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

VOA Exclusive: Interview With Myanmar President Thein Sein

Thein Sein calls allegations that minority Muslim Rohingya are fleeing alleged torture in Rakhine state a media fabrication More

Video Better Protective Suit Sought for Ebola Caregivers

Current suit is uncomfortable, requires too many steps for removal, increasing chance of deadly contact with virus More

UN Rights Commission Investigates Eritrea

Three-member commission will start collecting first-hand information from victims and other witnesses in Switzerland and Italy next week 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.
Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concernsi
X
November 19, 2014 11:39 PM
The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.
Video

Video What Jon Stewart Learned About Iran From 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news program "The Daily Show" talks with Saman Arbabi of Voice of America's Persian service about Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."
Video

Video Lebanese Winemakers Thrive Despite War Next Door

In some of the most volatile parts of Lebanon, where a constant flow of refugees crosses the border from Syria, one industry continues to flourish against the odds. Lebanese winemakers say after surviving a brutal civil war in the 1970s and 80s, they can survive anything. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
Video

Video China's Rise Closely Watched

China’s role as APEC host this week allowed a rare opportunity for Beijing to showcase its vision for the global economy and the region. But as China’s stature grows, so have tensions with other countries, including the United States. VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing reports on how China’s rise as a global power is seen among Chinese and Americans.

All About America

AppleAndroid