MDG Progress in Short 4: Reduce Child Mortality

Here, it can be noted that a well-fed child stands a better chance of fighting off illness.  Child mortality is clearly linked to hunger and mother’s education, as well as environmental circumstances including communicable disease.

GOAL 4: Reduce Child Mortality

TARGET:  Reduce by two thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate.

Substantial progress has been made in reducing child deaths. Since 1990, the mortality rate for children under age five in developing countries dropped by 28 per cent—from 100 deaths per 1,000 live births to 72 in 2008. Globally, the total number of under-five deaths declined from 12.5 million in 1990 to 8.8 million in 2008.

…The greatest advances were made in Northern Africa, Eastern Asia, Western Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the countries of the CIS. But most striking is the progress that has been made in some of the world’s poorest countries. Against steep odds, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Eritrea, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malawi, Mongolia
and Nepal have all reduced their under-five mortality rates by 4.5 per cent annually or more. Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique and Niger have seen absolute reductions of more than 100 per 1,000 live births since 1990.

Four diseases—pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria and AIDS— accounted for 43 per cent of all deaths in children under five worldwide in 2008. Most of these lives could have been saved through low-cost prevention and treatment measures, including antibiotics for acute respiratory infections, oral rehydration for diarrhoea, immunization, and the use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets and appropriate drugs for malaria. The need to refocus attention on pneumonia and diarrhoea—two of the three leading killers of children—is urgent (pg. 29).

All the data listed in this blog set are pulled from the Millenium Development Goals Report of 2010, a progress report issued by the UN earlier in 2010. Each goal can help us understand some of the pressing crises of the world, bringing it into focus in our own lives.  Click here to find out some ways to get involved and make this new year time to reflect on the needs of the world.


About C. Sala Hewitt

C. Sala Hewitt
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