JOHANNESBURG: South Africa has achieved the second fastest rate of decline in under-five mortality after Rwanda in the African continent, the government said.
"South Africa has achieved remarkable progress in improving child and infant health, with the country's under-five mortality rate decreasing from 85.2 per 1,000 live births in 2002 to 44.1 per 1,000 live births in 2014," Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe said, according to a Xinhua report.
Similarly, the infant mortality declined from 57.8 per 1,000 live births in 2002 to 34.4 per 1,000 in 2014, he said on Sunday.
The child health indicators have been retained in the sustainable development goals to be adopted by nations of the world at the forthcoming UN Summit later in September 2015.
South Africa's maternal mortality ratio shows some progress, albeit not fast enough.
The South African public health sector, working in collaboration with development partners, academic institutions and NGOs, has developed a Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Countdown Project.
The project aims to increase significantly the number of maternal lives saved by 2015, though the country will not meet the MDG target.
Between 2001 and 2011, South Africa significantly reduced the number of children suffering from severe malnutrition.