SOLOMONS HAVE HIGHEST INFANT DEATHS IN PACIFIC

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New report says Solomons infant morality is 55 per 1,000

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, November 10, 2008) – A UNICEF Report has revealed that Solomon Islands is unlikely to meet the Millennium Development Goal 4 to reduce child mortality.

The revelation was contained in the State of the Pacific Children Report 2008 launched last night in Solomon Islands.

The report which analyses the current situation for a million children living in 14 Pacific Island countries was launched by the UNICEF Regional Director for East Asia and Pacific Region, Anupama Rao Singh.

It says Solomon Islands has the highest infant mortality rate of 55 deaths to a 1000 live births, and under 5 mortality rate of 73 deaths to 1,000 live births in the Pacific, as recorded in 2006.

The report states that there is slow progress in improving child health indicators, especially for young children, and increasing poverty and the switch to modern diets mean that young children are at risk of not receiving sufficient protein, vitamins and minerals.

Ms Singh said Pacific people are highly vulnerable to natural disasters and impacts of global warming and several Pacific Islands have experienced periods of political and civil unrest leading to negative economic growth which all has an impact on children’s development.

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