Child mortality decreases by half


A recent UNICEF report has revealed that child mortality, since 1990, has decreased by almost 50%. The current figures of the deaths of children under-five years have fallen below six million from around 12.7 million.

The report disclosed that a ‘convention on the rights of the child’ was initially framed 25 years back to secure the rights of children. Later, in 2000, the world expended the process in the millennium development goals, and now in 2013, the convention was renewed by promising the Child Survival Call to action – a promise to end child deaths.

The report further publicized that the millennium development goal or MDG 4 had aimed to reduce the deaths of children below the age of five, by almost two-third, but could achieve to decrease the rate by half, which was still an accomplishment as the world was able to save 48 million lives since 2000. In Pakistan alone the under-five morality rate has decreased to 81 deaths per 1000 live births.

While focusing on the future, the report revealed that considering the progress that has been made and the level of acceleration in the advancement in reaching the goals, with scarce resources, and other hurdles, it is becoming evident that the child mortality curve can be bent – adding that the results give a clear message.

“We can choose a better future for the world’s children – if we wish to.”

The report further explained that although the world seems to be reaching the MDG goals, there is much to be done and it’s the right time to take charge to reach the new global agenda and new targets. It is assumed that by the end of 2015, the statistics would trigger up to a total of 236 million children deaths (before their 5th birthday), since 1990.

To maintain the current rate and level of progress by the end of MDG period, this year’s end, nations would need to put high levels of political commitment. As per the date of the publication, 79 countries had an under 5 mortality rate that exceeded 25 per 1000 target set for 2030, including Pakistan.

32 of these countries are expected to reach the target, but only if they sustain the rate of progress. Pakistan lies in this list, but experts comment that irregular patterns have been observed in Pakistan and its progress cannot be anticipated – on prior demographics. Other 42 countries need to accelerate their progress by a double to reach the MDG.