On Wednesday, UNICEF and the World Health Organisation said the number of children who die before they are 5 years of age every year is declining. From more than 12million in 1990 it reduced to 7.6million in 2010. In their annual report on child mortality the group reported that since the last decade about 12,000 fewer children died in the present decade. The rate of improvement has more than doubled in the sub-Saharan Africa where the rate of child mortality is the highest. Anthony Lake, executive director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said that this is a sign that progress can be made even in the poorest regions in the field of improving the child mortality rate. Despite the improvement in the mortality rate more than 21,000 children die every day because of causes that could have been prevented. According to Anthony Lake focusing greater funds on the most underprivileged community will further help in saving the lives of many children. In the year 1990 the annual deaths of children below five years of age was 88 per 1,000 live births it fell to 57 per 1000 births in the year 2010.
These improvements made in the rate of child mortality are not enough to meet the goal set by the United Nation which was set in the year 2000 to reduce the child mortality by two-third by the year 2015. The group says that more money is needed to reach this aim. Dr. Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organization, said, “This is proof that investing in children’s health is money well spent, and a sign that we need to accelerate that investment through the coming years.” Dr. Margaret also said that many factors are contributing towards reducing the child mortality rates. Some of the factors playing a crucial role in this are better access to healthcare services for the newborns, prevention and treatment of diseases in children, better access to vaccines, clean drinking water and food with better nutritional value.
Ian Pett, chief of Health Systems and Strategic Planning at UNICEF, in a telephonic interview said, “There is more attention being paid to what ensures health globally. Many other countries are trying to do the same thing” For instance, the government of Sierra Leone in the month of April waived off all fees for healthcare services for children and mothers. This prompted a big improvement in the rates of child mortality.