Globally, 80 per cent of newborns die from preventable and treatable causes. In Rwanda, UNICEF is committed to ensure that every child receives quality care that meets international standards.
Rwanda has reduced the number of young child deaths by nearly 70 per cent.
Just over a decade ago, for every 1,000 live births, 152 children did not survive to celebrate their fifth birthday. This number has declined to 50 deaths for every 1,000 live births.
Just as impressive is the decline in deaths among mothers. A decade ago, 750 mothers died for every 100,000 live births, but this has also declined to 210.
Although these improvements are impressive, the numbers are still unacceptable. Over 40 per cent of under-five deaths in Rwanda are children within their first month of life.
Surprisingly, a very high number of these newborn deaths occur in health facilities, which often lack the equipment or skilled professionals to save lives. Children from low-income families are more than twice as likely to die before their fifth birthday as those from high-income families.