Child mortality update

By Ryan Smith

A newborn in Afghanistan. (Mary Kate MacIsaac/WV)

A newborn in Afghanistan. (Mary Kate MacIsaac/WV)

In a significant milestone for child health, the number of deaths in children under age 5 has dropped below 10,000 per day. While this number is tragically high, it represents a significant improvement in the last decade—and in the last year.

The New York Times, citing a recent UNICEF report, says:

The child mortality rate has declined by more than a quarter in the last two decades—to 65 per 1,000 live births last year from 90 in 1990—in large part because of the widening distribution of relatively inexpensive technologies, like measles vaccines and anti-malaria mosquito nets.

Other simple practices have helped, public health experts say, including a rise in breast-feeding alone for the first six months of life, which protects children from diarrhea caused by dirty water.

In our Autumn 2009 issue, we detailed the some of the ways World Vision is Combating the Child Killers. With the most current statistics at the time of publication, we reported that 9.2 million children under age 5 died each year. This new report says that number has been reduced to 8.8 million.

Please join us in thanking God for this news of progress and in continued prayer for those still in need.

Read the full New York Times article.

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