Press Trust of India | Updated: September 13, 2012 11:38 IST
New Delhi: With almost 19,000 children under five years of age dying every day across the world, India tops the list of countries with the highest number of 16.55 lakh such deaths in 2011, according to a UN agency.
The ‘Child Mortality Estimates Report 2012’ released by Unicef in New York has said that in 2011, around 50 per cent of global under-five deaths occurred in just five countries of India, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan and China.
Incidentally, India’s toll is higher than the deaths in Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo and Pakistan put together. While there have been 7.56 lakh deaths in Nigeria during the last year, Democratic Republic of the Congo accounts for 4.65 lakh deaths and Pakistan 3.52 lakh deaths of under-five children during 2011.
China reported 2.49 lakh deaths of under-5 kids last year, followed by 1.94 lakh by Ethiopia and 1.34 lakh each by Indonesia and Bangladesh. Uganda with 1.31 lakh such deaths and Afghanistan with 1.28 lakh deaths held the ninth and 10th position in the list of 10 top countries reporting under-five children deaths. Singapore with a mortality rate of 2.6 has the lowest under-five deaths, while Slovenia and Sweden followed it with a mortality of 2.8. The Unicef report also states that globally
Pneumonia is the leading killer of children under five, causing 18 per cent of all under-five deaths worldwide – a loss of roughly 1.3 million lives in 2011, the bulk of which occur in just two regions, sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Globally, the five leading causes of deaths among children under five include pneumonia (18 per cent); pre-term birth complications (14 per cent); diarrhoea (11 per cent); intrapartum-related complications (9 per cent) and malaria (7 per cent). Besides, more than a third of child deaths are attributable to undernutrition globally, the report states.