Despite being one of the poorest countries in the world, Malawi has reduced its child mortality rate by more than two-thirds, saving the lives of 280,000 children under age five.

The southeast African country credits its success to three areas: the use of treated mosquito nets to prevent malaria among pregnant women and children; enhancement of its rural community clinics to treat common childhood ailments like diarrhea and infections, and increased immunizations against diseases like polio.Africa-Polio vaccine-UNAMID-released

Africa Celebrates One Year Without A Single New Case of Polio

Reducing child mortality was one of the 8 United Nations Millennium Development Goals set in 2000 to aid the world’s most vulnerable people by addressing poverty, the spread of HIV/AIDS and lack of water, sanitation and education.

Overall, child mortality rates for kids under five have plunged by 53 percent since 1990– down from 12.7 million per year to 5.9 million.

Introducing more lifesaving efforts for newborns in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia — areas with the most child deaths— is critical to bringing down global figures even further.

UNICEF, the UN children’s aid group, celebrated the milestone, having reached–and exceeded–the goals before the end of the target year, with a beautiful video from Malawi.

(WATCH the video from Unicef Malawi below) Photo: UNICEF

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