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Ethiopia achieves development target on reducing child mortality
Sustained government drive brings down deaths among children under the age of five by 67% compared with 1990 figures
By Elissa Jobson in Addis Ababa
Ethiopia, a low-income country in the drought prone Horn of Africa, has achieved the millennium development goal to cut the mortality rate for children under the age of five ahead of the 2015 deadline, according to figures published on Friday.
The statistics, contained in a 2013 progress report, Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed, compiled by the UN children's fund Unicef, the World Health Organisation (WHO), and the World Bank Group, showed Ethiopia has reduced child deaths by more than two thirds over the past 20 years. In 1990, an estimated 204 children in every 1,000 in Ethiopia died before the age of five ; just six countries had a higher rate. The latest data shows that by 2012 the rate had dropped to 68, a massive 67% fall in the under-five mortality rate.
Bangladesh, Liberia, Malawi, Nepal and Tanzania have also achieved the target.
According to the report – which examines trends in child mortality since 1990, analyses the main causes of under-five deaths, and highlights national and global efforts to save children's lives – the annual number of under-five deaths has fallen from 12.6 million in 1990 to 6.6 million in 2012.
Some of the greatest advances in cutting child deaths are being made in east and southern Africa. Between 2005 and 2012, the regions achieved an annual reduction rate of 5.3% – the highest in the world.
In Tanzania, the Help Babies Breathe Alliance has trained and equipped more than 100,000 health workers, resulting in a 47% reduction in deaths during the first 24 hours of life. In Zambia and Uganda, meanwhile, safe deliveries in health facilities have been promoted through the training of hundreds of health workers in emergency obstetric and newborn care, along with the availability of essential supplies and equipment for the treatment of postpartum haemorrhage and eclampsia.
However, there are still some anomalies. Kenya has experienced an increase in the overall under-five mortality rate, from 96 deaths per 1,000 births in 1990 to 108 per 1,000 in 2012. The rise has occurred despite the introduction of free maternal healthcare, and despite some regional success in cutting deaths.
The western and central regions of Africa are making the least progress globally. Almost one in every eight children born there will not reach their fifth birthday and the annual rate of reduction, while increasing, remains the slowest in the world.
Political instability, recurrent emergencies and disasters, widespread extreme poverty, and some of the lowest budgetary allocations to basic social services in the world have contributed to the dismal child survival rates in these regions.
Unicef states that without faster progress in all regions, it will take until 2028 for the world to meet the target on reducing deaths among under-fives.
Government commitment and resources have contributed to Ethiopia's progress on the issue.
"The government has set some very bold and extremely ambitious targets. It has then backed them up with real resources and real commitment sustained over the last 10 years," said Dr Peter Salama, Unicef country representative for Ethiopia, pointing to the country's health extension programme.
"The programme put on the government payroll more than 36,000 health workers and deployed them to more then 15,000 health posts across Ethiopia … That is the single most important reason why Ethiopia has reduced its under-five mortality rate."
Dr Kesetebirhan Admasu, Ethiopia's health minister, agreed. "I believe it is the work of these amazing community health workers who have really put the country to achieve these results," he said. "The key factor is political commitment. With that commitment and with the commitment of the government in putting actual money, real money beyond setting the policy … [it] has helped to attract more donors to the programme."
Salama said the fact that the health extension programme has been government-owned rather than donor-led has contributed to its success, and means the gains made are sustainable in the longer term. But he added that further progress in cutting child deaths will be increasingly difficult to achieve.
"An increasing number of the remaining child deaths [in Ethiopia] are attributed to newborn deaths – those in the first 28 days of life. These newborn deaths are intrinsically linked to maternal health and nutrition [which is] more complicated to deal with because it implies much more high-skilled service delivery. Without addressing this, it's going to be hard to see the same level of progress that has been made in the last decade."
Very impressive. I am very happy. ..saving those incident babies…wow. God job everyone that is involved in making it happen. Together ….we can achieve a lot …
We could do even better if you remove the looters TPLF and EFFORT. Can you imagine how many more children we can feed with the type of money these non-Ethiopian entities are looting?
And many thanks to remittance money and diaspora and the hardworking people of Ethiopia. Not only do they carry and power the country they also carry the ineffective ethnic based corrupt governing system. God bless them all!
I am impressed with this dramatic achievement;congratulation everyone.A very difficult to achieve, but have been made possible by the tenacious efforts of the government even under strong opposition from many health professionals.
There was a strong opposition on the role of health extension program at the time I was active participant in the health sector. I my self was not supporting the program; we were mainly opposing the quality of training they were getting and service they were providing.I am sure the program has undergone quite a lot of revision and correction from the ongoing comment and suggestion. And finally,it showed itself that it works.
