Monday, July 09, 2018

Child Mortality

Child mortality is like a thermometer for the general health of a society. It is just one number, but in order for it to go down, a lot of things have to be going well. In most industrialised countries, less than 5 children per 1,000 don't reach their 5th birthday. As the world has become richer, and more people have shifted from absolute poverty to middle income, this incredibly harsh trauma has visited fewer and fewer of us. It is easy to get caught in the negativity of daily news. This is slow (rather than breaking) news that has taken 200 years and fundamentally changed almost all of our lives. It is worth celebrating. The country with the worst child mortality in 2013 (Angola) has half the child mortality of the country with the best in 1800 (Belgium). More than 30% of children in Belgium in 1800 did not live till their 5th birthday. The global average has reduced from 43.3% to less than 3.4%. It is worth celebrating.

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