Child Mortality for India, China and the World

World Health Organization studies on child (under 5 mortality) as of 2010.

* 7.6 million children under the age of five die every year, according to 2010 figures.
* More than half of these early child deaths are due to conditions that could be prevented or treated with access to simple, affordable interventions.
* Leading causes of death in under-five children are pneumonia, preterm birth complications, diarrhoea, birth asphyxia and malaria. About one third of all child deaths are linked to malnutrition.
* Children in low-income countries are about 18 times more likely to die before the age of five than children in high-income countries.
* Annual global deaths of children under five years of age fell to 8.1 million in 2009 from 12.4 million in 1990.
* The goal is get get the children under five deaths to 4.2 million or less in 2015.
* Children’s nutrition has improved. The percentage of underweight children is estimated to have declined from 25% in 1990 to 16% in 2010. But 104 million children are still undernourished. Stunting in children under five years old has decreased globally from 40% to 27% over the same period. However, in the UN Africa Region, the number of stunted children is estimated to have increased from 45 million in 1990 to 60 million in 2010.

India’s Problems

Between the mid 1980s and early 1990s significant progress was made toward reducing the child mortality levels in India, but recent data indicate that there has been stagnation in child mortality rate at an unexpectedly higher level. India’s gross national income (GNI) per head has increased by 82% from US$450 in 2000 to $820 in 2006, yet the rate of decline in child mortality is only 19% from 94/1000 births to 76/1000 births. During the same period Bangladesh’s GNI increased only 25%, but its child mortality dropped by 25% from 92/1000 to 69/1000.

India, with about 1.2 million deaths of neonates each year, accounts for over one quarter of all neonatal deaths in the world.

India had 1.726 million deaths for children and infants under the age of 5 in 2010. India’s PPP per capita in 2010 was $1342.

The mortality rate of kids under 5 in China has decreased by 73 percent since 1991 but there were still nearly 300,000 child deaths annually. India’s performance is worse than China 20 years ago. In 1991, China had per capita GDP of US$356 and a PPP GDP per capita of $894.

A 228 page study of the status of different countries efforts to improve mortality of children and mothers.

There is an 8 page study that looks at “Child mortality in India: a complex situation” Besides poverty there is also misguided social and cultural beliefs which are slowing the reduction of childhood and infant mortality.

Breakdown of the 7.6 million children under age of five deaths each year

Of Lancet – 7·6 million deaths in children younger than 5 years in 2010:

64·0% (4·879 million) were attributable to infectious causes
40·3% (3·072 million) occurred in neonates.

Deaths by region

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