Fast facts

Download the complete Asia-Pacific regional factsheet [PDF, 40 KB]

Download the sub-regional factsheets:

East Asia [PDF, 40 KB]

South Asia [PDF, 34 KB]

South-East Asia [PDF, 32 KB]

The Pacific [PDF, 20 KB]

Overall picture

  • Overall, the region has seen a steady fall in its annual number of under-five deaths from 10.5 million in 1970 to 6.7 million in 1990 to around 4 million in 2006. This is due to a reduction of 1.6 million child deaths in South Asia, along with falls in annual deaths of 50,000 or more in both Eastern Asia, dominated by China, and South-Eastern Asia.
  • Under-five mortality rate has been reduced by 34 per cent, to 59 per 1,000 live births in 2006. Since under-five child mortality in region in 1990 stood at 90 deaths per 1,000 live births the MDG 4 target rate for 2015 is set at 30 deaths per 1,000 live births.
  • Despite this progress, the absolute numbers of death in Asia-Pacific still high. Worldwide, of the 9.7 million children who died before their fifth birthday in 2006, more than 40 percent or approximately 4 million were from this region.
  • If current trends in child survival persist, 1 million child deaths in Asia-Pacific will occur in 2015 that could have been averted that year alone had MDG been met.
  • China, India and Pakistan are 3 of 6 countries that globally account for half of all deaths of children under-five.
  • 13 of 68 developing countries, identified by the Countdown to 2015 Campaign on infant and maternal health that require urgent action, are in Asia-Pacific. Of the 16 countries on track to meet MDG4, six of those - Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Nepal and the Philippines – are in Asia -Pacific.
  • The greatest causes of under-five deaths relate to the neonatal period – those deaths occurring in the first 28 days of life. Neonatal deaths are related to insufficient maternal health care services, maternal under nutrition and cultural practices surrounding the birth process and disease.
  • Key causes of child deaths include pneumonia and diarrhea disease which account for around one-third of deaths in Eastern Asia, Southern Eastern Asia and the Pacific, rising to 39 per cent in South Asia. Measles is also one of the biggest single killers among vaccine-preventable disease for children under-five and routine immunization coverage is vital to averting measles death. In East Asia and the Pacific, one third of children under-five with suspected pneumonia are not taken to an appropriate health-care provided, almost 40 per cent don’t received ORS treatment for diahorrea and 11 per cent were not immunized against measles.