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1.
Lancet ; 398(10300): 608-620, 2021 08 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1815288

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The educational attainment of parents, particularly mothers, has been associated with lower levels of child mortality, yet there is no consensus on the magnitude of this relationship globally. We aimed to estimate the total reductions in under-5 mortality that are associated with increased maternal and paternal education, during distinct age intervals. METHODS: This study is a comprehensive global systematic review and meta-analysis of all existing studies of the effects of parental education on neonatal, infant, and under-5 child mortality, combined with primary analyses of Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data. The literature search of seven databases (CINAHL, Embase, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science) was done between Jan 23 and Feb 8, 2019, and updated on Jan 7, 2021, with no language or publication date restrictions. Teams of independent reviewers assessed each record for its inclusion of individual-level data on parental education and child mortality and excluded articles on the basis of study design and availability of relevant statistics. Full-text screening was done in 15 languages. Data extracted from these studies were combined with primary microdata from the DHS for meta-analyses relating maternal or paternal education with mortality at six age intervals: 0-27 days, 1-11 months, 1-4 years, 0-4 years, 0-11 months, and 1 month to 4 years. Novel mixed-effects meta-regression models were implemented to address heterogeneity in referent and exposure measures among the studies and to adjust for study-level covariates (wealth or income, partner's years of schooling, and sex of the child). This study was registered with PROSPERO (CRD42020141731). FINDINGS: The systematic review returned 5339 unique records, yielding 186 included studies after exclusions. DHS data were compiled from 114 unique surveys, capturing 3 112 474 livebirths. Data extracted from the systematic review were synthesized together with primary DHS data, for meta-analysis on a total of 300 studies from 92 countries. Both increased maternal and paternal education showed a dose-response relationship linked to reduced under-5 mortality, with maternal education emerging as a stronger predictor. We observed a reduction in under-5 mortality of 31·0% (95% CI 29·0-32·6) for children born to mothers with 12 years of education (ie, completed secondary education) and 17·3% (15·0-18·8) for children born to fathers with 12 years of education, compared with those born to a parent with no education. We also showed that a single additional year of schooling was, on average, associated with a reduction in under-5 mortality of 3·04% (2·82-3·23) for maternal education and 1·57% (1·35-1·72) for paternal education. The association between higher parental education and lower child mortality was significant for both parents at all ages studied and was largest after the first month of life. The meta-analysis framework incorporated uncertainty associated with each individual effect size into the model fitting process, in an effort to decrease the risk of bias introduced by study design and quality. INTERPRETATION: To our knowledge, this study is the first effort to systematically quantify the transgenerational importance of education for child survival at the global level. The results showed that lower maternal and paternal education are both risk factors for child mortality, even after controlling for other markers of family socioeconomic status. This study provides robust evidence for universal quality education as a mechanism to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal target 3.2 of reducing neonatal and child mortality. FUNDING: Research Council of Norway, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Rockefeller Foundation-Boston University Commission on Social Determinants, Data, and Decision Making (3-D Commission).


Subject(s)
Child Mortality/trends , Educational Status , Global Health , Parents , Child, Preschool , Fathers/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Mothers/statistics & numerical data , Social Class
2.
PLoS One ; 17(2): e0263245, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1708180

ABSTRACT

In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), economic downturns can lead to increased child mortality by affecting dietary, environmental, and care-seeking factors. This study estimates the potential loss of life in children under five years old attributable to economic downturns in 2020. We used a multi-level, mixed effects model to estimate the relationship between gross domestic product (GDP) per capita and under-5 mortality rates (U5MRs) specific to each of 129 LMICs. Public data were retrieved from the World Bank World Development Indicators database and the United Nations World Populations Prospects estimates for the years 1990-2020. Country-specific regression coefficients on the relationship between child mortality and GDP were used to estimate the impact on U5MR of reductions in GDP per capita of 5%, 10%, and 15%. A 5% reduction in GDP per capita in 2020 was estimated to cause an additional 282,996 deaths in children under 5 in 2020. At 10% and 15%, recessions led to higher losses of under-5 lives, increasing to 585,802 and 911,026 additional deaths, respectively. Nearly half of all the potential under-5 lives lost in LMICs were estimated to occur in Sub-Saharan Africa. Because most of these deaths will likely be due to nutrition and environmental factors amenable to intervention, countries should ensure continued investments in food supplementation, growth monitoring, and comprehensive primary health care to mitigate potential burdens.


Subject(s)
Child Mortality/trends , Developing Countries , Gross Domestic Product/trends , Africa South of the Sahara , Child, Preschool , Dietary Supplements , Environment , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Poverty , Primary Health Care , Regression Analysis , Uncertainty
5.
Lancet ; 398(10303): 870-905, 2021 09 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1437623

