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The World in Medicine
November 17, 2004

Child Mortality Report

JAMA. 2004;292(19):2329. doi:10.1001/jama.292.19.2329-c

Nearly 100 countries are falling short of a goal to reduce child mortality adopted by world leaders at the United Nations’ Millennium Summit in 2000, according to a report by the United Nation’s Children’s Fund. One in 12 children worldwide does not live to age 5 years.

The group reported “alarmingly slow progress on reducing child deaths despite the availability of proven, low-cost interventions.” At the current rate of progress, by 2015, the global average child mortality rate will have decreased by about one quarter since 1990 (the baseline year), rather than by the goal of a two thirds reduction. In 2002, industrialized countries had 7 deaths per 1000 births compared with 158 deaths per 1000 for the poorest countries. Poor neonatal care, infections, malnutrition, and poor sanitation are major factors in child mortality.

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