Newsday Tuesday: Twice as Many Children Living to See Their Fifth Birthdays


September 17, 2013

Keep in mind that we’re talking about the most important statistic in the world—who is alive.” ~Melinda Gates

All Africa reports that a new study on the health and well being of the world’s children says “the number of global deaths among children under age five is almost half what it was 22 years ago. A joint report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization, and World Bank finds about 6.6 million children died before reaching their fifth birthday in 2012 compared to 12 million children who died in 1990.”

As Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation says, the number of child deaths has gone down every year for the last 50 years. Children in vulnerable areas die most often from pneumonia, premature birth, diarrhea and malaria. Critically, under-nutrition is a factor in almost half of deaths in children under five.

United Nations Foundation CEO, Kathy Calvin reminds us: “We know what works. From access to immunizations, giving oral rehydration salts and zinc to counter diarrhea, improving hygiene and access to safe drinking water, and sleeping under insecticide-treated bed nets to prevent malaria. We can help save the lives of an estimated 35 million children between 2015 and 2028 if we act now.”

Now we just need the will and support to keep doing it, all around the world.

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You can download and read UNICEF’s report here or learn more about the report’s key findings. Visit:, follow them on Twitter and Facebook and support their work for children around the world.

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