- Death of children below the age of five continues to steadily reduce in India, declining from nearly 22 per cent in 2012 to 18 per cent in 2017, which is now for the first time below the one million mark, the UN said in a new report.
- The reports have been released by the United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UNIGME).
- UNIGME is a combination of Unicef, the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Population Division and the World Bank Group.
- It says that the death of children below the age of five continues to steadily reduce in India, declining from nearly 22 percent in 2012 to 18 percent in 2017, which is now for the first time below the one million marks.
- The under-five mortality rate of India at 39 per 1000 now equals that of the world, highlighting the much faster decline by India in the last five years as compared to the global decline.
- According to the report, the gender gap in child survival has reduced almost four-fold in the last five years, with under-five mortality of girl child now being 2.5 percent higher, compared to nearly 10 percent in 2012.
- An estimated 6.3 million children under 15 years of age died in 2017 and the vast majority of these deaths, 5.4 million occurred in the first five years of life.
- Globally in 2017, half of all deaths under five years of age took place in sub-Saharan Africa and another 30 percent in Southern Asia.
- In sub-Saharan Africa, one in 13 children died before their fifth birthday.
- In high-income countries, that number was one in 185.
- In 2017, 2.5 million newborns died in their first month. A baby born in sub-Saharan Africa or in Southern Asia was nine times more likely to die in the first month than a baby born in a high-income country.
- The most children under five die due to preventable or treatable causes such as complications during birth, pneumonia, diarrhea, neonatal sepsis and malaria.
- Under-five mortality rates among children in rural areas are, on average, 50 percent higher than among children in urban areas.