Better vaccines, nutrition and disease control have cut the global death rate for children in half over the past 20 years. But even within countries that have made major progress, children can face greatly different fates.

"Where you're born substantially impacts your probability of surviving to 5," says Simon Hay, an epidemiologist at the University of Washington who is the lead author of a new study on childhood mortality in Nature.

The research, funded mostly by the Gates Foundation (which is also a funder of NPR and this blog), looks within the borders of 99 low- and middle-income countries that account for 93% of child deaths. Since 2000, those deaths have dropped from some 10 million a year to 5.4 million.

Read the entire story at NPR. Simon Hay, an Adjunct Professor of Global Health, is quoted.