Various agencies- UNICEF, WHO, World Bank, United Nations- jointly released a report on Levels and Trends in Child Mortality recently.
The Report documents progress towards attaining Millennium Development Goal 4: Reduce by 2/3rds the Under-five Mortality Rate between 1990 and 2015.
The Report uses available information to plot future progress based on existing trends as well.
In 1990, the Global Under-five Mortality Rate was 91 deaths/ 1,000 live births. This has declined to 43 deaths/ 1,000 live births in 2015, a decrease of 53%.
If the mortality rate had remained unchanged, approximately 48 million under-five children would not have lived to see their fifth birthday- the decline in mortality rates has saved 48 million lives over the last 15 years (2000-2015).
The absolute number of under-five children dying has declined from 12.7 million/ year in 1990 to 5.9 million/ year in 2015.
About 1/3rd (33%) (62 out of 195) of countries have lowered their Under-five Mortality Rates by 2/3rds or more, achieving the MDG4 target.
The Global Neonatal Mortality Rate was 36 deaths/ 1,000 live births in 1990. This declined to 19 deaths/ 1,000 live births in 2015.
As a result of the decline in Neonatal Mortality Rate, the number of neonatal deaths has decreased from 5.1 million to 2.7 million over the same time period.
Most child deaths are caused by diseases that are readily preventable or treatable with proven, cost-effective and quality-delivered interventions.
Infectious diseases and neonatal complications are responsible for the vast majority of under-five deaths globally.
The period at or around birth remains the biggest challenge- 45% of under-five deaths occur in the neonatal period – the first 28 days of life.
1 million neonatal deaths occur on the day of birth, and close to 2 million children die in the first week of life.
Prematurity, pneumonia, complications during labour and delivery, diarrhoea, sepsis, and malaria are leading causes of death for children under 5 years old.
Nearly half of all under-five deaths are associated with undernutrition.
In sub-Saharan Africa, 1 out of every 12 children dies before his/ her fifth birthday. In comparison, in high income countries only 1 out of every 147 children dies before his/her fifth birthday.
Link to the press release:
Link to the Levels and Trends in Child Mortality Report 2015 (English, 36 pages):