Ethiopian child mortality, malnutrition rates drop

Ethiopian children ©Crispin Rodwell

By Aaron Maasho

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Ethiopia has more than halved its child mortality rates since 1990 through campaigns to increase the number of health workers and clinics throughout the country, government and aid officials said on Friday.

The Horn of Africa nation has long suffered from one of the world’s highest death rates of children due to recurring droughts. Twenty years ago the mortality rate for those aged under five was about 20 percent.

“Today, according to the 2011 Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey, that figure has been slashed by more than half to 8.8 per cent,” said Keseteberhan Admassu, Ethiopia’s State Minister of Health.

“Reducing malnutrition, which is an underlying factor in at least half of all under-five deaths, has had a profound impact on the survival rates of children,” he told a gathering of representatives of United Nations agencies.

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