Malawi has registered a 70 percent drop in child mortality, according to a report by Unicef on the findings of the United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN-IGME).
According to this year’s report, Malawi has a rate of 64 deaths per 1000 births, surpassing the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) target of 76 deaths per 1000 births. Malawi achieved the target last year.
Spokesperson in the Ministry of Health, Adrian Chikumbe said Malawi must be proud for being one of the pacesetters in contributing to the decline in the rate of mortality among the world’s youngest.
Chikumbe also stressed the need to strengthen interventions in reducing neonatal deaths.
He said the country has experienced a slow reduction of neonatal mortality as it is among countries which continue experiencing the highest pre-term births in the world.
“These occur as a result of factors such as delay in seeking care, delay in reaching care and delay in receiving care,” he explained.
National Coordinator for the Presidential Initiative on Maternal Health and Safe motherhood Sharon Bisika said the initiative has been advocating for mothers to deliver at hospitals.
“Together we can reduce neonatal death, Mothers need to follow all hospital advice and medical personnel need to be dedicated to their job,” She advised.
Unicef Malawi’s Representative Mahimbo Mdoe said the UN agency will now strive to mobilize resources and implement the New Born Action Plan which will among others, improve training of maternity health workers, invest in equipment and interventions that save new born lives and follow up visits in communities to new mothers and babies.
“Newborns make up 30 per cent of under five deaths, which means we need to do more to ensure that neonatal survival becomes a major priority and more young lives are saved.”
The number of children who die from mostly preventable causes before they turn five now stands at 5.9 million a year worldwide—a 53 per cent drop since 1990.
According to statistics, the trend may continue with an additional 38 million lives saved by 2030 if progress accelerates further.