6 million children under the age of 5 years died in 2016. This translates into 15 000 under-five deaths per day. More than half of these early child deaths are due to conditions that could be prevented or the development of children 5 6 with access to simple, affordable interventions. Leading causes of death in children under-5 years are preterm birth complications, pneumonia, birth asphyxia, diarrhoea and malaria.
Children in sub-Saharan Africa are more than 15 times more likely to die before the age of 5 than children in high income countries. Improving the quality of antenatal care, care at the time of childbirth, and postnatal care for mothers and their newborns are all essential to prevent these deaths. 6 million children died in the first month of life in 2016. From the end of the neonatal period and through the first 5 years of life, the main causes of death are pneumonia, diarrhoea and malaria. Malnutrition is the underlying contributing factor, making children more vulnerable to severe diseases. The world has made substantial progress in child survival since 1990. The global under-5 mortality rate has dropped by 56 per cent from 93 deaths per 1000 live births in 1990 to 41 in 2016.