Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Killing Child Mortality

The New York Times has published an interactive map which shows how child mortality rates are improving around the world. According to the Times Almost Everywhere, Fewer Children are Dying. In fact since the beginning of the 21st Century child mortality rates have been cut in half.

The Times' interactive map visualizes the reduction in child mortality from 2000-2017. The red patch on the map outlines the four regions of Syria where the rate of child mortality has actually grown during this period. Since 2000 child mortality rates have dropped in all but one of the 97 countries with the highest child mortality rates. The one exception, Syria, has been beset by a devastating civil war.

If you mouse-over individual countries on the NYT map you can view the percentage by which child mortality rates have dropped (or risen in the case of Syria). You can also view a chart showing the child mortality rate in the selected country for every year since the turn of the century.

The Times article takes a close look at how child mortality rates have been improved in a number of different countries and regions. Malnutrition is a contributing factor in nearly half of all child deaths. Therefore they can be prevented. Economic inequality and political unrest often seem to be the biggest stumbling blocks in those countries which are struggling the most to lower their rates of child mortality.

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