RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- The mortality rate of children under five years old in Brazil fell by 73 percent in the last 21 years, said a UN report released Thursday.
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said that Brazil's child mortality rate fell from 58 deaths for every 1,000 children in 1990 to 16 deaths for every 1,000 children in 2011, adding Brazil registered the world's fourth biggest advancement in this issue, after Turkey, Peru and El Salvador.
There were improvements in the access to health services in Brazil, with the establishment of community health programs and family health strategies in the 1990s, which "helped reduce inequities in coverage and cut child mortality," UNICEF report said.
Other important factors contributing to this included improvements in sanitation, maternal education, breastfeeding and immunization coverage, and growth in vulnerable families' incomes, UNICEF stated.
The fund qualified Brazil's progress as "impressive," but stressed that a lot of children still die from neo-natal diseases and post-partum complications in the country.
According to UNICEF, most countries registered have made improvement in reducing child mortality rates in the past two decades, and fighting disease is largely credited for this achievement. The global figures dropped from almost 12 million deaths of children aged five in 1990 to 6.9 million in 2011.
However, despite the millions of lives saved, almost 19,000 children under five still die every day from diseases that are preventable.