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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Paris (AFP) — A U.N. target for slashing infant deaths will be missed, mainly through failures to roll back infectious disease and complications during pregnancy, experts said on Wednesday.

Under the fourth so-called Millennium Development Goal (MDG), all U.N. members were meant to reduce deaths among children under five by two-thirds by the end of 2015 from 1990 levels.

There were 6.3 million deaths in 2013 worldwide, a near halving of the 1990 toll of 12.7 million.

The decrease shows “countries have made great progress in improving child survival since the turn of the millennium,” specialists reported in The Lancet.

“Nevertheless, Millennium Development Goal 4… will probably only be achieved by a few countries.”

The study, led by Robert Black of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, delved into causes of under-five deaths in 2013.

Pre-term complications were to blame for 965,000 deaths world-wide, while pneumonia accounted for another 935,000 deaths and complications during childbirth for 662,000. Diarrhea and malaria were also major killers.

China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Nigeria, and Pakistan together accounted for about half of all deaths globally in 2013, the paper found.

The research should help frame debate for the Sustainable Development Goals, which are due to be decided by U.N. leaders in September 2015 as a successor to the MDGs, the authors hope.

On current trends, in 2030 4.4 million children under five will still die, and 60 percent of these deaths will occur in sub-Saharan Africa.

AFP Photo/Dibyangshu Sarkar

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  • Sand_Cat

    Gee, if the UN stopped sendin’ black helicopters to take our guns, they might have the time and resources to take care of even such unimportant goals as this one!

    • The Un is a waste of money. America should save resources by eliminating the UN from our shores. Not only could we save the money we spend to maintain it, but we also would curb the flow of terrorists into our country. Doing away with the UN and sealing our borders would do wonders in stopping terrorists on our homeland.

      • Sand_Cat

        Not likely (either that we will “eliminate” it or that doing so would have the slightest effect on the “terrorists” here in the Father – oops – Homeland).
        UN often is a lot of hot air, but we waste far, far more on far less productive things – even harmful things – and the UN does do some good, plus the endless talking is better than no contact at all.
        My post was satirical in intent, anyway.

        • Was that a Freudian slip, Sand Cat? Fatherland? LOL

          • Sand_Cat

            Wasn’t a slip at all.
            The whole “Homeland” thing and the repressive and unConstitutional laws and policies that go with it make me thing of the Fatherland. ;>)

        • clcman

          Trust me, you NEVER want to post a satirical post on an internet forum. No one can tell if you’re serious or not, and no one would be surprised if you were.

          • Sand_Cat

            Yeah, I know. I say Americans are all irony-deaf, and I find myself falling into the same trap sometimes, but often satire is the best way to go. Kenn and most of the other regulars should be able to tell based on past postings.

          • clcman

            I think it’s just a combination of “you can’t use tone and body language to show you’re joking” and the fact that someone out there is honestly saying something as crazy as you at this very moment.

          • Sand_Cat

            Valid point. It’s just that subtlety has never been my strong point, and I thought that combined with the crazy stuff I wrote would be sufficient: it destroys the effect if you beat people over the head. But you’re right: some of the stuff I’ve seen here that I thought was irony and satire apparently wasn’t. Who would have thought? Guess I’m just too old. There used to be crazy right-wingers, but generally even the conservatives acknowledged what they were; now the crazies seem to be the only ones left. At some time or the other, either side may go off the rails, but this just seems a very strange time to me.

  • clcman

    Well, reducing infant mortality rates by half is an achievement worthy of celebration, regardless. Can always aim higher, but that’s 6-ish million children a year not dying, so…