India has earned the dubious distinction of reporting most under-five child mortality in 2011 in the world, says a new United Nations global estimate on child mortality.
The United Nations Children Fund report to be released in New York on Thursday says that 16.55 lakh children below the age of five died in India in 2011, almost six times more than the similar figure for China.
About 2.49 under five deaths were reported from China."In 2011, around 50% of global under-five deaths occurred in five countries - India, Nigeria, Congo, Pakistan and China," the report said.
Tracking under five mortality rate since 1990, the UNICEF said that India has made a lot of progress with a 48% decline in the deaths but it was still lower than some other poor countries such as Bangladesh, Rwanda, Nepal and Malawi.
Bangladesh recorded a decline of 66.9% whereas Nepal reported a fall of 64.3%.
That meant that the total number of under-five child deaths was highest in India as compared to several of its poor neighbours such as Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, the report said.
The Indian government - centre and state - have put a lot of focus on improving health and nutritional among children, which has resulted in steep decline in child mortality rate.
The officials said the budget for children have increased manifold since 1990s but admit that the country's 200 backward districts are still the zones for high under five child mortality rates.
"In some of these districts the mortality rate may be even higher than Sub-Saharan Africa," an official said.
Globally, the under five child mortality rate has reduced from nearly 12 million in 1990 to 6.9 million in 2011.
It means that about 14,000 less children died every day as compared to 1990 levels but around 19,000 children still die each day.