Addis Ababa — Ethiopia, the second populous nation in Africa ,has managed to reduce under five mortality rates by 40 per cent during the last 15 years, says Mr Bjorn Ljungqvist, Unicef country representative in Addis.
Mr Ljungqvist made the remark Tuesday at a press conference at the launching of Unicef's flagship report, State of the World's Children 2008: Child survival report, in Addis Ababa. According to the Unicef representative "Ethiopia is at the centre of a new wave in child survival revolution.
"The challenge now is to achieve sustained results and deliver on all key child survival opportunities."
Ethiopian Minster of health Dr Tewodros Adhanom said "No Ethiopian child need die of preventable causes.
That is the underlying principle guiding our child and maternal health programme."
Dr Tewodros also unveiled Ethiopian Prime Minster Meles Zenawi's direct involvement in the development of primary health care strategy which has been implemented since 2004 as part of the country's development plan.
"I am confident he must be credited for all his effort and political commitment to reducing child mortality by 40 per cent" Dr Tewodros said on the occasion.
The Minster also said his country must achieve the Millennium Development Goal of primary health care for all by 2010. Beside this successful story, Ethiopia is dealing with a severe and acute malnutrition as well as 300 babies dying every day by preventable and curable disease.
According to the Unicef child survival report 2008 Ethiopia ranked 30, Kenya 31, Somalia 21 Uganda 23 and Sudan 45.
Sierra Leone is ranked as the leading worst under five mortality rate performer followed by Angola, Afghanistan, Niger and Liberia respectively.