality of Care         
The subgroup hosted a webinar on April 23 to disseminate the recent WHO/UNICEF guidance on scheduled child and adolescent well-care visits. The webinar introduced the new guidance within the broader context of the child and adolescent health and wellbeing agenda and shared emerging efforts to map and rethink child health programming in Malawi.

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Re-imagining the Package of Care for Children         
The subgroup published a final report on their Adapting Health Systems to Protect Children from the Impact of Climate Change Series, co-hosted with UNICEF and Global Communities. 


Join individual subgroup mailing lists by completing this brief online form.

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Task Force Events

Recordings of previous Task-Force-hosted events can be found on our Events Page.

Partner Events

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