Lessons learned include access is key in health service provision and should promoted even before quality; allowing optimal duration is very important factor in evaluating the impact of health programs;political commitment has irreplaceable role in bringing change;and incorporating criticism and responding accordingly is helpful for all of us.
Finally , I am personally happy to see and hear positive developments like this in Ethiopia. Hopefully, we will do the same in the other domains we lag:human rights,freedom of speech,fair administration, and others.
The Ethiopian government deserves credit for remarkable achievement in child mortality reduction.
Do not trust these parasite western charities. Look what chines achieved in whole Africa in matter of 10 years, building schools,hospitals, roads,creating jobs etc…etc… The chines never show a staging African child in their tv and humiliated Africans as a starving and hopeless continent but thes western charities all of them are to humiliation African population, these charities collect money by showing African misser like childerens with full of flies on their face and so that they keep collecting their money to humiliate us. Forget this statistic! We African achieving and heading to brighter future tanks to chines and Asians investment. What did these western charities achieved ? I tell you all what. They turn African to beggars ,specially Ethiopia where there are now over 3000 beggar charities to humiliate us. I say now and 100000 times get rid of these parasites org. And charities. Ethiopia is better without them . Just think for while how much these parasites charities collect money in the name of starving Ethiopia child and spend it to improve life, and compare it to chines achievement? Billions of dollars has been spend for nothing, they create bureaucracy,dictators,thieves,more beggars,and turn a wealthy nation to dependency of western left over food and they keep us in poverty and do not want us to see to progress.
Only blind trust these charities. I say , throw these parasites from Ethiopia soil.
A solution to improve life in Ethiopia is investment speciall from far east Asiean like chines, koria,Japan etc.
The African misery is created by western charities. The create conflict, ethnical conflict is created by these charities, look at Republc Congo . With all minerals the have ,the could have been richest nation in Africa like South Africa but with all conflict created by western missionary ,charities,NGO etc… The are now living in misery, often war,refuggees in their countries…..
You figure the rest.
UN crypto Officials ,where the hell have you been in Mars or Truely in Ethiopia .What the hell
accomplishing Millienum Goal in a
Land where children are still dying of Malnutrution .Ethiopia is not really only ,the Addis Sheraton Dining Room ,the Agazi Ass Holes and Bandas Bars and Restaurants but also Streets Children feeding themselvese from
you said “We could do even better if you remove the looters TPLF ..” I thought such a massive achievement has been registered due to the visionary leaders of EPRDF in general and TPLF in particular.
Endih aynet neger eko “Beshilela” ena “Bekererto” yemihon neger eko aydelem dear bro. Ethiopia was ruled by ignorant leaders for more than 800 years who are only good in “shilela, Kererto and Fukera” and everybody knows what ethiopia was like before 20 years. Gabito????
Why is still an English media in Ethiopia? Are we so stupid still allowing the English shit mouth propaganda Medias including the criminal BBC freely operating in our country to affect us?
People wake up and clean from our country anything and everything has to do with that small place knowing with crimes against humanity since the last 500 years.
I started to watch on youtube about this story which is the English story they are busy with for years not because of they do care about us but they have their own agenda and of course too bad for us. But when the woman started to speak with English accent, I just stop watching, listening and accepting the story as it was saying. People all over the world are no longer interested to listen and believing when someone speaking with accent from that little Island knowing they are liars and anything they do is based on their own agenda and benefit while affecting the other sides.
So, Guardian, BBC(evil media owned by the English establishment that is responsible what happened in the world in the past 500 years including slavery, colonization and genocide including in Australia and North America.
So, the English Medias need to go to hell. The moment we see they are behind any story or we hear speaking with that irritated accent, no one is interested anymore with the story. People worldwide are covering their own story by themselves. No foreign media or journalist is needed anymore. Foreign journalism is in the past not present and definitely is not be needed and welcome in any country in the future. This must be and will be the fact when it comes with the English type criminal Medias.
another headache to no good, talk only, spineless vocal diaspra. you can say any thing you want or jump up and down this is the reality in the ground. my country is advancing in all aspects of human development faster and faster. thank s to the genius leadership of pm meles zenawi and the mighty epdrf. above all thanks to the unparalleled effort made by the ethiopian people.
C/est moi senait
Nice to see you again sister. I see last time some low-life cyber bullies were disparaging and defaming you. The only reason is they wish you to become narrow-minded and pigeonholed like them. No chance. You are open minded, insightful and straight shooter as ever, unlike some sickos and double-faced characters populated in the net. Without mincing a word, you call the spate and an spate.
