“The best news is that children and adolescents throughout the world are more likely to become adults than ever before”
From article by Lisa Rapaport of Reuters:
(Reuters Health) - Children today are more likely to survive to early adulthood than they were in years past, but progress has been concentrated in higher-income countries and a growing number of kids worldwide are living with disabling health problems, a new study suggests.
Researchers examined data collected from 195 countries and territories between 1990 and 2017, during which time the annual number of fatalities among youth under age 20 fell 52 percent, from about 13.8 million to just 6.6 million. The decline was driven primarily by a decrease in deaths from infectious diseases.
“While the global health community should celebrate these successes, continued monitoring is crucial to sustain progresses of the past 27 years,” said lead study author Dr. Robert Reiner Jr. of the School of Medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle.
“Moreover, considerable effort is needed to reduce inequality in burden between high and low income countries,” Reiner said by email. “Areas with the highest risk for disease and death have improved slower than average over this period, and given the population growth rates in these countries, already overburdened health systems will need increased support to avoid increases in unnecessary and preventable childhood and adolescent death.”
By the end of the study, 82 percent of childhood and adolescent deaths worldwide were concentrated in low- and middle-income countries, up from 71 percent in 1990.
Globally, reductions in mortality rates were most rapid in children between the ages of one and four, driven by declines in deaths from diarrhea, lower respiratory infection and other common infectious diseases…