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Neonatal death, drugs, strokes

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UK lags behind in preventing neonatal death

Lancet (2014) doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)60497-9

By global standards, the UK has very low rates of childhood death. Yet childhood mortality in the UK remains higher than in many other Western European countries, a new global analysis shows.

Guinea-Bissau, in West Africa, had the highest death rate among children less than five years of age: 152.5 per 1000 births in 2013. During the same year, 3800 children less than five years of age died in the UK. The UK's mortality rate for children aged 0-4 years was 4.9 per 1000 births, more than double that in Iceland (2.4 per 1000 births). Singapore had the world's lowest child mortality rate: 2.3 per 1000 births.

The UK also had poorer outcomes than almost every other Western European nation for neonatal mortality (0 and 6 days after birth; 2.1 per 1000) and post-neonatal deaths (29 to 364 days; 1.4 per 1000). The UK had the worst European record for deaths of children between 1 and 4 years aged (0.8 per 1000). By way of comparison, in Iceland the figures were 0.9, 0.7 and 0.4 per 1000 births, respectively.

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