Child mortality

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Child mortality, also known as under-5 mortality or child death, refers to the death of infants and children under the age of five or between the age of one month to four years depending on the definition. A child's death is emotionally and physically hard on the parents. Many deaths in the majority world go unreported since many poor families cannot afford to register their babies in the government registry.

The same causes and preventative measures that apply to infant mortality (i.e. for children younger than one year old) also apply to understanding child mortality.

Globally in 2013 3.7 million child aged one month to 4 years of age died, down 7.6 million in 1990.[1] About half of child deaths occur in Sub-Saharan Africa. Reduction of child mortality is the fourth of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals. In contrast a century or two ago anywhere from 30 percent to 50 percent died worldwide on average.[2][3]

Causes[edit]

Further information: Infant mortality

Most child deaths (and 70% in developing countries) result from one or more of the following five causes:[4][5]

Prevention[edit]

Further information: Child survival and Infant mortality

Two-thirds of child deaths are preventable.[6] Most of the children who die each year could be saved by low-tech, evidence-based, cost-effective measures such as vaccines, antibiotics, micronutrient supplementation, insecticide-treated bed nets, improved family care and breastfeeding practices,[7] and oral rehydration therapy.[8] Empowering women, removing financial and social barriers to accessing basic services, developing innovations that make the supply of critical services more available to the poor and increasing local accountability of health systems are policy interventions that have allowed health systems to improve equity and reduce mortality.[9]

In developing countries, child mortality rates related to respiratory and diarrheal diseases can be reduced by introducing simple behavioral changes, such as handwashing with soap. This simple action can reduce the rate of morality from these diseases by almost 50 per cent.[10]

Epidemiology[edit]

The under-5 mortality rate is the number of children who die by the age of five, per thousand live births per year. In 2013, the world average was 46 (4.6%), down from 90 (9.0%) in 1990. The average was 6 in developed countries and 50 in developing countries, including 92 in Sub-Saharan Africa. The highest rate in the world was 167, in Angola.[11] Likewise, there are disparities between wealthy and poor households in developing countries. According to a Save the Children paper, children from the poorest households in India are three times more likely to die before their fifth birthday than those from the richest households.[12] However, there are also limitations in calculating an accurate rate in developing countries, especially in rural areas. An ethnographic study in Pacatuba, Brazil, found that the under-5 mortality rate only accounted for 44.4% of the actual deaths that occurred in the community. High travel costs, lost labor, and a withdrawal of socio-economic benefits are factors as to why deaths may not be reported to government vital statistics agencies within a country.[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ GBD 2013 Mortality and Causes of Death, Collaborators (17 December 2014). "Global, regional, and national age-sex specific all-cause and cause-specific mortality for 240 causes of death, 1990–2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013.". Lancet 385 (9963): 117–71. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61682-2. PMC 4340604. PMID 25530442. 
  2. ^ http://www.gapminder.org/world/#$majorMode=chart$is;shi=t;ly=2003;lb=f;il=t;fs=11;al=30;stl=t;st=t;nsl=t;se=t$wst;tts=C$ts;sp=5.59290322580644;ti=1801$zpv;v=1$inc_x;mmid=XCOORDS;iid=1qOyLQJxO8zBHvldD1tS1s9dYIHuCe8u72JZQ_LjI9qI;by=ind$inc_y;mmid=YCOORDS;iid=1qOyLQJxO8zBHvldD1tS1s9dYIHuCe8u72JZQ_LjI9qI;by=ind$inc_s;uniValue=8.21;iid=phAwcNAVuyj0XOoBL_n5tAQ;by=ind$inc_c;uniValue=255;gid=CATID0;by=grp$map_x;scale=log;dataMin=2;dataMax=756$map_y;scale=log;dataMin=2;dataMax=756$map_s;sma=49;smi=2.65$cd;bd=0$inds=
  3. ^ http://www.gapminder.org/world/#$majorMode=chart$is;shi=t;ly=2003;lb=f;il=t;fs=11;al=30;stl=t;st=t;nsl=t;se=t$wst;tts=C$ts;sp=5.59290322580644;ti=1900$zpv;v=1$inc_x;mmid=XCOORDS;iid=1qOyLQJxO8zBHvldD1tS1s9dYIHuCe8u72JZQ_LjI9qI;by=ind$inc_y;mmid=YCOORDS;iid=1qOyLQJxO8zBHvldD1tS1s9dYIHuCe8u72JZQ_LjI9qI;by=ind$inc_s;uniValue=8.21;iid=phAwcNAVuyj0XOoBL_n5tAQ;by=ind$inc_c;uniValue=255;gid=CATID0;by=grp$map_x;scale=log;dataMin=2;dataMax=756$map_y;scale=log;dataMin=2;dataMax=756$map_s;sma=49;smi=2.65$cd;bd=0$inds=
  4. ^ UNICEF - Health
  5. ^ UNICEF - Health - the big picture
  6. ^ UNICEF - Young child survival and development.
  7. ^ UNICEF MDG Goal 4
  8. ^ New formula for oral rehydration salts will save millions of lives
  9. ^ Levels & Trends in Child Mortality Report 2014
  10. ^ Curtis, Val; Cairncross, Sandy (May 2003). "Effect of washing hands with soap on diarrhoea risk in the community: a systematic review". The Lancet Infectious Diseases 3 (5): 275–281. doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(03)00606-6. 
  11. ^ Levels & Trends in Child Mortality Report 2014
  12. ^ Inequalities in child survival: looking at wealth and other socio-economic disparities in developing countries
  13. ^ Nations, Marilyn K., and Mara Lucia Amaral. 1991. Flesh, Blood, Souls, and Households: Cultural Validity in Mortality Inquiry. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 5 (3):204-220.

External links[edit]