The UN children’s agency has urged Uganda to reduce the number of children dying under the age of five if it is to realize the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal target of 26 deaths per 1,000 live births.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in its report, The State of the World’s Children 2016, said to fully realize the target, Uganda needs to reduce its under-five mortality rate in poor communities by 6.8 percent per year.
“Under-five mortality should continue to decline for all children. But in order to reach the child survival targets, mortality rates for children from the poorest households will have to fall much more rapidly than the rates for those from the wealthiest households,” the report said.
Currently, Uganda’s under-five mortality rate is 90 deaths per 1,000 live births, according to figures by the children’s agency.
According to the agency, based on current global trends, 69 million children will die from mostly preventable causes by 2030. In Uganda, every day, 52 children die of pneumonia, 42 from malaria and 33 from diarrhoea.
“In many cases, the constraints on reaching these children are not technical. They are a matter of political commitment and collective will. They are a matter of resources. If we all join forces, we can address the inequity and inequality that hundreds of thousands of children across Uganda currently experience,” said Aida Girma, UNICEF’s Representative in Uganda.
The report said that significant progress has been made in saving children’s lives, getting children into school and lifting people out of poverty globally, but highlighted that this progress has been neither nor fair.