Child mortality expected to grow
Child mortality expected to grow

Child mortality expected to grow

Namibia’s under-five mortality rate stands at 40 deaths per 1 000, while the country’s infant mortality rate is 30 deaths per 1 000.
Cindy Van Wyk


While recent statistics indicate that under-five child mortality has decreased in Namibia in the past two decades from 2000 to 2020, a report warns that urgent action is needed to prevent millions of children from dying by 2030.

Around 43 million children below the age of five could die between 2021 and 2030 globally if governments fail to urgently put in place measures to stop child mortality.

This is according to the United Nations Children's Fund’s (Unicef) ‘Levels and Trends in Child Mortality’ report, which indicated that 58% of these deaths will take place in sub-Saharan Africa.

It said an estimated 3 000 children younger than five died in Namibia during 2020, a decrease from the 4 000 estimated to have died in the country in 2000.

Namibia’s under-five mortality rate stands at 40 deaths per 1 000, being more common amongst boys - at 44 deaths per 1 000 - than girls (36 deaths). The country has an infant mortality rate of 30 deaths per 1 000.

According to the report, more than five million children died before reaching their fifth birthday in 2020. Almost half of those deaths, 2.4 million, occurred among newborns.

Direct attention

Unicef said more than 80% of the total under-five deaths recorded in 2020 occurred in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia regions alone.

It recommended that there is a need for the world to direct its attention to the most vulnerable regions, countries and age groups to effectively address annual child deaths, and to strengthen healthcare equity in delivering high-quality maternal, newborn and child survival interventions.

“Though sub-Saharan Africa was not as hard hit as some other regions in terms of Covid-19-related mortality in 2020, the region’s doggedly high mortality rates and future demographics call for increased focus on this region.”

The organisation also projected that 408 million births are expected to take place between 2021 and 2030 in sub-Saharan Africa, while the under-five population is set to increase by 17% to about 199 million by 2030.


Namibian Sun 2023-05-29

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