Unicef hails progress on under-five mortality in Africa

Improvements in the child mortality rate among under-fives in Africa have been welcomed by Unicef.

According to Anthony Lake, executive director of the body, "huge reductions" have taken place across the continent throughout the last two decades.

However, he insisted that more can still be done to bring the number of fatalities among young children down even further.

Mr Lake said this is because child mortality among under-fives remains a particularly big problem in some areas, such as sub-Saharan Africa.

Indeed, he noted that in this part of the continent, more than 9,000 children aged under five die every day, mainly "from causes we can prevent".

"If we can prevent children dying, we must," Mr Lake commented.

Speaking at the African Leadership for Child Survival - A Promise Renewed conference, he said this will depend on the will of political leaders across the continent to address the problem.

Mr Lake added that he is confident progress can be made if they use their skills and show sufficient leadership.