18/Apr/2014 - Last News Update: 20:01

Child deaths: Preventable infections 'the leading cause'

Category: Health

Published: 11th May 2012 05:11:37

Most deaths of young children around the world are from mainly preventable infectious causes, experts have said.

A US team, writing in the Lancet, looked at mortality figures from 2010.

They found two-thirds of the 7.6m children who died before their fifth birthday did so due to infectious causes - and pneumonia was found to be the leading cause of death.

One expert said it was very important to "translate such findings into action".

The team from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health looked at data from a range of sources, including household surveys and registration systems for 193 countries. Mathematical modelling was used where data was incomplete.

They found child deaths had fallen by two million (26%) since 2000, and there have been significant reductions in leading causes of death including diarrhoea and measles - as well as pneumonia.

But they say there are still significant challenges.

Half of child deaths occurred in Africa - two thirds (2.6m) were due to infectious causes, including malaria and Aids.

In South East Asia, neonatal causes were the leading cause of death.

Five countries (India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of Congo and China) accounted for almost half (3.75m) of deaths in children under five.

The researchers warn that very few countries will achieve international targets for improving child survival - the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 4 - by the 2015 deadline.

Only tetanus, measles, and HIV/Aids have fallen enough to meet the target.

Writing in the Lancet, the researchers say: "Across all the previous and current rounds of causes of childhood death estimation, pneumonia and pre-term birth complications consistently rank as the leading causes at the global level.

"Africa and South East Asia are repeatedly the regions with the most deaths in children younger than five years.

"Our trend analysis shows that accelerated reductions are needed in the two major causes and in the two high-burden regions to achieve MDG4 by 2015."

BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2012. Child deaths: Preventable infections 'the leading cause' [Online] (Updated 11th May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1427879/Child-deaths-Preventable-infections-the-leading-cause [Accessed 18th Apr 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • West Belfast: Man shot dead on Springfield Road

    A man has been shot dead in west Belfast.
  • Peter Moores: Lancashire coach to get England job again

    Peter Moores is to be named England's new head coach, BBC Sport understands.
  • Bunged-up orangutan has sinus operation at Chester Zoo

    An orangutan with breathing problems has undergone what is believed to have been the first sinus operation on such an ape in the UK.
  • South Korea ferry captain held

    Captain of South Korean ferry that sank earlier this week has been arrested, South Korean media say
  • Prince re-signs with 'slave' label Warner Bros Records

    Pop star Prince has a signed a major deal with Warner Bros Records, the label he famously fell out with nearly 20 years ago.