9,000 preventable infant deaths


Thousands of newborns die from preventable diseases every day

Thousands of babies die every day due to the lack of adequate medical care. According to "World Online", citing figures from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations, around 9,000 newborn babies under the age of four weeks succumb to an actually avoidable disease. According to the WHO, almost all infant deaths (99 percent) occur in developing and emerging countries.

For infants in poorer countries with poorer medical care, the time immediately after birth is particularly critical. According to the WHO, around 40 percent of all deaths among children under the age of five occur in the first 28 days after birth. As countries with particularly high child mortality, “Welt Online” primarily names African countries such as the Congo and Nigeria, but also countries such as China, Pakistan and India.

Millennium Development Goal to Reduce Child Mortality Reducing child mortality is one of the Millennium Development Goals that were adopted by the international community in 2000. According to the United Nations' decision at the Millennium Summit, child mortality among under-five adolescents is to be reduced “by two thirds (from 10.6 percent to 3.5 percent) between 1990 and 2015”. Although significant progress has already been made and the number of deaths among newborns has decreased by around 1.3 million in the first four weeks of life between 1990 and 2009 (from 4.6 million to 3.3 million), many are still dying today Too many children worldwide have preventable or treatable diseases, according to the WHO.

Particularly high infant mortality rates in India, Nigeria, Pakistan and China In terms of total deaths, India is the unfortunate leader. According to WHO figures, around 900,000 newborns die here every year, which corresponds to 28 percent of the worldwide deaths of infants aged up to four weeks. Nigeria and Pakistan follow in second and third place, with China in fourth place. However, China has made significant progress in the past few years and the People's Republic is still relatively far ahead in terms of total child mortality due to the enormous population. With regard to the proportion of deaths among the total number of live births, China, on the other hand, has almost half the child mortality rate. In 1990, there were still 23 deaths per 1000 live births; in 2009 there were only 11 deaths per 1000 live births, reports the WHO. With massive investments in healthcare, China has significantly reduced child mortality. However, the Millennium Development Goal to reduce child mortality by two thirds has not yet been achieved.

Ten countries have reduced child mortality by two thirds. According to the WHO, the situation is different in, for example, Estonia, Greece, Luxembourg, the Czech Republic and Cyprus, where child mortality has been reduced by more than two thirds since 1990. A total of ten countries have already achieved the Millennium Development Goal to reduce child mortality, reports the WHO. In most African countries, however, little progress has been made in recent years. For example, the African countries show an average drop in child mortality of just one percent per year, which would mean that the mortality rate of newborns will only reach roughly the level of modern industrialized countries such as Germany, Great Britain or the USA in 150 years. Achieving the Millennium Development Goal therefore already seems impossible. A significant improvement could only be achieved by substantial investments in the health care of the countries on the African continent. However, since many of the African countries with particularly high child mortality rates are still plagued by hunger and war, an adequate expansion of the health system to care for the population and newborns hardly seems conceivable. (fp)

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