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Where and why are 10 million children dying every year?

Author: Black RE et al
Resource type: Article

Black RE, Morris SS, Bryce J Lancet 2003, Jun 28;361:2226-2234

Infants, 0 – 5 months of age who are not breastfed have seven-fold and five-fold increased risk of death from diarrhea and pneumonia respectively, compared with infants who are exclusively breastfed

More than 10 million children die each year, most from preventable causes and almost all in poor countries. Six countries account for 50% of worldwide deaths in children younger than 5 years, and 42 countries for 90%. The causes of death differ substantially from one country to another, highlighting the need to expand understanding of child health epidemiology at a country level rather than in geopolitical regions. Other key issues include the importance of undernutrition as an underlying cause of child deaths associated with infectious diseases, the effects of multiple concurrent illnesses, and recognition that pneumonia and diarrhoea remain the diseases that are most often associated with child deaths. A better understanding of child health epidemiology could contribute to more effective approaches to saving children's lives.

[First of five public health articles on children in the Lancet]

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Black RE et al (2003). Where and why are 10 million children dying every year?. www.ennonline.net/10millionchildrendying

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