Fall in child mortality in Africa and Asia is “grossly insufficient” to meet millennium development goal, says Unicef

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 16 September 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3810
  1. John Zarocostas
  1. 1Geneva

The annual number of deaths worldwide among children aged under 5 years fell by nearly a third between 1990 and 2008, from 12.5 million to 8.8 million, show new data from Unicef.

However, the agency says, progress still remains “grossly insufficient,” especially in the Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia regions, to reach the target under the United Nations’ fourth millennium development goal of a two thirds reduction in the number by 2015.

Overall there was a 28% fall over nearly two decades in the global death rate among under 5s, from 90 deaths per 1000 live births in 1990 to 65 per 1000 in 2008.

The death rate in this age group has fallen by 22% since 1990 in the Sub-Saharan Africa region and by 39% in South Asia, not enough for the 2015 target to be reached. …

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