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MBABANE – A study suggests that an estimated 3 000 children under the age of five died in the country last year.

This is according to a report titled ‘Levels and Trends in Child Mortality Report 2017’ released by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) last month.
The report shows that the estimated annual rate of reduction in child death in Sub-Saharan Africa had decreased by 3.2 per cent between 1990 and 2016 and had increased by 0.3 per cent in Swaziland.

The report states that the world has made substantial progress in child survival since 1990. The global under-five mortality rate declined by 56 per cent from 93 deaths per 1 000 live births in 1990 to 41  in 2016.
The report revealed that every year, millions of children die in the world, mostly from preventable causes including diarrhoea, malaria and pneumonia.

“In almost half the cases, malnutrition plays a role, while unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene are also significant contributing factors,” reads the report in part.
The report states that child mortality was a key indicator for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This has not been the case for Swaziland as the under five mortality rate has increased from 66 deaths per 1 000 live births to 70 deaths per 1 000 live births.

This can be translated to mean one in 14 children or 0.07 per cent born in the country each year will not reach their fifth birthdays.
It was revealed that in Swaziland, more boys aged five and below die as compared to girls. The under five mortality rate for boys was 76 deaths per 1 000 live births and for girls it was 65 deaths per 1 000 live births.
This can be translated to mean that one in 15 boys will die before they reach the age of five and one in 13 girls will die before their fifth birthday.

The report further states that a majority of the regions in the world and 142 out of 195 countries at least halved their under-five mortality rate. Among all countries, more than a third (67) cut their under-five mortality by two thirds – 28 of them are low or lower-middle-income countries, indicating that improving child survival is possible even in resource-constrained settings.
Despite substantial progress, improving child survival remains a matter of urgent concern.

In 2016, an estimated 5.6 million children died before reaching their fifth birthday mostly from preventable diseases. This translates to 15 000 under-five deaths per day, an intolerably high number of largely preventable child deaths.
It was reported that Sub-Saharan Africa remained the region with the highest under-five mortality rate in the world.

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: Cost cutting strategy
Should have government consulted emaSwati before introducing the cost cutting strategy?