Child mortality rate drops by 73 percent in 25 years | 2017-12-25 |

Child mortality rate drops by 73 percent in 25 years

Sun Online Desk     25th December, 2017 09:31:12 printer

Child mortality rate drops by 73 percent in 25 years

Bangladesh has brought down the child mortality rate by 73 percent over the last 25 years side by side with already achieving the target of reducing under-five mortality rates, according to the UNICEF report.


Nearly half of all under-five deaths are associated with malnutrition. Over the past 25 years, the world has made a significant progress in saving young children's lives. The rate of child mortality fell 62 percent from 1990-2016, with under-five deaths dropping from 12.7 million to 5.6 million.


The death of a child at any age is a profoundly painful experience for the parents and the near and dear ones. While bereavement is stressful whenever it occurs, studies continue to provide the evidence that the greatest stress and often the most enduring one occurs for the parents who experience the death of a child.


The saddest enough, the most painful goodbyes are the ones that are left unsaid and never explained. Former US President late Dwight D Eisenhower once said, "There's no tragedy in life like the death of a child. Things never get back to the way they were."


The UNICEF report highlights that a child's chance of survival still depends vastly on where he or she is born. Hence, the UN body in 2016 estimated 32.9 deaths per 1,000 live births globally, which was updated in July, 2017.


For millions of girls around the world, motherhood comes too early. Those who bear children as adolescents suffer higher mortality and morbidity rates and their children are more likely to die in infancy.


Siblings of dead children have also been found to be at greater risk for externalizing and internalizing problems when compared to norms and controls within 2 years of the death.


A new report from UNICEF and its partners in the Inter-Agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (IGME), Levels and Trends in Child Mortality: Report 2017 shows the full scope of child and newborn mortality in the world. In addition to global estimates for under-five, infant and newborn mortality, the report for the first time contains estimates on mortality among children aged 5-14.


Most of these deaths are entirely preventable. Prematurity, complications during labor and birth, and infections like sepsis, pneumonia, tetanus and diarrhea are among the leading causes, which can be treated or prevented with simple, affordable solutions. But these children are also dying because of who they are and the environment they were born into-be it an impoverished family, a marginalized community or a country consumed by conflict.


Bangladesh has experienced a significant reduction of child mortality over the past decades which helped achieve the Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG 4) target. But the mortality among the under-5 children must be further reduced for a substantial effort to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target.


At this stage, it is hence important to explore the trend and determinants of under-5 mortality to reduce the vulnerability of child's survival.


The frailty models revealed that the combined effect of birth order and preceding birth interval length, sex of the child, maternal age at birth, mother's working status and parental education were the important determinants associated with risk of child mortality. The risk of mortality also varied across divisions with Sylhet division being the most vulnerable one.


Moreover, significant and sizable frailty effects were found which indicates that the estimations of the unmeasured and unobserved mother and community level factors on the risk of death were substantively important.


Child mortality is a vital indicator of child health and overall national development. According to WHO, a substantial global progress has been made in reducing child deaths. Among these countries, Bangladesh has also registered a substantive acceleration, experiencing a remarkable change in child mortality rates over the last few decades.


Although child mortality rate is decreasing over time, Bangladesh has to further reduce child's death to obtain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


The high fertility rate is boosted up by high infant and child mortality, because of the fear of death of the children at an early age. There are many factors which are closely related to the mortality experience among children such as maternal education and household income status.


Generally, uneducated mothers have more child deaths than others. Some demographic variables are associated with infant and child mortality such as maternal age at marriage and during child's birth, birth spacing pattern, parity, maternal height and weight, and size of the children at birth.