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June 27, 2003

New Research Examines Global Child Mortality

Robert Black, MD, professor and chair of the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health, is co-author of the article “Where and why are 10 million children dying every year?” which is published in the June 27, 2003, edition of The Lancet. It is the first in a series of five articles examining global child mortality to appear in The Lancet. The collection of articles found that two-thirds of the 10 million child deaths worldwide could be prevented with existing knowledge and treatments. The authors urge world leaders to increase health resources for children and make child survival a global priority.

Dr. Black and his colleagues, Saul S. Morris, PhD, and Jennifer Bryce, EdD, examine the main causes of death for children under five, which are diarrhea, pneumonia, measles, malaria, HIV/AIDS, and the underlying cause of malnutrition. Asphyxia, preterm delivery, sepsis, and tetanus are chief causes of deaths among infants and newborns.

According to the study, India, Nigeria, China, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Ethiopia account for 50 percent of the 10 million child deaths annually. In all, 42 countries account for 90 percent of the deaths of children under the age of five. Nearly 40 percent of the deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa and 35 percent in South Asia. Forty percent of the deaths are babies younger than one month of age.

The Lancet

Public Affairs Media Contacts for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Tim Parsons or Kenna Brigham at 410-955-6878 or paffairs@jhsph.edu. Photographs of Robert Black are available upon request.
Media Contact for The Lancet: Richard Lane at +44 (0) 20 7424 4949 or richard.lane@lancet.com.