Save the Children's report, "State of the World's Mothers 2007", found the majority of child deaths occur in just 10 countries - either those with large populations such as India and China, or those with sparse health services such as Afghanistan and Angola. Aids remains one the central factors affecting mortality rates.
"More than 10 million children under age five still die each year. That's almost 28,000 a day, almost all in developing countries," said the charity's US president, Charles MacCormack. "Vaccines, oral rehydration therapy and insecticide-treated mosquito nets are not expensive. Yet, sadly, many mothers and children lack access to these life-saving measures."
The 10 worst countries
Nine of the 10 countries with the worst infant mortality rates are in sub-Saharan Africa. The other one is Afghanistan, which has the second-worst rate.
1. Sierra Leone: 282 (per 1,000 live births)
2. Afghanistan: 257
3. Niger: 256
4. Liberia: 235
5. Somalia: 225
6. Mali: 218
7. Chad: 208
8. Democratic Republic of Congo: 205
9. Equatorial Guinea: 205
10. Rwanda: 203
[Excerpt of an article by Andrew Buncombe, The Independent]