The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Infant Mortality:
Failure of the System

Feb 6, 2023

This article is translated from the January 13 issue #2841 of Lutte Ouvrière (Workers’ Struggle), the newspaper of the revolutionary workers’ group of that name active in France.

Around five million children younger than five died worldwide in 2021, as many as the year before, according to United Nations child protection office UNICEF.

Infant mortality went down in the first decade of the 21st century, but progress has stalled since 2010—a consequence of the 2008 world economic crisis and its long-term consequences.

To save newborns and young children, what is most necessary are access to medications, a modern health care system, clean water, and decent food. It’s no surprise that the infant mortality rate in sub-Saharan Africa is twice the global average. Children born there are 15 times more likely to die under the age of five than children born in North America or Europe. The harshest conditions are seen in Somalia and South Sudan, and as for Asia, in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The under-five mortality rate is a gauge measuring the progress of a society. It shows capitalism is unable to let all of humanity benefit from progress in science and technology.