Global health success – Drop in childhood death rate

From the Fixes blog of the New York Times:

At this time of awful news of the needless death of children, there comes reason for optimism about the health of the world’s youngest.

Sierra Leone, Malawi, Laos, Bangladesh and Nicaragua are among the poorest nations in the world. The state of countries like these is often cited to illustrate the failures of development, the persistence of poverty. But here’s what has changed: Bangladesh dropped its death rate of children under 5 by two-thirds between 1990 and 2010. Child mortality is down by 56.5 percent in Malawi since 1990, 63.8 percent in Sierra Leone, 55.6 percent in Laos, and 61.9 percent in Nicaragua.

As remarkable as these gains may be, more remarkable still is the fact that they are far from alone. A massive study published last week called the Global Burden of Disease report found that in the past 20 years, the death rate of children under 5 has dropped in every country in the world save three — Kuwait, Tonga and Zimbabwe. Stunning gains took place in all regions, under all economic and political systems and at all income levels:  El Salvador, China, Oman and Portugal all saw drops of more than 70 percent. Even North Korea did just about as well as South Korea — a 49.9 percent drop in the North, 55.1 percent in the South.

Read the complete post here.

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