Adding to the ongoing success stories of Africa within the past couple of years, the World Bank today announced a steady decline in Infant Mortality Rate in South Saharan Africa.
Infant Mortality has been a big challenge for Africa and is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “the number of deaths during the first 28 completed days of life per 1000 live births in a given year or period.”
As of 2003, Africa had the highest infant mortality rate in the world with a report of over 100 cases per 1,000 lives. Europe had the lowest, with less than 20 cases.
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In a new report by the World Bank, several Sub Saharan countries have experienced a decline by more than 6 percent. These countries include Senegal, Rwanda, Kenya, and Ghana.
This progress can be attested to several things. In recent years, there has been a rise in the number of health organizations on the ground who are educating communities and providing resources for safe and sanitary birth conditions. Malaria, which is known to be one of the major catalysts of Infant Mortality is being addressed by some of these health organizations. Communities are more aware and are taking precautious means to stay protected from the disease.
Although this steep progress is commendable, Education and access to recourses are key to further minimizing infant mortality in Africa. Africans and Diaspora Africans must take on the role of educating their communities back home in Africa and getting involved with organizations that are making a difference.