Death rate has surged among children in Iraq
The Associated Press
LONDON — The chance that a child will live beyond age 5 has plummeted faster in Iraq than anywhere else in the world since 1990, says a report released today.
One in eight Iraqi children died of disease or violence before reaching their fifth birthday in 2005, according to the report by Save the Children, which said Iraq ranked last because it made the least progress toward improving survival rates.
Even before the latest war, Iraq was plagued by shortages of electricity, clean water and hospitals.
The publication, which used data from 1990-2005, also determined that gains in survival rates in some of the world’s poorest countries were declining, including in Botswana, Zimbabwe and Swaziland.
More than nine in 10 child deaths occur in just 60 countries, the report said. Of the 10 million children under age 5 who die every year, most could be saved with cheap solutions such as nets to protect against mosquito-borne malaria or antibiotics to treat pneumonia, according to the report.
Among industrialized countries, Iceland had the best child survival rate, and Romania the worst. The U.S. is 26th, tied with Croatia, Estonia and Poland.