UNICEF reports on child mortality

According to this article from the BBC,

     Progress in cutting the number of deaths among children under five is still “grossly insufficient” in some parts of the world, Unicef has warned.
     Its report, published in the Lancet, shows there has been a fall of 28% in child deaths since 1990.
     But the UN children’s agency warns many poorer countries will not meet the 2015 Millennium Development Goal of cutting that figure by two thirds.
     The situation is worst in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia, it said.

Here are some facts from the report:

  • 9.2 million children aged under five died across the world last year
  • Deaths among under-fives have dropped 50% since 1990 in Europe, East Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Pacific
  • “Over the same period, deaths in western and central Africa have fallen by just 18%; in sub-Saharan Africa the figure was 21%, while in eastern and southern Africa it was 26%”
  • Death rate for children under five in Sierra Leone: 26.2%. In the developed world: 0.6%.
  • Malnutrition is a “contributing factor” in one third of under-five mortality cases.

The good news: “Since 1960, the global under-five mortality rate has declined more than 60%, and the new data shows that downward trend continues.”

UNICEF said that  “while interventions in some areas, such as immunisations or insecticide-treated bednets to prevent malaria, have been effective, there is a ‘disappointingly’ low coverage of services to treat pneumonia and diarrhoea.”

Further, “HIV and Aids have had a significant impact on child deaths,” but that “better HIV prevention is likely to help improve child survival.”

UNICEF cites sanitation, nutrition, HIV prevention, and better data collection techniques are key to further improvements.



~ by h.e.g. on September 16, 2008.

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