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Infant mortality rates halved
UNICEF offers praise but says there is still work to do
- ucanews.com reporter, Manila
- September 13, 2012
In 1990, the Philippines had an under-five mortality rate of 59┬ádeaths for every 1,000 children born. In 2010, the rate was just 29.
The number of children under the age of five dying globally fell from nearly 12 million in 1990 to an estimated 6.9 million in 2011, UNICEF reported in Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed. There were major reductions in under-five mortality rates in all regions of the world.
But while there is a global decline in under-five mortality, ÔÇťthere is also unfinished business,ÔÇŁ said Anthony Lake, UNICEF executive director.
Millions of children under five are still dying each year from largely preventable causes, he said in a statement from New York.
"These lives could be saved with vaccines, adequate nutrition and basic medical and maternal care," Lake said. "The challenge is to make these available to every child.ÔÇŁ
In the Philippines, which ranked 80 out of the 194 countries┬ástudied, the highest recorded rates of under-five deaths come from the poorest and most remote areas, including confict-stricken Mindanao.
Tomoo Hozumi, a UNICEF representative in Manila, said that while the Philippines has been making progress in reducing child mortality, there is still a high rate of deaths among babies.
"We now need to focus our energies on the neonatal period, as this is when 45 percent of the under five deaths occur," he said.