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UNICEF Official Calls For Increased Investment In Child Mortality To Achieve MDGs; New U.N. Estimates Due Next Month

Mickey Chopra, chief health officer at UNICEF, has called for increased investment in reducing child mortality, the Guardian reports, writing Chopra “said investment now would lead to massive strides in meeting the Millennium Development Goals [MDGs] of reducing maternal deaths by three-quarters (MDG4) and the deaths of children under five by two-thirds (MDG5), both by 2015.” The newspaper adds, “Since 1990, annual maternal deaths have declined by almost half and the deaths of young children have fallen from 12 million to 7.6 million in 2010,” but “many countries — especially in Africa and south Asia — are not making progress” (Tran, 8/28) “Given current trends, the child mortality goal set out by U.N. officials won’t be reached until 2038,” according to U.N. researchers, LiveScience notes.

“With the United Nations slated to release its latest 2011 estimates of global child mortality next month, international teams of researchers shone a spotlight [Tuesday] on some of the challenges of estimating how many children die annually around the world” in a PLoS collection on child mortality estimation methods, the news service writes (Stokes, 8/28). According to a PLoS press release, “[t]he collection contains seven peer-reviewed articles and introduces the methodological innovations [used] by the [U.N. Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (IGME) and the Technical Advisory Group (TAG)] in estimating child mortality” (8/27). The Guardian features an interactive on child mortality (8/28).