SEATTLE, May 24 (UPI) — The number of deaths in children age 5 and under worldwide dropped from 12 million in 1990 to 7.7 million in 2010, U.S. researchers said.
From 1990 to 2010, death rates in children declined by about 2 percent a year worldwide, but in parts of Latin America, north Africa and the Middle East rates declined as much as 6 percent a year, while one-third of child deaths occur in south Asia and about half in sub-Saharan Africa, The New York Times reported.
One of the study authors, Dr. Christopher J.L. Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle, said the drop in child death rates was largely due to prevention efforts involving vaccines, vitamin A supplements, insecticide-treated bed nets to prevent malaria and women getting more education — as well as better treatment for AIDS, diarrhea and pneumonia.
Newborn deaths account for 41 percent of all child deaths. The lowest death rates are in Singapore, 2.5 per 1,000 births, followed by Iceland at 2.6 per 1,000 births, while the most child deaths occur in Equatorial Guinea at 180 per 1,000 deaths and Chad at 168.7 per 1,000.
In developed countries, some of the worst rates occur in the United States and Britain at 6.7 per 1,000 deaths and 5.3 per 1,000 deaths, respectively.
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