Child Death Rate Drops In Half, Fewer Kids Dying Globally Since '90s

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald April 05, 04:00 am
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The rate of child deaths dropped in half. A new report revealed fewer kids died globally as the death rate went down to 7.2 million in 2015 from 14.2 million in 1990.

The report, published in the JAMA Pediatrics journal, indicated the world got better at taking care of children around the world. The good news highlighted how child mortality rate improved in the last 25 years.

Among the reason for this improvement included efforts to vaccinate children and the push on prenatal care for mothers. Industries from all sides also helped in providing aid and development assistance or programs geared for public health.

The report, however, also highlighted uneven conditions among the countries. Places with better economics, income opportunities and education among residents fared better in curbing child deaths than in countries with low socio-economic levels. Experts determined premature birth, lower respiratory tract infections and swelling of the brain as the most common causes of deaths in children.

Dr. Nicholas Kassebaum conducted the research for the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation based in the University of Washington. He collaborated with researchers from Global Burden of Disease Child and Adolescent Health Collaboration in analyzing data from 195 countries, Reuters reported.

Countries experiencing economic and social challenges, however, had 75 percent child deaths in 2015. This rate rose from 61 percent in 1990, hence the uneven progress.

"Many of these countries may not have the necessary resources to have comprehensive childhood education," Kassebaum told NPR. "They may not be able to deal with congenital birth defects or cerebral palsy and childhood cancer and mental health disorders that start to crop up in later youth," he added.

Kassebaum advised sustaining investments and international attention for children in poorer countries. World leaders should continue to evaluate, devise and implement strategies, and then monitor the progress of these programs.

"You have to think of childhood and adolescence as a continuum," Kassebaum said. "We have to continue to address the health challenges of all children and adolescents."

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