People like you and Brooks have more remarkable experience and understanding of the world surrounding us and the region in particular. I think you also have some appreciation and more exposure to the diverse culture, politico and religious inner-working of the Ethiopian communities unlike some buffoonish and sycophant characters often commenting on the issues. Keep holding fire on feet of whoever you think doing evil things.
the reason why the teddys and ment4us are going banana over news like this and quick to trash it is because it doesnt fit well with their portrayal of the government as evil and enemy that is destroying ethiopia. how can one bring child mortality down by 68% and at the same time destroy the nation..it is very difficult to swallow even for a full blood patriotic amara. how can one improve the transportation, electric generation and other infrastracture by 2-3 fold and still destroy the nation…it makes no sense…the argument should be, development like this while they should be encouraged and supported (not sanctioned), they should never be used by the government to shut down the opposition and rule indefinetely. in short we should say “good job but so what!”
Suleman the Brainless TPLF
“Ethiopia was ruled by ignorant leaders for more than 800 years who are only good in “shilela, Kererto and Fukera” and everybody knows what ethiopia was like before 20 years. Gabito????”
Perhaps your little brain is confused and mixing reality with your diluted stupid fantasy, Ethiopia has been the greatest, united, free, and prospering nation on the planet because of the visionary fearless leadership many of its leaders.
Unfortunately for you it does not include the ethnic group TPLF, Meles. For that matter it also does not include Derg.
Now wake-up to reality loser!!!
Many infants die from preventable diseases. Lack of adequate health centers, health workers, insufficient funds were partly to blame for higher child mortality rate.
Empowering the women through education and providing early low-cost vaccination can further reduces the rate. The government should control vigorously the supply and distribution of essential vaccinations and medicines such as antibiotics.
Where the hell are you missing the big news?
This news is going to devastate the poor diaspora and the spineless opposition who oppose anything under the sun the government does. Eat your heart out.
This is excellent news and I applaud those individuals who played significant roles in this achievement. It is good news for loving parents and their adorable children. I am happy to hear that those children have better chance of living to see adulthood than us when we wee growing up. It is about time!!!!
Congratulations to all that were/are involved in this concerted effort.
Get the NGO’s out, we can do it ourselves!
I appreciate your honesty to admit that you were wrong to oppose the Health Extension program, because of quality issues. You are not alone. The same argument is made on the education sector by many critics. They are over critical on the rapid expansion of Universities, since they believe their quality is poor.
People lose the fact there is a trade off in these strategies. Quality and Quantity don’t always go together. In a poor country like Ethiopia access to education and health is extremely important. This entails rapid expansion, which often compromises with quality. Quality takes time. The quality health and educations centers in developed countries were built over many years of hard work. Besides time, Quality also needs money, which poor countries like Ethiopia can’t afford.
So, your strategy in a country like Ethiopia, which started development almost from scratch is to expand access opportunities in health and education (at all levels), while you also work in parallel on the long-term issue of raising quality at the same time.
With this strategy, you save lives (by expanded health care) and provide access to education (which is the cornerstone for development).
I think Ethiopia is on the right track on these fronts, as the results speak for themselves!
God Bless our Motherland!
Her future is bright!
The country is moving forward, I did work in the health sector and was painful to see little kids dying from preventive disease.
I appreciate and am grateful to the men and women whose hard work made this happen. That said I found the NEWS to be again a subtle jab at Ethiopia for her past miseries. Westerners, I don’t think they’re going to stop chastising us sometime in the near future regardless how hard we have been trying to change our lives. They just seem to be unwilling to live without their TVs showing our malnourished children and the least fortunate in our communities. UNICEF, UNDP or the rest of UN arms are not more than a bunch of arrogant groups that do more harm than good in any third world country. It is ridiculous the freedom they feel in making a basket case for their achievement at the cost of the lives of these poor communities.
These organizations are swollen with many unqualified staff that got through nepotism and subtle connections. With their outrageous administrative costs and inflated salaries on top of high per-diems and travel costs, they suck up the blood, eat the flesh of any aid fund and they still brag about the leftover bones thrown to the needy. And shamelessly they promote and eulogize themselves as miracle creators. I understand that we are responsible for our own problems and solutions. If we thrive for self reliance, not settle for handouts, and pull together, we won’t be at the mercy of these adventurers.
Very impressive and Job well done EPRDF. Keep up with a good work.
Ye Agazew Temtamew ,a child surviving in cities Streets ,worst suffering of malnutrition and even victim of Famine is not really from an economically advancing country .As your Fairytale’s Great
socio-economic achievements of your dead master actually roting in Hell . KEFFO RAS BANDA !!!!
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