Children's lives are 'cut short' as countries urged to tackle inequality

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Millions of children's  lives are being "cut short" because countries are failing to tackle health inequality, research has found. 
The study, published in Nature, mapped death rates at the district level in 99 low and middle-income countries and found that despite the huge progress made in cutting the number of child deaths over recent years, there are still great differences, even within the same country.
The study – the first to map death rates at such a targeted level – found that nearly half of the 5.4 million children under the age of five who died in 2017 would be alive today if countries improved the health of children in their worst performing districts to the same level as the best performing districts. 
The number of children dying before their fifth birthday has plummeted in the last 20 years, falling from 9.8 million deaths in 2000 to 5.4 million in 2017.
This fall has been put down to a range of factors including improved maternal and neonatal care, the widespread introduction of vaccines and improvements in the treatment of infectious diseases.
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