Major causes of death among children vary by age. Children under 5 are especially vulnerable to infectious diseases like malaria, pneumonia, diarrhoea, HIV and tuberculosis. For older children, non-communicable diseases, injuries and conflict pose significant threats.
Despite being entirely preventable and treatable, common infectious diseases are still killing young children in large numbers. Pneumonia, diarrhoea and malaria were responsible for 29 per cent of global deaths among children under the age of 5 in 2016. Children in the world’s poorest regions are disproportionately affected, with infectious diseases particularly prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa.
These trends can be reversed. UNICEF works around the world to protect and prevent children from dying of disease. We support countries to strengthen primary health care systems – especially at the community level – and combat common infectious diseases such as malaria, pneumonia, diarrhoea, HIV and tuberculosis.