Afghanistan: Child mortality spin
The under-5 child mortality rate in Afghanistan has declined from an estimated 257 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2001 to about 191 per 1,000 in 2006, the Ministry of Public Health said, relying on a new study by Johns Hopkins University.
The U.N. and aid agency Save the Children both hailed the advances in health care in Afghanistan.
"This is certainly very positive news," said the U.N. spokesman in Afghanistan, Adrian Edwards. "To come from such low life expectancy to see this improvement does appear to be an indication that the work on the health sector here is beginning to pay off."
Afghanistan's child mortality rate, from birth to age 5, has been among the worst in the world. Only Sierra Leone, with 283 child deaths per 1,000 live births, Angola (260) and Niger (259) ranked below Afghanistan at 257, UNICEF said in a 2006 report.
By comparison, the United States has eight under-5 child deaths per 1,000 births. Singapore and Iceland, with three childhood deaths per 1,000, topped the rankings. Link