Visualizing Mortality Worldwide

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Posted on 12/2/2013


Millions of children die every year due to illnesses that could have been prevented, but access to health care can make a difference.
Millions of children die every year due to illnesses that could have been prevented, but access to health care can make a difference.

Families living in poverty face many hardships. Food insecurity, a lack of access to clean water and shortages of medications and essential health care services put children's lives at risk. In both developed and developing nations, the causes of untimely deaths vary widely, but an infographic from the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation reveals the leading causes of mortality in children and adults around the world.

Lost Years

The infographic illustrates the leading causes of mortality worldwide and also how many years of human life are lost annually as a result of these factors. According to Wired Science, approximately 40 percent of deaths are caused by preventable conditions, and lives could be saved by increasing access to basic medications, clean drinking water and improved neonatal care. The IHME's database that was used to create the visualization is one of the most comprehensive ever conceived, and offers an amazing view of the true scale of the world's burden of disease and how many deaths could be prevented every year.

Malaria, tuberculosis, respiratory infections and diarrhea are among the greatest contributing factors to child mortality worldwide, and all of these diseases can be prevented with inexpensive drugs, items like treated mosquito nets and water purification treatments and access to basic health care. However, many families simply cannot afford these things without assistance, and millions of children die every year as a result. In total, more than 1.7 billion years of human life are lost annually due to untimely deaths that could have been prevented.

The infographic also reveals that, while the incidence of some infections and diseases declined between 2005 and 2010, other causes of mortality rose, including typhoid and hepatitis.

Making a difference

ChildFund works in some of the world's poorest countries to provide children in need with the health care and essentials they need to survive. One of the best ways you can help us save children's lives is by sponsoring a child.

For just $28 per month, you can support a boy or girl with access to the nutritious food, clean drinking water and lifesaving medications he or she so desperately needs. Your support will make a lifetime's worth of difference to families, and many of our sponsored children have gone on to lead happy, healthy and rewarding lives thanks to the support and generosity of their sponsors.

Please consider becoming a child sponsor today.