World Bulletin / News Desk
The number of deaths among children under the age of 5 has been on a significant decline for over two decades in Turkey as well as several other middle income countries, according to a report released Wednesday night by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).
According to the 2012 Progress Report on Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed, low income countries such as Bangladesh, Liberia and Rwanda, middle income countries including Brazil, Mongolia and Turkey, and high income countries such as Oman and Portugal have made dramatic gains, lowering their under-5 mortality rates by more than two-thirds between 1990 and 2011.
According to data provided by the report, the number of children under the age of 5 dying globally has dropped from nearly 12 million in 1990 to an estimated 6.9 million in 2011. In 2010, there were 7.6 million under-5 deaths. However, around 19,000 boys and girls around the world are still dying every day from largely preventable causes, the report said.
UNICEF and partners place a heavy focus on preventable diseases. UNICEF Chief of Health Ian Pett said the fund is concentrating its energies much more on the countries where the biggest challenges remain. “We are focusing on the killers of children that haven't received enough attention yet,” Pett said when introducing the UNICEF report to the international media. Those killers include pneumonia, which is responsible for 18 percent of deaths of children under 5, and diarrhea, which is responsible for 11 percent.
The report underscores that a country's location and economic status need not be a barrier to reducing child deaths.
According to the report, four-fifths of under-5 deaths in 2011 occurred in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. More than half the pneumonia and diarrhea deaths occur in just four countries: Congo, India, Nigeria and Pakistan.
"Given the prospect that these regions, especially sub-Saharan Africa, will account for the bulk of the world's births in the next years, we must give new impetus to the global momentum to reduce under-5 deaths," UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said in the report. Lake also said youngsters from disadvantaged and marginalized families in poor and fragile nations are the most likely to die before their fifth birthday. “But their lives can be saved with vaccines, adequate nutrition and basic medical and maternal care,” he added.
UNICEF said the rate of decline in under-5 deaths has drastically accelerated in the last decade, from 1.8 percent per year during the 1990s to 3.2 percent per year between 2000 and 2011. “There is much to celebrate,” Lake said. “More children now survive their fifth birthday than ever before -- the global number of under-5 deaths has fallen from around 12 million in 1990 to an estimated 6.9 million in 2011.”
But UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Geeta Rao Gupta stressed that there is “unfinished business” and that it is not just about the number of child deaths.
Presidential Press Secretary Jerolinmek Piah told AA the names would be announced later.
The WHO urged a range of "regulatory options", including prohibiting e-cigarette makers from making health claims
The doctor died after receiving the experimental drug ZMapp.
Japan has received inquiries from some countries on the influenza drug favipiravir, or T-705 as it is known in the developmental code.
Some 54 people have died in or near the capital Accra, and around 300 people are now being infected daily with the highly contagious disease, putting pressure on local health facilities, said Linda Van-Otoo, GHS director for Greater Accra.
A Philippine seaman is being monitored in Togo for signs of the disease but authorities say the country is still Ebola-free, despite dozens of workers returning from Liberia.
A 36-year-old man from Senegal is being tested in Barcelona.
MSF (Doctors Without Borders) has deployed 1,000 of its own staff in the stricken region, running centres that currently have 300 beds
On Wednesday, the residents of the two communities woke up just after the president ordered the quarantine only to find their community barricaded with soldiers and police officers preventing people from leaving or entering the two areas.
They were given ZMapp, a drug used on a handful of patients in the West African outbreak and produced by U.S.-based Mapp Biopharmaceutical.
A local priest who asked not to be named said that the illness had affected several villages and estimated that the death toll was over 100 people.
The calculation highlights the dilemma facing officials considering how to distribute the tiny quantities of unproven drugs that are likely to be available in the near term
"We are hopeful and grateful to God and to the medical team that they are showing signs of improvement," Liberia's Information Minister Lewis Brown told a press conference on Tuesday.
The decision came as the Ivorian national football team is due to face Sierra Leone, one of the countries that had been hard hit by the Ebola outbreak, next month in Abidjan as part of the Africa Cup of Nations 2015 qualifiers.
Infant products are particularly vulnerable to food safety scares in China after powdered milk tainted with the industrial chemical melamine led to the deaths of at least six infants in 2008
Countries that do not have Ebola cases must strengthen their capacity to detect and contain any cases immediately, the WHO said