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Sustainable Development Goal 3.2 has targeted elimination of preventable child mortality, reduction of neonatal death to less than 12 per 1000 livebirths, and reduction of death of children younger than 5 years to less than 25 per 1000 livebirths, for each country by 2030. To understand current rates, recent trends, and potential trajectories of child mortality for the next decade, we present the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) 2019 findings for all-cause mortality and cause-specific mortality in children younger than 5 years of age, with multiple scenarios for child mortality in 2030 that include the consideration of potential effects of COVID-19, and a novel framework for quantifying optimal child survival. METHODS: We completed all-cause mortality and cause-specific mortality analyses from 204 countries and territories for detailed age groups separately, with aggregated mortality probabilities per 1000 livebirths computed for neonatal mortality rate (NMR) and under-5 mortality rate (U5MR). Scenarios for 2030 represent different potential trajectories, notably including potential effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the potential impact of improvements preferentially targeting neonatal survival. Optimal child survival metrics were developed by age, sex, and cause of death across all GBD location-years. The first metric is a global optimum and is based on the lowest observed mortality, and the second is a survival potential frontier that is based on stochastic frontier analysis of observed mortality and Healthcare Access and Quality Index. FINDINGS: Global U5MR decreased from 71·2 deaths per 1000 livebirths (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 68·3-74·0) in 2000 to 37·1 (33·2-41·7) in 2019 while global NMR correspondingly declined more slowly from 28·0 deaths per 1000 live births (26·8-29·5) in 2000 to 17·9 (16·3-19·8) in 2019. In 2019, 136 (67%) of 204 countries had a U5MR at or below the SDG 3.2 threshold and 133 (65%) had an NMR at or below the SDG 3.2 threshold, and the reference scenario suggests that by 2030, 154 (75%) of all countries could meet the U5MR targets, and 139 (68%) could meet the NMR targets. Deaths of children younger than 5 years totalled 9·65 million (95% UI 9·05-10·30) in 2000 and 5·05 million (4·27-6·02) in 2019, with the neonatal fraction of these deaths increasing from 39% (3·76 million [95% UI 3·53-4·02]) in 2000 to 48% (2·42 million; 2·06-2·86) in 2019. NMR and U5MR were generally higher in males than in females, although there was no statistically significant difference at the global level. Neonatal disorders remained the leading cause of death in children younger than 5 years in 2019, followed by lower respiratory infections, diarrhoeal diseases, congenital birth defects, and malaria. The global optimum analysis suggests NMR could be reduced to as low as 0·80 (95% UI 0·71-0·86) deaths per 1000 livebirths and U5MR to 1·44 (95% UI 1·27-1·58) deaths per 1000 livebirths, and in 2019, there were as many as 1·87 million (95% UI 1·35-2·58; 37% [95% UI 32-43]) of 5·05 million more deaths of children younger than 5 years than the survival potential frontier. INTERPRETATION: Global child mortality declined by almost half between 2000 and 2019, but progress remains slower in neonates and 65 (32%) of 204 countries, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia, are not on track to meet either SDG 3.2 target by 2030. Focused improvements in perinatal and newborn care, continued and expanded delivery of essential interventions such as vaccination and infection prevention, an enhanced focus on equity, continued focus on poverty reduction and education, and investment in strengthening health systems across the development spectrum have the potential to substantially improve U5MR. Given the widespread effects of COVID-19, considerable effort will be required to maintain and accelerate progress. FUNDING: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


Subject(s)
Child Mortality/trends , Global Health/trends , Infant Mortality/trends , Sustainable Development , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cause of Death/trends , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Global Health/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Life Tables , Male , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Arch Dis Child ; 107(1): 14-20, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1288364

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Using the National Child Mortality Database (NCMD), this work aims to investigate and quantify the characteristics of children dying of COVID-19, and to identify any changes in rate of childhood mortality during the pandemic. DESIGN: We compared the characteristics of the children who died in 2020, split by SARS-CoV-2 status. A negative binomial regression model was used to compare mortality rates in lockdown (23 March-28 June), with those children who died in the preceding period (6 January-22 March), as well as a comparable period in 2019. SETTING: England. PARTICIPANTS: Children (0-17 years). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Characteristics and number of the children who died in 2020, split by SARS-CoV-2 status. RESULTS: 1550 deaths of children between 6th of January and 28 June 2020 were notified to the NCMD; 437 of the deaths were linked to SARS-CoV-2 virology records, 25 (5.7%) had a positive PCR result. PCR-positive children were less likely to be white (37.5% vs 69.4%, p=0.003) and were older (12.2 vs 0.7 years, p<0.0006) compared with child deaths without evidence of the virus. All-cause mortality rates were similar during lockdown compared with both the period before lockdown in 2020 (rate ratio (RR) 0.93 (0.84 to 1.02)) and a similar period in 2019 (RR 1.02 (0.92 to 1.13)). CONCLUSIONS: There is little to suggest that there has been excess mortality during the period of lockdown. The apparent higher frequency of SARS-CoV-2-positive tests among children from black, Asian and minority ethnic groups is consistent with findings in adults. Ongoing surveillance is essential as the pandemic continues.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Child Mortality/trends , Epidemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Child , Child, Preschool , England , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Quarantine
9.
J Prim Care Community Health ; 12: 2150132721996889, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1105673

ABSTRACT

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted during the United Nations meeting in 2015 to succeed Millennium Development Goals. Among the health targets, SDG 3.2 is to end preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age by 2030. These 2 targets aim to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1000 live births and under-5 mortality to at least as low as 25 per 1000 live births. Ethiopia is demonstrating a great reduction in child mortality since 2000. In the 2019 child mortality estimation which is nearly 5 years after SDGs adoption, Ethiopia's progress toward reducing the newborns and under-5 mortality lie at 27 and 50.7 per 1000 live births, respectively. The generous financial and technical support from the global partners have helped to achieve such a significant reduction. Nevertheless, the SDG targets for newborns and under-5 mortality reduction are neither attained yet nor met the national plan to achieve by the end of 2019/2020. The partnership dynamics during COVID-19 crisis and the pandemic itself may also be taken as an opportunity to draw lessons and spur efforts to achieve SDG targets. This urges the need to reaffirm a comprehensive partnership and realignment with other interconnected development goals. Therefore, collective efforts with strong partnerships are required to improve the determinants of child health and achieving SDG target reduction until 2030.


Subject(s)
Child Mortality/trends , Infant Mortality/trends , International Cooperation , Sustainable Development , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child, Preschool , Ethiopia/epidemiology , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , United Nations
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