Is it inevitable that poor countries should have high child mortality rates? Are governments in developing countries powerless to improve the survival prospects of their children? These are questions asked by a report from Save the Children in a report published today designed to re-alight the flagging momentum for the U.N. Millenium Development Goals.
The study compares economic performance with child mortality and concludes that a number of countries have not translated wealth into improvements across society. Thus Bangaldesh, low on the development index, scores far better as a result of sound health policies than oil rich Angola, which distributes wealth very unevenly and consequently has the second-highest mortality rate in the world (260 deaths per 1,000 live births.).
Some of the poorest countries in the world – Nepal, Malawi, Tanzania and Bangladesh – are among the top ten performers in cutting child mortality, whereas India, the fastest growing economy in South Asia, has some of the worst rates in the word.