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Child deaths down: UN

Child deaths down: UN

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An infant receives treatment at the Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospital in Phnom Penh earlier this year. Photograph: Hong Menea/Phnom Penh Post

Cambodia has experienced a 64 per cent decrease in mortality rates among children under five in the past two decades, a UNICEF report released yesterday states.

While 37,000 children under five died in Cambodia in 1990, 13,000 died in 2011 – an almost five per cent annual reduction in death rates, according to the report.

“Progress can be attributed to successful immunisation programs, antenatal care and breast-feeding promotion, better infant and child care, improved quality of health services for children and improved community referral systems,” Denise Shepherd-Johnson, UNICEF Cambodia’s chief of communication, said yesterday.

“Child immunisation rates in Cambodia are now routinely above 90 per cent,” she said.

She added that Cambodia’s 2011 average of 43 deaths for every 1,000 live births means that Cambodia has met its Millennium Development Goal number 4, which aimed for fewer than 65 deaths of children under five for every 1,000 live births.

To contact the reporter on this story: Justine Drennan at [email protected]