• January 27, 2023

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The latest estimates by the United Nations Inter Agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation found that some 5 million children less than 5 years old have died in 2021 alongside, 2.1 million aged between 5 and 24.

According to the latest estimates and UN data report released Tuesday, in 2021, a child or youth died every 4.4 seconds in the world.

The United Nations Inter Agency Group for Child Mortality found that some 5 million children less than 5 years old have died in 2021 and 2.1 million aged between 5 and 24 have also passed.

A separate report estimates the death of stillborn babies during the same period to be at 1.9 million.

These deaths are attributed to uneven access to quality healthcare.

Despite having 29% of global births, sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 56% of all under-five deaths in 2021 with children in the region subject to highest risk of childhood death in the world.

Children born in the region have a 15 times higher risk of death than the one born in Europe and Northern America.

Nearly half of all registered stillbirths happened in sub-Saharan Africa.

Nevertheless, all is not gloom and doom as the report also shows significant improvement with a lower risk of death across all ages globally since 2000 which can be attributed to more investments in strengthening primary health systems to benefit women, children and adolescents.

The global under-five mortality rate has decreased by 50% since the beginning of the century, while mortality rates in older children and youth dropped by 36% and the stillbirth rate decreased by 35%.

Though these improvements are notable, seemingly, gains have reduced significantly 2010 and 54 countries will fall short of meeting the Sustainable development Goals target for under-five mortality.

The report states that if swift action is not taken to improve health services, almost 59 million children and youth will die before 2030 and nearly 16 million will be lost to stillbirth.

However, the reports also note gaps in data, which could critically undermine the impact of policies and programs designed to improve childhood survival and well-being globally.

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