»2012 starben 6,6 Millionen Kinder unter fünf Jahren«

Unicef-Bericht zu weltweiter Kindersterblichkeit, 13.9.2013 (engl. Originalfassung)

Despite rapid progress in reducing child deaths since 1990, the world is still failing to renew the promise of survival for its most vulnerable citizens. 

- Global progress in reducing child deaths since 1990 has been significant. The world rate of under-five mortality has roughly halved, from 90 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 48 per 1,000 in 2012. The annual number of under-five deaths has fallen from 12.6 million to 6.6 million over the same period.

- Put another way, 17,000 fewer children died each day in 2012 than did in 1990 —thanks to more effective and affordable treatments, innovative ways of delivering critical interventions to the poor and excluded, and sustained political commitment. These and other vital child survival interventions have helped to save an estimated 90 million lives in the past 22 years.

- Encouragingly, the world is currently reducing under-five deaths faster than at any other time during the past two decades. The global annual rate of reduction has steadily accelerated since 1990–1995, when it stood at 1.2 per cent, more than tripling to 3.9 per cent in 2005–2012. Both sub Saharan African regions —particularly Eastern and Southern Africa but also West and Central Africa —have seen a consistent acceleration in reducing under-five deaths, particularly since 2000. And all regions with the exception of West and Central Africa and sub-Saharan Africa as a whole have at least halved their rates of under-five mortality since 1990.

- Despite these gains, child survival remains an urgent concern. In 2012, approximately 6.6 million children died be-fore their fifth birthday, at a rate of around 18,000 per day. And the risk of dying before age 5 varies enormously according to where a child is born. In Luxembourg, the under-five mortality rate is just 2 per 1,000 live births; in Sierra Leone, it is 182 per 1,000.

- Since 1990, 216 million children have died before their fifth birthday —more than the current total population of Brazil, the world’s fifth most populous country.

Without faster progress on reducing preventable diseases, the world will not meet its child survival goal (MDG 4) until 2028 —13 years after the deadline —and 35 million children will die between 2015 and 2028 who would otherwise have lived had the goal been met on time.

- To reach MDG 4 —which seeks to reduce the global under-five mortality rate by two thirds between 1990 and 2015 —the pace of reduction would need to quadruple in 2013–2015. And even if the world were to achieve MDG 4 on time, 15 million children under 5 would still die between 2013 and 2015, mostly from preventable causes. To achieve MDG 4 by 2015, an additional 3.5 million children’s lives must be saved between 2013 and 2015 above the current trend rate.

- At the current rate of reduction in under-five mortality, the world will only meet MDG 4 by 2028 —13 years after the deadline —and 35 million more children will die between 2015 and 2028 whose lives could be saved if the goal were met on time in 2015 and that trend continued. Only two regions —East Asia and Pacific, and Latin America and Caribbean—are currently on track to meet the 2015 deadline for MDG 4.

Of the 6.6 million under-five deaths in 2012, most were from preventable causes such as pneumonia, diarrhoea or malaria; around 44 per cent of deaths in children under 5 occurred during the neonatal period.

- Even though there have been strong advances in fighting childhood diseases, pneumonia and diarrhoea remain leading causes of death among children under 5, killing almost 5,000 children under 5 every day. The distribution of these diseases is highly concentrated, with three quarters of global pneumonia and diarrhoea deaths occurring in just 15 countries.

- Malaria remains a significant cause of child death, killing 1,200 children under 5 every day. It remains strongly concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa, where it accounts for 14 per cent of child deaths, despite major gains in life-saving interventions in recent years.

- Despite declining rates globally, neonatal deaths are growing as a share of global under-five deaths amid faster progress in reducing mortality in the post-neonatal period. Most neonatal deaths are preventable.

Accelerating progress in child survival urgently requires greater attention to ending preventable child deaths in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, which together account for 4 out of 5 under-five deaths globally.

- South Asia has made strong progress on reducing preventable child deaths, more than halving its number of deaths among children under 5 since 1990. But nearly one in every three under-five deaths still takes place in this region, and it has not seen a major acceleration in the rate of reduction.

- Sub-Saharan Africa faces a unique and urgent challenge in accelerating progress. By mid-century it will be the region with the single biggest population of under-fives, accounting for 37 per cent of the global total and close to 40 per cent of all live births. And it is the region with least progress on under-five mortality to date.

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