LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Give kids a chance to live and thrive

Last week was an amazing time with the pope’s visit and the world leaders announcing the new Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty and hunger and ensure everyone has access to quality education and health care by 2030. Congress is also launching bipartisan efforts to end preventable maternal and child deaths.

I’m excited about how the work is changing because growing up in rural Kenya was not an easy task. The struggle to survive and get anywhere close to success was tough. So, when I finally got the opportunity to join my husband in the United States, I knew that my children would have a better chance in life than I did.

I remember the birth of my little girl in Christiana Hospital in Newark, like it was yesterday. I not only had my doctor present, but my midwife, a nurse and a pediatrician were present, too! I mean, it was a full house.

I felt safe, and I knew my baby would be safe. Now, with only one month remaining to turn one year, my daughter is more than what we could have asked for: she is bubbly and healthy, a ball of energy and on track with all her immunizations, and definitely, her future looks bright.

Unfortunately, I know that’s not the case in Kenya, where I was born and raised, including other developing countries. Today, 6.3 million children still die of mainly preventable and treatable causes before they reach their fifth birthdays.

We have the capacity to solve this problem. In 2014, I joined RESULTS, a movement of passionate, committed, everyday people. Together, we use our voices to influence political decisions that will bring an end to poverty.
RESULTS has given me an opportunity to raise my voice for the voiceless. During the 2015 RESULTS annual conference, I had the incredible opportunity to meet aides from both Sen. Chris Coons’ and Sen. Thomas Carper’s offices, and also Congressman John Carney, to discuss a bipartisan bill sponsored by Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Chris Coons, D-Delaware, which is designed to end these preventable deaths.

The Reach Every Mother and Child Act (S.1911) will instruct the United States Agency for International Development to focus on the poorest and most-vulnerable populations while using clear and measurable goals. Efficient and proven methods that work to save lives will be implemented without requiring additional funding.

As a mother, I want nothing but the best for my daughter: good health care, nutrition and disease prevention.

I also believe that no matter where a child is born, they deserve to live, thrive, get an education, and fulfill their potential. As a Delaware constituent, I am so proud to have a senator who is taking a lead in putting children and mothers on the frontline of the society. I’m calling on all other Delaware policymakers to cosponsor the Reach Act and to bring Republican colleagues along so that we see the end of preventable child deaths.

If you would like to make a difference around global education, health, economic opportunity, contact Alice Aluoch on alice.nzioki1@gmail.com or her cell, 897-4224.

Alice Aluoch
New Castle

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