India has highest number of under-5 deaths in world: Report

India has the highest number of child deaths in 2015 globally, with 20% of the world's under five deaths occuring in the country, says a report.

Last Updated: Sep 09, 2015, 09:41 AM IST

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: India has the highest number of child deaths in 2015 globally, with 20% of the world's under five deaths occuring in the country, says a report.

According to a new data from medical journal The Lancet, 1 in 5 under five deaths took place in India in 2015, numbering to 1.2 million children - 20% of the 5.9 million global deaths.

The study from the UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME) led by UNICEF has revealed that only 62 countries of 195 countries have met the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of reducing under-5 mortality (U5MR) by two-thirds over 25 years.

Although India did not make it in the list of 62 countries - which includes includes Bangladesh and Nepal that have achieved the MGD target - U5MR in the country dropped from 126 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 48 in 2015 - a 62% reduction (very close to meet the MDG 4 target).

The study pointed out that although there has been substantial progress globally during the MDG target period of 1990-2015 – with a 53% reduction of U5MR in the last 25 years - the world has missed the MDG 4 target.

“If current pace of progress continues, India would meet the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target by 2030,” Dr Danzhen You from the UNIGME was quoted as saying to Times if India.

The study also found global U5MR has fallen from 91 deaths per 1000 live births in 1990 to 43 in 2015. During the same period, absolute under-5 deaths worldwide dropped from 12.7 million to 5.9 million. In total, an estimated 236.3 million children under age five died in 1990-2015.

The data suggests that two regions - East Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean - met the MDG 4 target.

In India, infectious diseases such as pneumonia and diarrhoea are still main killers of children under five years of age.

Experts called for greater efforts in countries with high under-5 mortality rates, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia to millions of children's lives.