Felix Salmon

Good news of the day, infant mortality edition

By Felix Salmon
September 11, 2009

Unicef reports:

UNICEF today released new figures that show the rate of deaths of children under five years of age continued to decline in 2008.

The data shows a 28 per cent decline in the under-five mortality rate, from 90 deaths per 1000 live births in 1990, to 65 deaths per 1000 live births in 2008…

The data shows global under-five mortality has decreased steadily over the past two decades, and that the rate of the decline in the under-five mortality rates has increased since the 1990s. The average rate of decline from 2000 to 2008 is 2.3 per cent, compared to a 1.4 per cent average decline from 1990 to 2000.

The bad news is that infant mortality is still far too high, and is highly concentrated: just three countries — India, Nigeria, and the Democratic Republic of Congo — between them account for 40% of the world’s under-5 deaths. And in countries like South Africa where a large number of women of child-bearing age have HIV/AIDS, that’s going to show up in infant-mortality figures as well.

But the good news is that significant advances in things like infant mortality can be made even when wealth and growth are low, especially with targeted development aid. Let’s have more bed nets!

One comment so far | RSS Comments RSS

Getting people to use bed nets as they were intended is as much an issue as the supply of bed nets.

Posted by Tom | Report as abusive

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