Over the years, the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) of 29/1000 live births in 1990 has been declining, and stands at 10.1/1000 in 2008, very close to year 2015 target of 10. Peri-natal and neonatal conditions are now the main cause of infant mortality during the first month of life.
As for the under-5 mortality rate, the latest figures of 2008 are 11.68/1000 live births, which indicates that Oman has already realised MDG 4. The immunisation coverage rate of infants against the leading childhood diseases has been sustained at over 98 % for a number of years, and has therefore eliminated the risk of death from childhood illnesses. In addition, Malaria is no longer a threat to the well-being of children in Oman.
MoH has put in place a number of interventions over the years towards ensuring the survival of newborn babies. These include pre-marriage counselling, clinical care before and during pregnancy, the provision of basic equipment and trained personnel at birth, and integrated management of childhood illnesses (IMCI). In collaboration with UNICEF, the Neonatal Resuscitation Programme (NRP) was initiated in 2007 to ensure adequate neonatal care. Health workers from all regions of the Sultanate are now trained to provide basic interventions such as care of premature babies, management of hypoglycaemia, promotion of breastfeeding etc. as vital interventions towards the reduction of neonatal morbidity and mortality.
Malnutrition in children under 5 continues to be a problem in Omani children with rates at 17.9%.The Government has put much of their efforts in working towards reducing this. The most recent study to assess the current situation was carried out in 2009/ 2010, and results will determine what interventions/actions need to be taken.
New challenges have emerged over the recent years that threaten the lives of children, and preventable injuries like falls, accidental poisoning and road traffic accidents have become the major causes of mortality, morbidity, and disability. The government is heavily investing in reducing death caused by road traffic accident in Oman.