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Global mortality of children under-5 drops to 4.9 million, progress remains slow- UN Report 

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Global mortality rate of children

The latest United Nations estimates reveal a significant milestone in global child health, with the number of children who died before their fifth birthday dropping to a record low of 4.9 million in 2022.  

However, this still translates to one death every six seconds, highlighting ongoing challenges in child survival, according to a report released on Wednesday. 

Despite the mortality rate for under-5s roughly halving since 2000, the world remains behind in achieving the goal of reducing preventable deaths in this age group by 2030, with progress slowing since 2015, the report found. 

Juan Pablo Uribe, director for health nutrition and population at the World Bank, described the numbers as “an important milestone” but emphasized that more action is needed to further reduce child mortality rates globally. 

The report underscored that approximately half of the deaths globally occurred among newborns, with many of these deaths attributed to preventable or treatable causes such as pre-term birth, pneumonia, or diarrhea.  

Improved access to primary healthcare and community health workers could significantly enhance the outlook for child survival, the UN noted. 

However, the report also highlighted challenges such as climate change, increasing inequity, conflict, and the long-term impact of COVID-19, all of which could threaten progress in reducing under-5 mortality rates. 

Despite the progress made, the U.N. partners cautioned that the report was limited by a lack of data in the worst-affected countries, underscoring the need for improved data collection and healthcare infrastructure to address ongoing challenges in child health globally. 

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