21 Sep 2005

Child mortality fails to drop in PNG, Kiribati - WHO report

8:10 pm on 21 September 2005

A meeting of the World Health Organisation in New Caledonia has been told that Papua New Guinea and Kiribati have shown little change in child mortality in the past 10 years.

A report tabled at the Noumea meeting says in the Asia Pacific region, a silent epidemic of preventable diseases claims some 3,000 children under five every day.

It says six countries - Cambodia, China, Laos, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Vietnam - account for more than 75 percent of the deaths.

The report adds that the chances of a child's survival was also reduced by the high rate of maternal deaths.

It also notes that few nations in the region are on track to meet a U.N. Millennium Development goal of a two-thirds reduction in the under-five mortality rate between 1990 and 2015.