ADDIS ABABA (AFP) — Ethiopia has reduced its child mortality rate by 40 percent over the last 15 years, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said Wednesday.
"Under-five mortality rates have reduced by an impressive 40 percent between 1990 and 2006," it said in a statement a day after it issued its annual report on the state of the world's young people.
In 2006, 123 infants died per thousand born.
UNICEF highlighted a national immunisation programme against measles and the distribution of 20 million insecticide-treated bed nets in malaria-prone areas since 2005 -- enough to protect 10 million families.
"No Ethiopian child need die of preventable causes," said the country's health minister, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
"A solid foundation has been put in place to sustain and accelerate the decline in child mortality," added UNICEF's representative in Ethiopia, Bjorn Ljungqvist.
Ghebreyesus has targeted a further reduction of two-thirds in the figures.
In its State of the World's Children Report for 2008, released Tuesday in Geneva, UNICEF said developing countries must play an active role alongside global partnerships to further cut child mortality and raise overall care.
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