According to a new UN report, South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa will continue to be the two regions with the highest rates of child mortality in 2021.
According to the report that was made public on Tuesday, it was estimated that 2.1 million children and young people between the ages of five and 24 would die in 2021. Another five million children and young people would die before the age of five.
According to the reports, children’s survival chances continue to vary greatly depending on where they are born, with Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa bearing the greatest burden.
Even though sub-Saharan Africa had only 29% of the world’s live births, it was responsible for 56 percent of all deaths of children under the age of five in 2021, and Southern Asia was responsible for 26 percent of all deaths.
The risk of childhood death for children born in sub-Saharan Africa is the highest in the world—15 times higher than the risk for children born in Europe and North America.
In addition, the report stated that equitable access to high-quality maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health care could have prevented many of these deaths.
The UN Inter-Agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN-IGME) and the World Health Organization collaborated on the report, which stated that the global community failed to fulfill its promise to its youngest and most vulnerable members in 2021.
According to Juan Pablo Uribe, Director of the Global Financing Facility and Global Director for Health, Nutrition, and Population at the World Bank, “behind these numbers are millions of children and families who are denied their basic right to health.”
Since the beginning of the century, the global mortality rate for children under the age of five decreased by 50 percent, while the stillbirth rate and mortality rates for older children and adolescents decreased by 35 percent and 36 percent, respectively.
This is because more money is being put into improving primary healthcare systems for women, children, and young people.
However, the report noted that gains have decreased significantly since 2010 and that 54 nations will not meet the Sustainable Development Goals target for under-5 mortality.
It stated that nearly 16 million babies will be lost to stillbirth and nearly 59 million children and adolescents will die before 2030 if health services are not immediately improved.
The report warned that nearly 19 million children, adolescents, and young people between the ages of 5 and 24 will die between 2022 and 2030 if current trends continue. More than 70% of those deaths are anticipated to occur in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
Nearly 3.8 million of these deaths will be among adolescents between the ages of 10 and 19. Sub-Saharan Africa (or 49 percent) and Southern Asia (or 21 percent) will account for a combined 71 percent.