More than half of the 10 million children who die globally below the age of five die in Africa. Several reasons facilitate this large numbers, and some of them include lack of access to healthcare facilities and high levels of poverty.
Food insecurity and hunger is another primary cause of infant mortality in Africa. Malaria and malnutrition also often lead to early deaths. Undeveloped infrastructure and poor conditions in health facilities also necessitate deaths of children when born or need medical help.
Countries With the 5 Highest Rates of Infant Mortality
Mali - 100 per 1,000
Mali has the highest infant mortality rate in Africa, with 100 deaths per 1,000 live births. This gives Mali the second highest infant mortality rate in the world, behind only Afghanistan. Most people who live in Mali are very power, with around 80% of the population relying on agriculture to survive. In Mali, 1 in 2 children live in extreme poverty. The lack of access to basic healthcare as well as widespread malnutrition are two contributing factors to infant mortality.
Somalia - 96.6 per 1,000
Somalia has the second highest infant mortality rate in Africa, with 96.6 deaths per every 1,000 births. In Somalia, around one out of every ten pregnant women in the country die before they deliver due to complications resulting from the unavailability of health facilities and inadequate infrastructure. Female genital mutilation is also a significant cause of risky pregnancies for women, as it puts infants at a high risk of dying before they get to their first birthday.
Central African Republic - 88.4 per 1,000
Research by the International Humanitarian Organization Medicine Sans Frontiers reveals that cases of children dying in Central African democrat are alarmingly high. An estimate of 86 children die out of every 1,000 live births. The primary cause of infant deaths in the Central African Republic is the absence of health facilities. Most women deliver in their homes as medical centers are not available.
Guinea-Bissau - 86 per 1,000
The infant mortality rate in Guinea-Bissau ranks third in Africa with an approximate rate of 86 out of ,1000 live births. The primary cause of infant deaths includes diseases like malaria and diarrhea. Although often these diseases are easily preventable, the poor economic state of the country prevents investments in the medical sector.
Chad - 82.8 per 1,000
There are 85 deaths out of every 1,000 live births that occur in Chad. The primary cause of death in the country is lack of a vaccine for preventable diseases like chicken pox and measles. Malaria is also a major problem in the country.
How Can Infant Mortality Rates Be Improved?
All nations around the world are constantly working to improve infant mortality rates. Non-governmental organizations have set up charity programs to help developing countries with medical assistance to reduce the number of deaths.