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Global Health
November 20, 2013

Reversing Mortality Trends in Young South African Children

JAMA. 2013;310(19):2030. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.282528

In the last decade, South Africa has substantially reduced the number of children younger than 5 years who die from all causes, an achievement attributed primarily to improvements in interventions to address the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS (Kerber KJ et al. AIDS. 2013;27[16]:2637-2648).

The researchers analyzed various data sources to estimate mortality trends in infants and children younger than 5 years in South Africa between 1990 and 2011. Although estimates varied, all of the sources that the investigators analyzed showed similar trends that indicated a peak in mortality in this age group in 2005, after which South Africa’s average annual under-5-year mortality rate declined rapidly by 6% to 10% each year from 2006 to 2011.