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UNICEF brings India's grim state of child healthcare to light

29 Jun 2016 | By Ramya

UNICEF's State of the World's Children report revealed that over 1.2 million children died last year in India even before turning five years.

The report also stated that India would lead four other countries, which would account for over half of the under-five deaths by 2030.

Most of the under-five deaths in 2015 were caused by diseases that are easily treatable and preventable.

In context: Disadvantaged children and their fate

IntroductionAbout UNICEF

United Nations Children's Emergency Fund provides long-term developmental and humanitarian assistance to children and mothers in developing nations.

Headquartered in New York City, UNICEF operates in over 190 nations around the world and promotes children's rights and wellbeing.

It was created on 11 December 1946 by the UN General Assembly to provide emergency healthcare and food to the children of World War II-affected countries.

Annual ReportReport on the 'State of the World's Children'

'The State of the World's Children' is a flagship annual report released by United Nations Children's Emergency Fund.

It closely examines and observes key issues that affect children and includes supporting statistics and data.

This year, the report paints a stark picture of the fate of the world's disadvantaged children if governments and other international organizations don't accelerate efforts to address their needs.

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Making the right choices can reverse the fate

UNICEF's latest 'State of the World's Children' report says, "Making the right choices now can, and will, reverse this fate (of the disadvantaged children in the world)."

29 Jun 2016UNICEF brings India's grim state of child healthcare to light

Under-five DeathsIndia would lead other countries in under-five deaths

UNICEF's report stated that India would account for 17% of the under-five deaths by 2030, while Nigeria 15%, Pakistan 8%, Congo 7% and Angola 5%.

To avoid such situation, India needs an average neonatal mortality reduction rate of nearly double the current level.

India is placed in those five countries that accounted for half of 5.9 million- world's total under-five deaths reported in 2015.

Biggest KillersBiggest causes for under-five deaths in India

The biggest under-five killers in India are neonatal/premature birth complications, which caused 39% of the total deaths.

Pneumonia followed neonatal/premature birth complications as it caused 14.9% of the deaths, diarrhea 9.8%, and sepsis 7.9% among others.

Though such deaths have been controlled so far — from 126 deaths per 1000 births in 1990 to 48 in 2015 — India needs to improve a lot.

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Mortality RateIndia- third worst offender in Southeast Asia

India reported about 25 million births in last year but has been tagged the 'third worst offender' in Southeast Asia after Afghanistan and Pakistan concerning under-five mortality rate.

The under-five death rate in India is 48, whereas that of other nations like Bangladesh and Nepal is 38 and 36 respectively.

In the Southeast Asian region, China recorded the least mortality rate of 11.

EducationGap between poor and rich children getting education

In India, by the age of 11 years, children from rich households with educated parents are at an advantage over children from poorer families in receiving a better education.

The gap between poor and rich children getting educated is about 19%.

The report said that India has much to celebrate for ensuring access to education through 'Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan' and Right to Education Act.

Over 124 million do not get primary, secondary schooling

Flagging education as a major problem, the report stated that globally, two in five children who finished primary schooling don't know how to read, write or do simple arithmetic. Over 124 million children in the world do not attend primary and lower-secondary schools.