Reports On Child Mortality And Stillbirths:
Two global reports on child mortality (Levels and Trends in Child Mortality) and stillbirths (Never Forgotten) were released by United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME).
Findings of the Report:
- Globally, 5 million children died before their fifth birthday (under-five mortality) in 2021.
- Over half of these (2.7 million) occurred among children aged 1-59 months, while the remainder (2.3 million) occurred in just the first month of life (neonatal deaths).
- India’s share in these child mortalities was estimated around 7 lakhs under-five deaths; 5.8 lakhs infant deaths (death before first birthday); and 4.4 lakhs neonatal deaths.
- The global under-5 mortality rate fell by 50% since the start of the century, while mortality rates in older children and youth dropped by 36%, and the stillbirth rate decreased by 35%.
- This can be attributed to more investments in strengthening primary health systems to benefit women, children and young people.
- However, gains have reduced significantly since 2010, and 54 countries will fall short of meeting the Sustainable Development Goals target for under-5 mortality.
- Sub-Saharan Africa and southern Asia continue to have the highest rates of child mortality, with children born in sub-Saharan Africa having the lowest chances of surviving.
- Access to and availability of quality health care continues to be a matter of life or death for children globally.
- Most child deaths occur in the first five years, of which half are within the first month of life.
- For these youngest babies, premature birth and complications during labour are the leading causes of death.
- For children that survive past their first 28 days, infectious diseases like pneumonia, diarrhoea and malaria pose the biggest threat, the global health agency found.
- Globally, an estimated 1.9 million stillbirths happened in 2021.
- In 2021, the absolute estimated number of stillbirths in India (2,86,482) was greater than the death amongst children in 1-59 months of age (2,67,565).