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Expat Health Insurance News: Drop in child mortality rate found

Improvements in international healthcare have caused a massive decline in the number of mothers and children who die.

According to the Countdown 2012 Report from the Countdown to 2015 initiative, the amount of maternal deaths has fallen by almost one-half since 1990, while the amount of deaths of children under age the of five dropped from 12 million in 1990 to 7.6 million in 2010.

Between 2000 and 2010, the rate of decline for child fatalities averaged at least five per cent every year in Botswana, Egypt, Rwanda, Madagascar, Malawi, Liberia and the United Republic of Tanzania, while the number of maternal deaths in Vietnam, Nepal and Equatorial Guinea has dropped by 75 per cent over this timeframe.

However, the report noted that a woman dies from complications relating to pregnancy somewhere in the world every two minutes.

In this length of time, almost 30 young children will die of an illness or disease that can be have easily been prevented or treated, with inadequate nutrition accounting for one-third of all these events.

Furthermore, for every female who dies as a result of childbirth, between 20 and 30 suffer from serious problems, with these sometimes lasting for the rest of their lives.

Approximately 40 per cent of all child deaths occur within the first month of the person's life.

Co-chair of the Countdown to 2015 initiative and chief health officer of United Nation's Children's Fund Mickey Chopra said: "Global efforts to save the lives of women, newborn babies and young children are not moving fast enough."

"Some countries are showing us what success looks like, but many other countries still have to learn the lessons of those successes," he added.

The report was authored by a number of experts, professionals and academics from a range of institutions, including Johns Hopkins University, Save the Children, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the University of Pelotas in Brazil.

According to the World Health Organization, youngsters born in low-income nations are approximately 18 times more likely to die before the age of five than those in richer countries.

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