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

Can YouTube save your life?

6 hours ago

Only a handful of CPR and basic life support (BLS) videos available on YouTube provide instructions which are consistent with recent health guidelines, according to a new study published in Emergency Medicine Australasia, the jo ...

Doctors frequently experience ethical dilemmas

7 hours ago

(HealthDay)—For physicians trying to balance various financial and time pressures, ethical dilemmas are common, according to an article published Aug. 7 in Medical Economics.

AMGA: Physician turnover still high in 2013

7 hours ago

(HealthDay)—For the second year running, physician turnover remains at the highest rate since 2005, according to a report published by the American Medical Group Association (AMGA).

Obese or overweight teens more likely to become smokers

8 hours ago

A study examining whether overweight or obese teens are at higher risk for substance abuse finds both good and bad news: weight status has no correlation with alcohol or marijuana use but is linked to regular ...

Taking preventive health care into community spaces

9 hours ago

A church. A city park. An office. These are not the typical settings for a medical checkup. But a new nationwide study by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research shows that providing health services in ...

User comments