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

    In Britain, The Sun Still Doesn’t Shine

    Invoking Spitfires and Merlin, Leave voters insist country can be great again, following surprising 'Brexit' vote last week

    Double Wave of Suicide Bombings Puts Lebanon, Refugees on Edge

    Following suicide bombings in Christian town of Al-Qaa, on Lebanon's northeast border with Syria, fears of further bombings have risen

    US Senators Warned on Zika After Failing to Pass Funding

    Zika threats and challenges, as well as issues of contraception and vaccines, spelled out as lawmakers point fingers

    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.
    Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeasti
    X
    June 29, 2016 6:15 PM
    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora