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Coronavirus: Child mortality in developing countries could increase by 45%: World Bank

Many African countries, including Nigeria, are classified as developing countries.

• October 6, 2020
David Malpass
World Bank president, David Malpass (Photo Credit: Aljezeera)

World Bank President David Malpass says child mortality rates in developing countries might increase by 45 percent due to prevalence of coronavirus. 

“Our early estimates suggest a potential increase of up to 45 per cent in child mortality because of health service shortfalls and reduction in access to food,” Mr. Malpass said at a virtual meeting on Monday, ahead of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund annual meetings next week.

Many African countries, including Nigeria, are classified as developing countries.

As of 2018, Nigeria was making steady gains in reducing child mortality as it recorded a mortality rate of 120 deaths for every 1,000 live births in 2018 as against 142.2 deaths in 2008and 288.9 deaths in 1969, according to Knoema Health. Mr. Malpass’ projection suggests this could be reversed.

Mr. Malpass added that the World Bank estimates the increases in child mortality to persist in the coming years.

The World Bank president also said the difficulties in administering education amid pandemic could lead to significant issues for the developing countries in the future.

“Since the outbreak, more than 1.6 billion children in developing countries have been out of school because of COVID-19, implying a potential loss of as much as 10 trillion dollars in lifetime earnings for these students,” Mr. Malpass said.

Mr. Malpass added that the World Bank was doing everything possible to bolster the health and education capabilities of countries in need. 

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