MDG 4: reduce child mortality
Updated May 2015
Target 4.A: Reduce by two-thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate
Globally, the number of deaths of children under 5 years of age fell from 12.7 million in 1990 to 6.3 million in 2013. The first 28 days of life – the “neonatal period” – represent the most vulnerable time for a child’s survival. In 2013, around 44% of under-five deaths occurred during this period, up from 37% in 1990.
Reaching the MDG on reducing child mortality will require more rapid scale up of key effective, affordable interventions: care for newborns and their mothers; infant and young child feeding; vaccines; prevention and case management of pneumonia, diarrhoea and sepsis; malaria control; and prevention and care of HIV/AIDS.
To deliver these interventions, WHO promotes four main strategies:
- appropriate home care and timely treatment of complications for newborns;
- integrated management of childhood illness for all children under five years old;
- expanded programme on immunization;
- infant and young child feeding.
These child health strategies are complemented by interventions for maternal health, in particular, skilled care during pregnancy and childbirth.