Uganda's child mortality rate drops

By Vision Reporter

Uganda is one of the few countries in Sub-Saharan Africa making significant progress in reducing child mortality, the latest report from UNICEF shows. <br>

By Taddeo Bwambale

Uganda is one of the few countries in Sub-Saharan Africa making significant progress in reducing child mortality, the latest report from UNICEF shows.

The report titled ‘Levels & Trends in Child Mortality Report 2011’ analyzes progress made by countries globally in achieving millennium development goal 4 of reducing child mortality by two-thirds by 2015. The report covers a ten year period, between 1990 and 2010.

According to the report, the infant mortality rate, which measures child deaths before the age of one, improved to 99 deaths per 1000 live births in 2010, from 175 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990. Uganda’s MDG4 target is 58 by 2015.

The under-five mortality rate, which measures child deaths before the age of five, declined from 106 to 63 deaths per 1,000 live births during the same period. Child mortality in Uganda reduced at a rate of 2.8% annually during the period, the report shows.

The report further shows a reduction in the number of children under the age of five from 143,000 in 1990 to 141,000 in 2010. However, the number of reported deaths of under-five children increased from 88,000 to 92,000 over the period.

The neonatal mortality rate (rate at which newly born babies die within 28 days) dropped from 36 per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 26 in 2010. However, more neonatal deaths were recorded over the same period, with 39,000 in 2010 compared to 31,000 in 1990, the report shows.

Of the five East African counterparts, Tanzania had fastest reduction rate of child mortality at 3.6% annually, followed by Uganda and Rwanda.

Tanzania’s under-five mortality rate improved from 155 per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 76 in 2010, while the infant mortality rate dropped from 95 per 1,000 live births to 50 over the same period.

Rwanda’s under-five mortality rate improved from 163 per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 91 in 2010, while the infant mortality rate dropped from 99 per 1,000 live births to 59 over the same period.

It’s average annual reduction rate 2.9%.
The under-five child mortality rate in Kenya’s improved from 99 per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 85 in 2010, while infant mortality rate dropped from 6 4 per 1,000 live births to 55 in 2010. Kenya’s annual reduction rate was at 0.8%.

Burundi’s under-five mortality rate improved from 183 per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 142 in 2010, while the infant mortality rate dropped from 110 per 1,000 live births to 88 over the same period. It’s average annual reduction rate 1.3%.

Overall, the report shows substantial progress in achieving MDG 4. It indicates that the number of under-five deaths worldwide declined from more than 12 million in 1990 to 7.6 million in 2010.

About 21,000 children under the age of five died every day in 2010, down from about 33,000 in 1990, the report states.

It also shows that the biggest reductions were in child mortality in Niger, Malawi, Liberia, Timor-Leste and Sierra Leone.

Uganda's child mortality rate drops