Thursday, September 13, 2012

Vietnam - Vietnam ranks 108th in world’s under-5 mortality rate

Despite standing at the 108th place in the world’s mortality rate of children under five years of age, Vietnam has made a big leap of progress in the last two decades, according to the latest report by UNICEF on child survival, which was released today.

Of every 1,000 live births in Vietnam, 50 children died in 1990 and the toll was reduced to 22 in 2011, making it a decline rate of 57 percent in the last 20 years. This is far better than the average child mortality reduction rate of 41 percent in the world in the same period.

In general, the global mortality rate of children under the age of five fell from nearly 12 million in 1990 to an estimated 6.9 million in 2011.

Leading causes of child deaths include pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria, neonatal deaths, under-nutrition and HIV/AIDS.

San Marino, an island nation in the Italian peninsula, tops the latest report with only 2 child deaths for every 1,000 live births in 2011.

The next followers on the world’s lowest under-five mortality rates include Singapore, the Nordic countries, small European countries and Japan, each having 3 deaths among 1,000 live births last year. Australia and New Zealand follow with 5-6 deaths.

Sierra Leone in Sub-Saharan Africa stands at the bottom of the list of 207 countries with 185 deaths of children under five per every 1,000 births. Somalia and Mali are slightly better with 180 and 176 child deaths, respectively.

Notably, the report showed that half of all under-five deaths occur in just five countries. They are India with 1.7 million child deaths, accounting for 24 percent; Nigeria with 756,000 deaths at 11 percent; Democratic Republic of the Congo with 465,000 at 7 percent; Pakistan with 352,000 at 5 percent; and China with 249,000 at 4 percent.

“The global decline in under-five mortality is a significant success that is a testament to the work and dedication of many, including governments, donors, agencies and families,” said Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director. “But there is also unfinished business: millions of children under five are still dying each year from largely preventable causes for which there are proven, affordable interventions.

“These lives could be saved with vaccines, adequate nutrition and basic medical and maternal care. The world has the technology and know-how to do so. The challenge is to make these available to every child.”


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