Published: September 12, 2012
Fewer than seven million children around the world died before their fifth birthday from disease and birth complications in 2011 — a new low — the World Health Organization, theUnited Nations Children’s Fund and other agencies announced Wednesday. About 12 million children that age died in 1990, and the numberfell below 10 million for the first time in 2007, so the pace of saving children’s lives is accelerating, experts said. Half of all the deaths occurred in five countries: India, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan and China. The leading causes, in descending order, were pneumonia, premature birth, diarrhea, birth complications and malaria. Most of those deaths were preventable with relatively cheap interventions, the United Nationsagencies said.