Childhood mortality: still a global priority
Mortality of children under-5 continues to be a global priority. In 2012, 6.6 million children under-5 died worldwide; more than half of these deaths are due to diseases that are preventable and treatable through simple, affordable interventions. In response to the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goal (MDGs) which called, through MDG4,to “reduceby two thirds the under-5 child mortality, between 1990 and 2015”, global organizations and many countries set targets and developed specific strategies to reduce child mortality and monitor progress.As a result, the number of deaths in children under-5 worldwide declined from 12.4 million in 1990 to 6.6 in 2012. Under-5 child mortality dropped in all regions of the world. However, two major challenges face the international community: The wide disparity in the risk of child death among countries, and the emerging role of neonatal death as a major component of child mortality. In order to continue the progress in reducing under-5 child mortality worldwide, current efforts must continue and new strategies need to be implemented to focus on preventing neonatal deaths as they start to represent a larger proportion of under-5 child deaths. In particular, further reduction in neonatal mortality will depend heavily on improving maternal health (MDG5).The world leaders continue to support the MDGs. In 2010, in a major push to accelerate progress on women’s and children’s health, a number of Heads of State and Government from developed and developing countries, along with the private sector, foundations, international organizations, civil society and research organizations, pledged over $40 billion in resources over the next five years.
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