Ethiopia achieves development target on reducing child mortality
Sustained government drive brings down deaths among children under the age of five by 67% compared with 1990 figures
By Elissa Jobson (the Guardian)
Ethiopia, a low-income country in the drought prone Horn of Africa, has achieved the millennium development goal to cut the mortality rate for children under the age of five ahead of the 2015 deadline, according to figures published on Friday.
The statistics, contained in a 2013 progress report, Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed, compiled by the UN children’s fund Unicef, the World Health Organisation (WHO), and the World Bank Group, showed Ethiopia has reduced child deaths by more than two thirds over the past 20 years. In 1990, an estimated 204 children in every 1,000 in Ethiopia died before the age of five ; just six countries had a higher rate. The latest data shows that by 2012 the rate had dropped to 68, a massive 67% fall in the under-five mortality rate.
Bangladesh, Liberia, Malawi, Nepal and Tanzania have also achieved the target.
According to the report – which examines trends in child mortality since 1990, analyses the main causes of under-five deaths, and highlights national and global efforts to save children’s lives – the annual number of under-five deaths has fallen from 12.6 million in 1990 to 6.6 million in 2012.
Some of the greatest advances in cutting child deaths are being made in east and southern Africa. Between 2005 and 2012, the regions achieved an annual reduction rate of 5.3% – the highest in the world. Read more