News / Health

UN: Child Mortality Rate Reduced by Half

Women holding children wait for a medical examination at the health centre in Gbangbegouine village, western Ivory Coast, July 4, 2013.
Women holding children wait for a medical examination at the health centre in Gbangbegouine village, western Ivory Coast, July 4, 2013.
Lisa Schlein
A new report says the number of global deaths among children under age five is almost half what it was 22 years ago.  A joint report by the United Nations Children’s Fund, the World Health Organization,and World Bank finds about 6.6 million children died before reaching their fifth birthday in 2012 compared to 12 million children who died in 1990. 

The report calls the progress being made in cutting child deaths remarkable.  However, it says this is still not good enough.  It says most child deaths are preventable, and that by applying a number of simple, affordable measures, more children’s lives can be saved.

Elizabeth Mason, director of the World Health Organization's department of maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health, says the first 28 days of life are critical for a child’s survival.  That, she says, is inextricably linked to the care the mother receives during pregnancy and, most importantly, the care she receives during labor, childbirth and the early hours of the baby’s life.

“We have new low-cost solutions that can reduce deaths of pre-term babies by up to three-quarters.  And these include anti-natal corticosteroid injections to the mother when she goes into pre-term labor, kangaroo mother-care where the baby is literally put into a pouch, but next to skin-to-skin care, next to the mother’s chest so that the baby can keep warm and can have early access to breast milk,” said Mason. 

The leading causes of death among children under five years old include pneumonia, prematurity, birth asphyxia, diarrhea and malaria.  Globally, WHO says about 45 percent of under-five deaths are linked to under-nutrition. 

The report says about half of under-five deaths occur in only five countries-China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Nigeria, and Pakistan.  It notes sub-Saharan Africa is the region with the highest child mortality rates in the world, with 98 deaths per 1,000 live births.

It says a child born in sub-Saharan Africa faces more than 16 times the risk of dying before his or her fifth birthday than a child born in a wealthy country.  At the same time, the report says the pace of decline in the number of annual deaths has quadrupled since 1990.

Mark Young, a senior adviser on health at the U.N. Children’s Fund, says overall economic development is helpful in reducing child mortality, but poor countries that have a good strategy can make significant gains. 

He cites the case of Niger, one of the poorest countries in West Africa.  Two decades ago, he says, Niger had the highest rate of under-five mortality in the world.  This, he says has been cut by nearly two-thirds.

“They have done this through a series of targeted, focused, government-led initiatives that UNICEF has supported," he said. "They instituted a free health care policy for women and children, abolished user fees, so increased financial access.  They expanded geographic access by establishing a series of rural health posts… staffed by community trained health workers to deliver essential maternal-newborn child health services at the peripheral level.  They implemented a series of integrated mass campaigns to deliver a package of high impact preventive interventions.” 

The package includes childhood immunization, vitamin A, and insecticide treated nets for malaria.  Young says Niger also has set up an emergency nutrition program to address child malnutrition.

The report notes other countries are also implementing life-saving interventions.  It says Ethiopia, Kenya, Niger, Tanzania, Bangladesh and states in India are following strategies to reduce child deaths from pneumonia and diarrhea, which together kill two million children each year. 

These interventions providing antibiotics and oral rehydration salts, introducing new vaccines against these diseases and ensuring access to sanitation and safe drinking water.

You May Like

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Babu G. Ranganathan
September 13, 2013 11:54 AM
PREVENTION AND HEALING OF DISEASE: Numerous scientific studies at universities and colleges have shown that the Aloe vera plant contains a myriad of nutrients (i.e. various vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, amino acids) which all together help prevent various diseases and to heal disease.

Read my popular Internet article, CHEMOTHERAPY SUCCESS WITH ALOE VERA! This is a must read article for all those diagnosed with cancer or who have a loved one who is. Just google the title to access the article. There are properties in aloe vera that greatly strengthen the immune system and help protect the immune system and healthy cells from being destroyed by chemo and radiation. The result is that the cancer cells are destroyed while the immune system and more of the healthy cells survive. The properties in aloe vera also help chemo/radiation patients suffer a lot less side effects from the chemo/radiation treatments.

Numerous scientific studies at universities and colleges have shown that the Aloe vera plant contains a myriad of nutrients to help prevent various diseases and to heal disease.

Babu G. Ranganathan
(B.A. Bible/Biology)

THE BEST WEAPON AGAINST GERMS OF ALL KINDS is colloidal silver. Germs, including viruses of all types, cannot develop resistance to colloidal silver. Please read my Internet article, PROTECT YOUR BODY WITH COLLOIDAL SILVER. Just google the title to access the article.
Babu G. Ranganathan
B.A. Bible/Biology

by: walla richard from: Douala_cameroon
September 13, 2013 11:50 AM
African leaders should sit up and try to handle this problem amicably, rather than base their ideas on corrupt practices in their various countries. Leaders, should look into the future with a lot of concern.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs