Child morality rates under five decreasing

2011-09-18 Vatican Radio

A new report released this week showed the annual number of children who die before they reach age five is shrinking. The findings published by UNICEF and World Health Organisation found that death rates fell to 7.6 million in 2010 from more than 12 million in 1990. But both groups stressed that improvements in child mortality rates will not be enough to meet the United Nation's goal set in 2000 of reducing child mortality by two-thirds by 2015. We spoke to Head of maternal, newborn and child health a UNICEF Renee Van de Weerdt who explained why there has been a decrease, saying, “I think first of all at the research and scientific level we know really well what kills children under five, we also have good evidence on what interventions work.” Tessa Wardlaw who is the chief of the statistics and monitoring section at UNICEF adds that with regarding to geographical location, “we see an increasing concentration of these deaths taking place in sub-Saharan Africa where nearly half of all under five deaths in the world take place today as well as in Southern Asia where about a third of them are taking place.” Both UNICEF and the WHO say more money is needed to help save more children’s lives. Listen to Lydia O’Kane’s interview. 00:11:34:73