Academic journal article International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health

Three Leading Causes of Child Death in China

Academic journal article International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health

Three Leading Causes of Child Death in China

Article excerpt

Pneumonia, birth asphyxia and complications of preterm birth were the three leading causes of deaths among children younger than five in China in 2008, according to an analysis of public data on child mortality from 1990 to 2008. (1) During the study period, the national under-five mortality rate decreased by 71%, from 64.6 to 18.5 child deaths per 1,000 live births--meeting the fourth Millennium Development Goal of a two-thirds reduction in the 1990 level of child mortality by 2015. The mortality rate among neonates (<1 month) decreased by 70% between 1990 and 2008 (from 34.0 to 10.2), and the rate among postneonatal infants (1-11 months) decreased by 72% over that period (from 53.5 to 14.9). Pneumonia, birth asphyxia and preterm birth complications each accounted for 15-17% of all child deaths; birth asphyxia was the most common cause of death among neonates (29%), and pneumonia was the most common cause among postneonatal infants (47%). The proportion of child deaths attributed to infections (diarrhea, pneumonia and sepsis) and birth asphyxia decreased between 2000 and 2008, whereas the proportions of deaths due to congenital abnormalities and preterm birth complications increased. …

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