Committing To Child Survival: Progress Report 2013

  • To reach Millennium Development Goal 4 — which seeks to reduce the global under-five mortality rate by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015 — the pace of reduction would need to quadruple in 2013-2015. And even if the world were to achieve MDG 4 on time, 15 million children under 5 would still die between 2013 and 2015, mostly from preventable causes. To achieve MDG 4 by 2015, an additional 3.5 million children’s lives must be saved between 2013 and 2015 above the current trend rate
  • At the current rate of reduction in under-five mortality, the world will only make MDG 4 by 2028 — 13 years after the deadline — and 35 million more children will die between 2015 and 2028 whose lives could be saved if we were able to make the goal on time in 2015 and continue that trend. Only two regions — East Asia and Pacific, and Latin America and Caribbean — are currently on track to meet the 2015 deadline for MDG 4
  • Of the 6.6 million under-five deaths in 2012, most were from preventable causes such as pneumonia, diarrhoea or malaria; around 44% of deaths in children under 5 occurred during the neonatal period

    • Even though there have been strong advances in fighting childhood diseases, pneumonia and diarrhoea remain leading causes of deaths among children under 5, killing almost 5,000 children under 5 every day. These are diseases of the poor and their distribution is highly concentrated, with three-quarters of global pneumonia and diarrhoea deaths occurring in just 15 countries
    • Malaria remains an important cause of child death, killing 1,200 children under 5 every day. It remains strongly concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa, where it accounts for 14% of child deaths, despite major gains in life-saving interventions in recent years
    • Despite declining rates globally, neonatal deaths are growing as a share of global under-five deaths amid faster progress in reducing mortality in the post-neonatal period. Most neonatal deaths are preventable
    • Accelerating progress in child survival urgently requires greater attention to ending preventable child deaths in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, which together account for 4 out of 5 under-five deaths globally
    • South Asia has made strong progress on reducing preventable child deaths, more than halving its number of deaths among children under 5 since 1990. But nearly one in every three under-five deaths still takes place in this region, and it has not seen a major acceleration in the rate of reduction
    • Sub-Saharan Africa faces a unique and urgent challenge in accelerating progress. By mid-century it will be the region with the single biggest population of children under 5, accounting for 37% of the global total and close to 40% of all live births. And it is the region with least progress on under-five mortality to date
    • West and Central Africa in particular requires a special focus for child survival, as it is lagging behind all other regions, including Eastern and Southern Africa, and has seen virtually no reduction in its annual number of child deaths since 1990

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