Central African Republic
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Sao Tome and Principe
United Republic of Tanzania
Here, the AARR has slowed sharply, falling from 1.3 per cent in 1960-1990 to just 0.3 per cent in the 1990-2002 period.
In 18 countries in the region, the under-five mortality rate has either stayed the same or worsened since 1990.
Although poor perinatal conditions are still the main cause of infants' dying in the region, infections and diseases are the main killers of children under five. HIV/AIDS is responsible for 8 per cent of all under-five deaths in the region, more than double the global average.
The under-five mortality rates in most of the sub-Saharan countries appear to be less affected by household wealth than in other developing regions. This is in part explained by the high levels of absolute poverty still prevailing in these countries, which are translated into the lack of adequate and essential services at the household level, and lack of health infrastructure and basic resources. However, children born into the poorest 20 per cent of the population are 1.7 times more likely to die before the age of five than the wealthiest 20 per cent, with an excess under-five mortality rate of 80 deaths per thousand live births (181 vs. 100 respectively).
The greatest challenge
Sub-Saharan Africa faces the greatest challenge of any region in meeting MDG 4. The region will need to raise its AARR to 8.2 per cent, almost double the rate originally required, if it is to make the 2015 target.
|Country||U5MR 1990||U5MR 2002||MDG target(a) 2015||Progress(b) 1990-2002||Requirement 2002-2015|
|Tanzania, United Rep. of||163||165||54||-0.1||8.5|
|Central African Rep.||180||180||60||0.0||8.5|
|Congo, Dem. Rep. of the||205||205||68||0.0||8.5|
|Sao Tome and Principe||118||118||39||0.0||8.5|
Countries whose AARR has matched or exceeded the implied MDG target in 1990-2002 are shown as shaded.
Millennium Development Goal 4 set each country the task of reducing the under-five child mortality rate by two thirds between 1990 and 2015.
The speed of progress in reducing the U5MR is measured here by calculating the average annual reduction rate (AARR). Unlike the comparison of absolute changes, the AARR reflects the fact that the lower limits to U5MR are approached only with increasing difficulty. The AARR is calculated on an exponential basis, which assumes a continuous, exponential reduction between two points in time. It does not take into account the intermediate values of the series. To achieve a two-thirds reduction between 1990 and 2015 requires a progress rate of 4.4 per cent or higher.