Nigeria has surpassed India as the country with the most under-five deaths in the world. This is coming despite a near 60 per cent decline in the global under-five mortality rate from 1990
The unenviable statistic was revealed in the latest Levels and Trends in Child Mortality report released by the UNICEF. Nigeria was projected by the World Bank in 2018 to overtake India by 2021 but has unfortunately achieved the position earlier than projected.
Earlier figures released by the World Bank show India recorded an estimated 989,000 under-five, while Nigeria recorded 714,000 deaths in 2017.
About 49 per cent of all under-five deaths in 2019 occurred in just five countries: Nigeria, India, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ethiopia. Nigeria and India alone account for almost a third.
The latest reports put Nigeria as the number one country for under-five deaths, with figures at an estimated average of 858,000, while India ranked second with 824,000 deaths out of 5.2 million under-five deaths globally.
More than half of the 5.2 million victims were newborns, who mostly died of preventable causes according to the Levels and Trends in Child Mortality report.