Thursday, September 10, 2009

Child Mortality drops below 9 million

For this first time ever, the numbers of children dying before their fifth birthday each year are below 9 million. This stat according to new data from UNICEF.

Only four nations saw their rates of child mortality increase, the nations are South Africa, Chad, Congo and Kenya.

From this New York Times story written by Celia Dugger, we read more of the staticists.

The child mortality rate has declined by more than a quarter in the last two decades — to 65 per 1,000 live births last year from 90 in 1990 — in large part because of the widening distribution of relatively inexpensive technologies, like measles vaccines and anti-malaria mosquito nets.

Other simple practices have helped, public health experts say, including a rise in breast-feeding alone for the first six months of life, which protects children from diarrhea caused by dirty water.

Wealthy nations, international agencies and philanthropists like Bill and Melinda Gates have committed billions of dollars to the effort. Schoolchildren and church groups have also pitched in, paying for mosquito nets and feeding programs.

Taken together, they have helped cut the number of children under 5 who died last year to 8.8 million — the lowest since records were first kept in 1960, Unicef said — from 12.5 million in 1990.

“That’s 10,000 less children dying per day,” said Unicef’s executive director, Ann M. Veneman.

Even so, there is still a long way to go before achieving the goal set by leaders of 189 nations in 2000: to cut the child mortality rate by two-thirds by 2015. Pneumonia and diarrhea, the two leading causes of child deaths, are still relatively neglected, especially compared with malaria and measles, experts say.

1 comment:

David M Fine said...

14,1 million children living in poverty in the USA

Economic Policy Institute

good blog