Life Expectancy Leaps 18 Years, WHO Says

Cambodia is one of six countries that have made the greatest progress in raising life expectancy, the World Health Organization’s latest health statistics show.

Released Thursday, the World Health Statistics 2014 brings together new information on a number of health issues, including immunizations and maternal and infant health.

According to a statement, it “shows that low-income countries have made the greatest progress, with an average increase in life expectancy by nine years from 1990 to 2012.”

Among the six, Cambodia came fourth, with an increase from 54 years to 72 years in life expectancy. It was preceded by the Maldives, Ethiopia and Liberia and followed by Timor-Leste and Rwanda.

“An important reason why global life expectancy has improved so much is that fewer children are dying before their fifth birthday,” WHO director-general Margaret Chan said in the statement.

In Cambodia, the under-five mortality rate has dropped from 116 per 1000 in 1990 to 40 in 2012. The maternal mortality rate now stands at 170 deaths per 100,000 births compared with 1,200 in 1990.

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