Child deaths fell below 7 million in 2011 but 19,000 boys and girls under 5 still die daily

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Associated Press
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UNITED NATIONS — The number of children under the age of five who die annually fell below 7 million in 2011, but the U.N. children’s agency says about 19,000 boys and girls are still dying every day from largely preventable causes.

A report released Wednesday night by the United Nations Children’s Fund said that four-fifths of under-five deaths last year occurred in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said in the report that since these regions, especially sub-Saharan Africa, “will account for the bulk of the world’s births in the next years, we must give new impetus to the global momentum to reduce under-five deaths,”

He said lives can be saved with vaccines, adequate nutrition and basic medical and maternal care.

“The challenge is to make these available to every child,” he said.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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