Letter: Reach Act deserves U.S. Senate support

As a student, I’m grateful for the educational opportunities I’ve been provided, but unfortunately, many children around the world will never have the same chances to learn — or even reach their fifth birthday.

Our nation has been a moral leader in the fight to end preventable deaths of mothers and children from causes such as pneumonia, malaria and diarrhea. We have made great strides over the past few decades, but we still have a long way to go.

In fact, 16,000 children die each day from preventable causes and 800 women die each day from complications during pregnancy and childbirth. These women and children deserve to live, go to school and have a bright future.

That’s why I’m heartened by the Reach Every Mother and Child Act (Reach Act): a bold piece of bipartisan legislation that would help expand proven solutions to end these deaths within a generation. And because the U.S. cannot do it alone, the bill would introduce new financing mechanisms to bring in new investors and improve the use of existing taxpayer dollars.

This legislation gives our country the chance to continue its leadership and keep its promise to help end preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths.

These deaths disproportionately affect the world’s most vulnerable populations and are simply inexcusable. I urge Senator Chuck Grassley and Senator Joni Ernst to act now and co-sponsor the recently reintroduced Reach Act for all children to receive a strong start in life.

Sruthi Palaniappan

Cedar Rapids, IA

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