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Infant Mortality

Volume 462: debated on Wednesday 11 July 2007

11. To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to assist the development of health care systems to tackle infant mortality in developing countries; and if he will make a statement. (148668)

40 per cent. of the 10.1 million childhood deaths take place within the first 28 days of life. Most infant deaths are preventable through access to basic health services, improved water and sanitation and better nutrition. Improving the health of infants goes hand-in-hand with improving the health of mothers. Levels of infant mortality are reducing in countries like Malawi, Tanzania and Bangladesh where DFID long-term funding is assisting Governments to invest in health workers, increasing access to family planning and skilled birth attendants at delivery, and increasing basic child health services such as immunisation, and treatment for pneumonia and diarrhoeal diseases.