Every 5 seconds, a child under 15 dies: Unicef

The latest figures from the United Nations Children's Funds (Unicef) Levels and Trends in Child Mortality 2018 report show a high rate of 21 children under five dying every minute.

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PRETORIA - The United Nations says child mortality rates have fallen by 62% in the last 25 years.

But the latest figures from the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) Levels and Trends in Child Mortality 2018 report show a high rate of 21 children under five dying every minute.

According to the report, a child under the age of 15 years dies every five seconds.

Half of these deaths are in sub-Sahara Africa.

Unicef research director, Laurance Chandy said that 56 million children under-five will die between now and 2030 worldwide, and half of them will be new-borns.

The heart-breaking message from Unicef figures is that the six major causes of death of children under five are entirely preventable. These are diarrhoea, malaria and neonatal infection, pneumonia, pre-term delivery and lack of oxygen at birth.

The children’s death numbers don’t meet the Millennium Development Goal of a two-thirds reduction to 31 per 1000 life-births.

The geographic equality in child mortality illustrated the reality that an Ethiopian child is 30 times more likely to die before his or her fifth birthday, than a child in Western Europe.

Read the full report here.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)