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Fact of the week



38%: The proportion of children under five with diarrhoea who receive recommended treatment in developing countries during 2000–2006

Millennium Development Goal 4: Reduce child mortality

Target: Reduce by two-thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate

Source:  UNICEF, Progress for Children, A World Fit for Children Statistical Review, 2007, New York, December 2007.

Diarrhoeal diseases account for nearly 2 million deaths a year among children under five, making them the second most common cause of child death worldwide. For more than two decades, oral rehydration therapy (ORT) has been the cornerstone of treatment programmes for childhood diarrhoeal diseases. Recommendations on its use have changed over time, however, and there is thus a relative lack of comparable treatment data from the early to mid-1990s. Though limited, the data indicate that coverage of treatment for children under five appears to have improved significantly across the developing world (excluding China) over the past decade, including in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

But coverage still remains too low.



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