India’s under-5 mortality rate world’s worst

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India still accounts for the highest number of deaths of children aged below five years, data from the Global Burden of Disease-2016 report, published in the medical journal ‘Lancet’, show.

The under five mortality rate in India stands at 50 per 1000 live births down from 74 in the 10 years between 2005-06 and 2015-16

Globally, mortality rates have decreased across all age groups over the past five decades, with the largest improvements occurring among children younger than five years. In absolute terms, India recorded the largest number of under-5 deaths in 2016 at 0.9 million, followed by Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which recorded 0.7 million and 0.3 million deaths, respectively.

GBD 2016 has also thrown up interesting findings on India’s ticking non communicable diseases time bomb. NCDs constitute seven of the top ten causes of death in India with over 6 million people succumbing to them in 2016. The leading cause of mortality was ischemic heart disease.

Mortality rateImage result for mortality

A death rate. There are a number of different types of mortality rates as, for examples, the following:

  • The fetal mortality rate: The ratio of fetal deaths to the sum of the births (the live births + the fetal deaths) in that year.
  • The infant mortality rate: The number of children dying under a year of age divided by the number of live births that year.
  • The maternal mortality rate: The number of maternal deaths related to childbearing divided by the number of live births (or by the number of live births + fetal deaths) in that year.

The word “mortality” came from the Latin “mors” (death). Mortality is distinct from morbidity (illness). A condition such as tuberculosis can cause morbidity and mortality (disease and death).

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