The early years
The improvement in child health and the reduction of child mortality have been national development goals ever since the First Malaysia Plan in 1966.
Medical advances, including vaccines and oral rehydration for the treatment of diarrhoea as well as the availability of child health services that include control of communicable diseases and immunisation have been made widely accessible, even in rural areas, through the country’s primary health care system.
Infant and child mortality rates have declined dramatically over the past three and a half decades and are now comparable to those of highly developed countries.
These advances, together with progressively increased access to clean water, improved sanitation, and better child nutrition have been the key determinants for the dramatic decline in infant and child mortality rates over the past three and half decades since 1970.
Malaysia’s infant and child mortality rates at 10 and 11 respectively per 1,000 live births in 2007* are now comparable to those of highly industrialised countries.
While child mortality has fallen markedly in all states of Malaysia, spatial differences still exist between states reflecting different levels of development.
In Peninsular Malaysia, child mortality is lower in the west coast states and higher for the more rural east coast states where poverty rates are higher.
* Source: State of the World's Children, 2009
SOWC 2009 - Maternal and Newborn Health
22 August 2007:
26 May 2006: