The chances of a child to die in his or her first five years were reduced to a half in the past 25 years, a recent UN report shows. Nevertheless, another long-term U.N. goal was missed by a wide margin.
U.N. researchers explained that children in developing countries are at the highest risk of dying in their first month. The U.N. report was a collaboration of the United Nations with the World Health Organization (WHO) and World Bank.
Flavia Bustreo of the WHO believes that the figures can be improved and child mortality can get further down if world leaders could find new ways of preventing neonatal mortality.
WHO researchers think that the best solutions should focus on prevention. Newborns should have a pediatrician around that can train parents on how to better take care of their babies and can prevent silent killers including severe sepsis and asphyxia.
Breastfeeding should also be encouraged and early vaccinations for common diseases, WHO scientists also suggested.
The recent report is a valuable document for the incoming meeting of world leaders in New York by the end of the month. Attendees are expected to discuss and negotiate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a new long-term and multi-phase plan designed to tackle worldwide poverty.
SDGs will be adopted gradually during the next 15 years and are expected to be a continuation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which were set in place 25 years ago and are slated to expire this year.
One MDG said child death rate in the first five years should be reduced by two-thirds by 2015. So far, the rate was trimmed by 53 percent, the recent U.N. report shows. Geeta Rao Gupta, head of the United Nations’ arm fighting for children rights’ worldwide (UNICEF) said that the recent report shows the organization made a tremendous progress in reducing child mortality.
Yet, Gupta added that the number of children under five who die from perfectly preventable causes is still too high. Gupta believes that redoubling efforts should reduce the mortality rate even more.
The main cause children fail to reach their fifth year of life is malnutrition, the U.N. said. But the good news is that the mortality rate of these children is falling at a faster pace than it did between 1990 and 2000.
According to the recently published U.N. report, children in sub-Saharan Africa have a 12 fold risk of dying before they are 5 years old than those in the Western world. On the other hand many poor states in Africa reached the two-thirds target. The report also shows that 16,000 children under age 5 die every day across the world.
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