Ethiopia has reduced its mortality rate of children under the age of five years by 24 percent during the last five years, a top health official said on Friday.In an exclusive interview with APA on Friday Dr. Abrham Tariku, Newborn and Child Health Coordinator with the Ministry of Health of Ethiopia, said child mortality is declining over time from 88 in 2011 to 67 in 2016 per 1000 lives.
According to the 2016 Ethiopian Demographic Health Survey (EDHS) about 166 children died per 1000 lives in 2000 and the mortality rate dropped to123 in 2005 and 88 in 2011 per 1000 lives
“There are a lot of diseases that causes of child mortality in Ethiopia the major ones being Malaria, Diarrhea, HIV/AIDS, Asphyxia, Pneumonia and premature birth” Abrham said.
Diseases like Asphyxia, Sypsis and premature birth contributed 43 percent of the country’s neonatal mortality which currently stands at 29 per 1000 lives while Malaria, Diarrhea, Pneumonia and Measles contributed to death of 57 percent of babies who die during post-natal period.
Neonatal mortality in which new born babies die before the age of one month has seen minimum reduction despite specific neonatal coverage interventions by the government including 100 percent New Born Resuscitation and Kangaro Mother Care Coverage which currently stands at 49 percent.
According to the EDHS, 37 new born babies died per 1000 lives in 2011, and the figure dropped to 39 in 2005 and 49 per 1000 lives in 2000. Similarly, infant mortality in which children die before their first birth-day has slashed to 48 per1000 lives from 59 in 2011.
“Malnutrition is a major contributor to child mortality in Ethiopia being underlying causes for nearly under-five deaths.” Abrham added.
The health official attributed the decline of Child mortality to government’s interventions and commitment with implementation of health sector transformation plan and health extension program as well as expansion of health facilities across the country.
The country aspires to reduce child mortality to 44 per 1000 lives in 2020 and to 11 and prevent child mortality by 2030 in line with the Sustainable development Goals of the United Nations.