Early childhood deaths halved since 1990: report

Early childhood deaths around the world have been cut in half since 1990 but some 18,000 children under five still die every day, according to a new report out Friday.

Around 6.6 million children perished before their fifth birthday last year, compared to 12.6 million in 1990, said the report by UNICEF, the World Bank and the World Health Organization.

The report credited more effective and affordable treatments, new ways of delivering healthcare to the poor, as well as political commitment for the gains.

But it also underscored that much remained to be done.

"This trend is a positive one. Millions of lives have been saved," said Anthony Lake, UNICEF's executive director.

However, "most of these deaths can be prevented, using simple steps that many countries have already put in place. What we need is a greater sense of urgency."

All regions except Oceania and sub-Saharan Africa saw more than a 50 percent decline.

In eastern Asia, early childhood deaths have dropped by 74 percent and in Northern Africa the decline was 69 percent.

But were still elevated in some regions, with around 80 percent of under-five deaths in 2012 still taking place in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

Currently some 18,000 children under five die every day. Half of those deaths take place in five countries: China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Nigeria, and Pakistan.

The immediate causes are mostly pneumonia, prematurity, , diarrhea and malaria, according to the report.

But 45 percent can be linked to undernutrition, it said.

The report also said that, despite the improvements, the effort to cut was falling short of the target set in the Millennium Development Goals—bringing the rate down by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Maternal deaths cut by half: UN

May 16, 2012

Better care has cut the number of women dying in pregnancy and childbirth by nearly half in the past two decades, but there is still a death every two minutes, according to UN figures released Wednesday.

Experts seek ramped up action to save newborn lives

Apr 15, 2013

More and more newborn babies are dying annually despite greater knowledge about what kills them, and cheap and simple measures to save them, a global conference in Johannesburg heard Monday.

Recommended for you

Suddenly health insurance is not for sale

Apr 18, 2014

(HealthDay)— Darlene Tucker, an independent insurance broker in Scotts Hill, Tenn., says health insurers in her area aren't selling policies year-round anymore.

Study: Half of jailed NYC youths have brain injury (Update)

Apr 18, 2014

About half of all 16- to 18-year-olds coming into New York City's jails say they had a traumatic brain injury before being incarcerated, most caused by assaults, according to a new study that's the latest in a growing body ...

Autonomy and relationships among 'good life' goals

Apr 18, 2014

Young adults with Down syndrome have a strong desire to be self-sufficient by living independently and having a job, according to a study into the meaning of wellbeing among young people affected by the disorder.

User comments