UNICEF Estimates 6.3M Children Died in 2017, a Kid Every 5 Seconds

Published September 20th, 2018 - 02:47 GMT
Aleppo, June, 2016. (AFP / Thaer Mohammed)
Aleppo, June, 2016. (AFP / Thaer Mohammed)

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Population Division and the World Bank Group released new mortality estimates, on Tuesday, that an estimated 6.3 million children under the age of 15 died in 2017 or one child every five seconds.

According to the UNICEF report, the cause of death is the lack of water, sanitation, nutrition and basic health care, saying that the vast majority of these deaths, 5.4 million, occurred in the first five years of life. Newborns account half of the deaths.

UNICEF expert, Lawrence Chandy, said "By simple solutions such as medicines, clean water, electricity and vaccines, the number could be reduced significantly, but 56 million children under the age of five, and half of them being newborns, will die from now until 2030 if there is no urgent action."

The report stated that half of the deaths of children under five in 2017 occurred in sub-Saharan Africa, where one in every 13 children died before turning 15 years old, however, this rate in high-income countries was one in 185 children.

"Most children under the age of five die from preventable or treatable causes, such as obstetric complications, pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria poisoning," the report said.

The report mentioned that injuries are the most common cause of death among children between the ages of five and fourteen, specifically drowning and traffic accidents.

"The most serious period for children everywhere is the first month," the report added , "In 2017, 2.5 million newborns died in their first month."

Globally, Sub-Saharan African or South Asian children were nine times more likely to die in the first month than in high-income countries.

Despite these rates, the report noted that fewer children die each year worldwide. The number of deaths under the age of five, fell dramatically to 5.4 million in 2017 from 12.6 million in 1990.

The number of deaths among children between the ages of five and fourteen, fell to less than 1 million from 1.7 million during the same period.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

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