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Study: worldwide childhood mortality rates drops

05-24-2010 14:27 BJT

BEIJING, May 24 (Xinhuanet)-- Researchers find that Childhood deaths worldwide seem to have fallen faster than previously thought by the United Nations, but the decline in the child mortality rate in the United States is not keeping pace with advances seen in developing nations.

In a study published online Monday in the British medical journal, Lancet, scientists predicted about 7.7 million children below the age of five across the world would die this year, down from nearly 12 million in 1990.

After assessing information from 187 countries from 1970 to 2009, Christopher Murray, one of the paper's authors, and colleagues found that child deaths dropped by about 2 percent every year.

The figure is lower than the 4.4 percent needed to reach the U.N.'s target of reducing child deaths by two-thirds by 2015.

As most parts of the world are making progress in reducing child mortality, the United States is lagging behind and now ranks 42nd globally, compared to 29th in the childhood deaths 20 years ago, according to data analyzed by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

Researchers found high child mortality rates are not limited to black and Latino populations in the United States, but also existed among higher-income whites, who have far better access to medical care.

Singapore, the country with the lowest child mortality rate in the world at 2.5 deaths per 1,000 children, cut its rate by two-thirds between 1990 and 2010.

Serbia and Malaysia, which ranked behind the United States in 1990, cut their rates by nearly 70% and now ranked higher.

Australia, another diverse country with a large immigrant population, now ranks 26th in the world, as it has cut its child mortality rate over the last two decades more than the United States.

Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: Xinhua

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