By Associated Press - Friday, April 30, 2021

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Senators from Maine and Delaware are proposing legislation that they believe would help U.S. efforts to stop preventable maternal and child deaths in the developing world.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware said Thursday the “Reach Every Mother and Child Act” is an effort to end the preventable deaths of mothers and young children by 2030. Collins said the proposal would help provide “simple, proven, cost-effective interventions, including clean birthing practices, vaccines, and nutritional supplements.”

The proposal would establish a position called “maternal and child survival coordinator” in the U.S. Agency for International Development. The senators said the coordinator would be tasked with implementing the strategy and making sure effective health interventions are scaled up in developing countries.

The senators said nearly 300,000 women die annually from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. They also said more than 5 million children under 5 years of age died from preventable and treatable diseases in 2019.

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