In recent decades, the mortality rate for children under five has fallen dramatically, from 12.6 million in 1990 to 5.4 million in 2017. This positive development continues, but it does not happen by itself, and the changes happen unevenly across the world, UNICEF writes.
"We must prioritize that all children receive care, especially at birth and in the early years, to give them the best chance of survival," says Princess Non Simelala at the World Health Organization, WHO.
According to UNICEF, 6.3 million children under the age of 15 died in the world in 2017, that is, about one child every five seconds. This is a decrease of 44 percent since 1990, but the further down the ages you go, the darker the picture becomes. 86 percent of the deceased children were under five. Newborns account for half the mortality rate.
In global goals for sustainable development, it must be ensured by 2030 that no infants or children under five die for reasons that could have been prevented. All countries should strive to reduce neonatal mortality to a maximum of twelve deaths per 1,000 live births and mortality among children under five to a maximum of 25 deaths per 1,000 live births.
Today's figures show that child mortality is still an important issue. In 2017 alone, 5.4 million children died before age 5 - 2.5 million during their first month of life. At a time when knowledge and technology for life-saving efforts are available, it is unacceptable that 15,000 children died each day in 2017, most for reasons that could have been treated or prevented, it says in the report.
"Without rapid intervention, 56 million children under the age of 5 will die from now until 2030, half of them newborns," UNICEF Director of Data, Research and Policy, Laurence Chandy, comments.