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Facts on Children

Child survival and development

UNICEF’s identifies young child survival and development as the first right of the child.  More than 10 million children under the age of five die each year.  Two thirds of both neonatal and young child deaths — over six million deaths every year — are preventable.

Child survival key data:

Child survival

  • Global child deaths under age five per year (2005): 10.1 million
  • Global child deaths under age five each day (2005): 28,000.
  • Neonatal deaths per year (first month of life, 2000): 30 per 1,000 live births
  • Global births every year: 133 million
  • Under-five deaths by cause, 2000- 2003
    o Neonatal causes: 37 per cent (inc. severe infections such as pneumonia/sepsis, which account for 26 per cent).
    o Pneumonia: 19 per cent.
    o Diarrhoeal diseases: 17 per cent.
    o Malaria: 8 per cent.
    o Measles: 4 per cent.
    o HIV/AIDS: 3 per cent.
    o Other diseases, plus injuries: 13 per cent.
  • Percentage of under-five deaths related to under-nutrition : 53 per cent
  • 60 countries accounted for 94 per cent of all child mortality in 2004
  • Region with highest under five mortality rates: West & Central Africa, 190 per 1,000 live births
  • Country with highest child mortality: Sierra Leone, 282 per 1,000 live births
  • Preliminary results of the Accelerated Children Survival and Development (ACSD) programme in rural districts of 11 countries in west and central Africa from 2002-2004 show up to an estimated 20 per cent reduction in under-five mortality.

Updated: April 2007