Today, UNICEF has released their updated child mortality estimates, showing a continued decline in the number of under-five deaths happening annually, to 6.9 million. Pneumonia and diarrhea continue to account for the majority of under-five deaths, at 18% and 11% respectively. As global health practitioners have observed previously, child deaths are becoming increasingly concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa, where simple technology (vaccines, adequate nutrition, etc.) would save lives. You can see the share of the child mortality burden carried by each region in this graph from UNICEF.
I appreciate the focus UNICEF has given in their messaging around the determinants of health beyond treatment at a health center: “It’s important that, in all countries, we continue to target the most vulnerable populations,” Mr. Pett says. “This isn’t just in delivering health services; it’s also focusing on the major determinants of health outcomes, such as the mother’s education, good communications, good infrastructure and good governance.”
You can download the data and read more about the results globally and by country on the UNICEF website.