Child death rates cut by half, but UN target missed

September 9, 2015 04:38


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LONDON - Children are half as likely to die before their fifth birthday now than they were in 1990, researchers said on Wednesday, but a United Nations target has not been met.

Of all under-five deaths, almost half occur during a baby's first four weeks, said a new report by the World Health Organisation (WHO), World Bank and United Nations, with one million babies dying per year on the first day of life.

"In order to get that further down, we need to focus on neonatal mortality, said Flavia Bustreo, the WHO's assistant director general.

This makes early interventions by healthcare professionals to tackle killers like asphyxia and sepsis critical, as well as encouraging breastfeeding and early immunisations, Bustreo told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The report came as leaders prepare to meet in New York later this month to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a new plan of action for ending poverty.

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