Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Study: Iraq last in child survival rankings, 1 in 8 die before 5th birthday

Brothers await a checkup at a U.S.-sponsored Combined Medical Engagement in Al Numia in April

LONDON (AP) - The chance that an Iraqi child will live beyond age 5 has plummeted faster than anywhere else in the world since 1990, according to a report released Tuesday, which placed the country last in its child survival rankings.

One in eight Iraqi children died of disease or violence before reaching their fifth birthday in 2005, according to the report by Save the Children, which said Iraq ranked last because it had made the least progress toward improving child survival rates.

Iraq's mortality rate has soared by 150 percent since 1990. Even before the latest war, Iraq was plagued by electricity shortages, a lack of clean water and too few hospitals.

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