September 16, 2010 / 11:04 PM / 9 years ago

FACTBOX - Key findings of UNICEF study on child mortality

Sept 17 (Reuters) - Childhood death rates have fallen by a third since 1990, but the decline is not fast enough to meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goal of a two-thirds reduction by 2015.

Key findings of the data and study published by the United Nations children’s fund (UNICEF) in The Lancet medical journal are as follows:

(For a story on the findings, click on

* Globally, the number of deaths among children aged under five has fallen from 12.4 million in 1990 to 8.1 million in 2009. This means that more than 22,000 children under five die each day — 12,000 fewer than in 1990.

* Undernutrition is an underlying cause of at least a third of all under-5 deaths.

* Northern Africa and eastern Asia have made the most progress in reducing child mortality, by 68 percent and 58 percent respectively.

* Ten countries with under-five mortality above 40 per 1,000 births in 1990 have reduced their rate by at least half, with Bangladesh, Eritrea, Laos, Madagascar, Nepal, and Timor-Leste recording at least a 60 percent reduction.

* In sub-Saharan Africa one in every eight children dies before his or her fifth birthday. This is double the average for developing regions and around 20 times that of high-income countries.

* The number of countries with under-five death rates of 100 or more per 1,000 births is down to 31 in 2009 from 52 in 1990. All of these 31 countries are in sub-Saharan Africa.

* In southern Asia, about 1 in 14 children dies before the age of five and more than half of under-5 deaths are in the neonatal period — aged 28 days or younger.

SOURCE: The Lancet/UNICEF (Compiled by Kate Kelland; Editing by Charles Dick)

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