Fewer women and Children die- 2016 survey reveals

Uganda has registered slight progress in reducing child and maternal mortality. This is according to the Uganda Demographic Health Survey (UDHS) 2016. The survey estimated 368 deaths per 100,000 live births - approximately 15 pregnant women dying every day due to direct causes like haemorrhage and hypertensive disorders compared to 438 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2011 (UDHS 2011). However, it still ranks among the top 40 countries in the world with high maternal, newborn and child mortality rates. On the other hand, Uganda has registered some good progress towards the reduction of child mortality. The survey revealed that fewer children die before their fifth birthday - 64 under-five deaths per 1,000 live births in 2016 compared to 90 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2011. Malaria, newborn conditions, pneumonia and prematurity account for 50 per cent of under-five deaths. Infant deaths also reduced from 56 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2011 to 43 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2016. However, there has been no progress in newborn deaths (newborns dying during the first 28 days) with a stagnant figure of 27 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2011 and 2016. UNICEF continues to support the government towards improvement of quality of care for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent through the provision of supplies, scaling up quality of care standards and upgrades to health infrastructure. For children who survive the first month, infectious diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhoea and malaria account for the most deaths globally. In older children, injuries, including road traffic injuries and drowning become important causes of death and disability. Maternal deaths are caused by obstetric complications such as high blood pressure during pregnancy and severe bleeding or infections during or after childbirth, and increasingly due to an existing disease or condition aggravated by the effects of pregnancy. Global targets: The global target for ending preventable maternal mortality (SDG target 3.1) is to reduce global maternal mortality ratio (MMR) to less than 70 per 100 000 live births by 2030. The world will fall short of this target by more than 1 million lives if the current pace of progress continues. The SDG target (3.2) for ending preventable deaths of newborns and children under age 5 is to reduce neonatal mortality to at least 12 per 1000 live births and under-5 mortality to at least 25 per 1000 live births. In 2018, 121 countries had already achieved this under-five mortality rate. Among the remaining 74, 53 countries will need to accelerate progress to reach the SDG target on child survival by 2030.

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