Wealth Doesn't Always Aid Health

UN finds child mortality rates uneven in developing nations
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 18, 2008 3:17 AM CST
Wealth Doesn't Always Aid Health
Angola comes at the bottom of a new "Wealth and Survival" league table drawn up by the UN Development Programme, the BBC reports. There are few countries in the world where there are such stark wealth contrasts as there are between the wealth of oil-rich coastal strip around the Angolan capital Luanda,...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – Citing new child mortality statistics, analysts say a nation's wealth doesn’t always translate into better health for its youngest citizens, the BBC reports. Every year, 10 million children die before their fifth birthday, with 99% of the fatalities occurring in the developing world. But even when conditions improve, survival is often just a “lottery,"  depending on where a baby is born, said a spokesman for Save the Children.

Angola ranked last on a United Nations survey comparing wealth and survival rates, but India also lagged. Some of the world's poorest countries—Nepal, Malawi, Tanzania and Bangladesh—ranked among the top 10 on the UN index. One analyst called the continuing mortality figures in India particularly  shocking. "If we can make such rapid development economically then why can't we do the same socially?" she asked. (Read more wealth stories.)

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