Today, young children in Uganda have a better chance of survival than ever before.
In 2011, one in 11 children died before the age of five, compared to one in seven in 2001. During the same period, infant mortality decreased from one in 18 to one in 11. This progress has been inspiring, as lives have been saved in some of the poorest communities.
But mothers, so critical to the survival of children, are still being lost to preventable conditions. Eighteen mothers die every day in Uganda.
Similarly, newborns are vulnerable and comprise a large proportion of under-five deaths: in 2011, one in 30 babies died in the first month of life. Most infant deaths happen in the first day or week of life because of poor care at the time of birth.
Not all Ugandan children have the best chance at life. Those born in rural areas, to the poorest families, and with uneducated mothers are most likely to die before the age of five.
The deaths of most mothers and under-5 children can be avoided. They are caused by preventable diseases and conditions such as unsafe abortions, hypertensive disorders, infections, heavy blood loss after birth, malaria, pneumonia, diarrhoea and HIV. For both mothers and their infants, poor quality of care at childbirth, inequitable health services and inadequate family-care practices contribute significantly to their deaths.