Infant mortality: report of the WHO

World health statistics, published by WHO, show a decline in infant mortality. Between 1990 and 2008, the death rate of children under 5 worldwide fell by 30%. (News of the 14/05/10)

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) published a report on child mortality in the context of the Millennium Development Goals for 2015 (MDGs).
  • WHO compared figures infant mortality among children under 5 from 1990 to 2008 and has decreased by 30% globally. The number of deaths increased from 12.4 million in 1990 to 8.8 million in 2008.
  • The WHO still recalls that 40% of these deaths occur in the first month and the majority in the first week of life of the toddler. During this same period, the number of children vaccinated against measles rose from 94 to 107 million. In addition, the percentage of underweight children in the 5-year-old world has increased from 25% in 1990 to 16% in 2010.

Progress still to be made

  • Although these figures are encouraging, the results are to be qualified.
  • Three diseases, malaria, HIV and tuberculosis are the cause of one-third of all deaths in children under five worldwide.
  • Six factors are responsible for 90% cases of infant mortality:
  • neonatal complications,
  • pneumonia,
  • diarrhea,
  • malaria,
  • measles,
  • HIV.
  • WHO has therefore imposed three priorities to its 193 member states: comprehensive care for childhood-related diseases, vaccination, feeding of infants and young children.

Alison Novic