The Indian government plans to engage the private sector and aid community more as part of a strategic approach to reduce child mortality launched last week at a national summit on child survival in Chennai.

The summit is a follow-up to the “Global Child Survival Call to Action: A Promise to Keep” gathering last June in Washington, as well as last month’s “Africa Leadership for Child Survival” meeting in Addis Ababa.

The goal is “to have the leadership of the health structure in the country on board,” Dr. Ariel Pablos-Mendez told Devex on Feb. 7, the first day of the three-day summit. Pablos-Mendez serves as assistant administrator for global health at the U.S. Agency for International Development, which co-sponsored all three child survival events

Ethiopia and India are among five priority countries for USAID’s child survival program last year, together with Nigeria, Pakistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This year, the largest bilateral donor has expanded that list to include Bangladesh, Indonesia, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique and Senegal.

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