Infant mortality rates have dropped to new lows worldwide, according to UNICEF. Vaccination drives, education supporting breastfeeding, and anti-malarial measures helped drive last year's death rate of children under 5 down to 72 per 1,000. It stood at 93 per 1,000 in 1993. "It could be that this is the tipping point when we now see a dramatic decline," said a UNICEF official.
Last year was the first in which fewer than 10 million young children died. Rates are lowest in industrialized countries, where 6 children died for every 1,000 live births. The highest rates were in western and central African, where 186 infants per 1,000 died before age 5. Along with vaccines, health workers have been distributing insecticide-treated mosquito nets and Vitamin A drops to help children.