UNICEF: Turkmenistan’s child mortality rate is declining, but it’s still the highest in Central Asia

According to UNICEF’s report published in 2023 on the Levels and Trends in Child Mortality in the world, the under-five mortality rate in Turkmenistan has declined from 79 deaths in 1990 to 40 deaths in 2022. Mortality rate is higher for male children (46) compared to females (35).

In 2022 there were 125 thousand live births in Turkmenistan of which 5 thousand children died before reaching their first birthday. Most of the under-five deaths in Turkmenistan occur between 0 to 27 days after the child’s birth which is also known as neonatal mortality rate. At this stage 3 thousand child die in Turkmenistan. The next crucial stage in a child’s life is between their birth and exactly 1 year of age. During this stage another 2 thousand children die in Turkmenistan. Overall, 4 out of 100 children die in Turkmenistan before reaching their first birthday.

Infant mortality rate (deaths per 1,000 live births) has declined in Turkmenistan from 64 in 1990 to 35 in 2022. Meanwhile, the neonatal mortality rate (deaths per 1,000 live births) has not declined that steadily. In 1990 it was 27 and it increased to 30 in 2000 before decreasing to 23 in 2022.

As illustrated in the figure below Turkmenistan has the highest rate of mortality among neonatal, infant, under-five as well as the highest probability of dying among 5–14-year-olds and 15–24-year-olds in Central Asia.

Figure 1. Estimates of mortality among children, adolescents and youth in Central Asia, 2022

Source: UNICEF 2023.

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