The annual number of under-five deaths fell from 12.6 million in 1990 to 6.6 million in 2012. But much faster progress is needed to reduce preventable diseases that cause child mortality.You get the point--let's not believe that the war is over just because we are currently winning the battle. The Bill and Melinda Gates has also been solidly behind this effort, as Melinda Gates pointed out:
Two of my passions are child health and statistics. So I look forward to mid-September every year, to the day when UNICEF reports how many fewer children died the previous year.Of course, declining infant mortality means higher rates of population growth unless fertility declines proportionately, and UNICEF is also the UN agency promoting birth control around the world, and to her credit, Melinda Gates also joined this campaign last year, as I noted at the time.
Every single year—for at least the last 50 years—the number has gone down. Every. Single. Year.
I challenge you to name something else that gets better on that kind of schedule. The stock market goes up and down. Sprinters keep getting faster, but they don’t set new records every year. The 100 meter record set in 1968 didn’t get broken until 1983.
Meanwhile, the child mortality record set in 1968 got broken in 1969. And 1970. And 1971. And so on.
Keep in mind that we’re talking about the most important statistic in the world—who is alive.