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2012 Progress Report on Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed

2012 Progress Report on Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed

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Countries across the world are making rapid progress in reducing child deaths, demonstrating that it is possible to radically reduce child mortality over the span of two decades, a UNICEF report says today.

The 2012 Progress Report on Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed examines trends in child mortality estimates since 1990, and shows that major reductions have been made in under-five mortality rates in all regions and diverse countries. This has translated into a sharp drop in the estimated number of under-five deaths worldwide. Data released today by UNICEF and the UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation show that the number of children under the age of five dying globally fell from nearly 12 million in 1990 to an estimated 6.9 million in 2011.

The report underscores that neither a country’s regional affiliation nor economic status need be a barrier to reducing child deaths. Low-income countries such as Bangladesh, Liberia and Rwanda, middle-income countries such as Brazil, Mongolia and Turkey, and high-income countries such as Oman and Portugal, have all made dramatic gains, lowering their under-five mortality rates by more than two-thirds between 1990 and 2011.

“The global decline in under-five mortality is a significant success that is a testament to the work and dedication of many, including governments, donors, agencies and families,” said Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director. “But there is also unfinished business: Millions of children under five are still dying each year from largely preventable causes for which there are proven, affordable interventions.”

“These lives could be saved with vaccines, adequate nutrition and basic medical and maternal care. The world has the technology and know-how to do so. The challenge is to make these available to every child.”

The report combines mortality estimates with insights into the top killers of children under five and the high-impact strategies that are needed to accelerate progress. Under-five deaths are increasingly concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, which together accounted for more than 80 per cent of all under-five deaths in 2011. On average, one in every nine children in sub-Saharan Africa dies before reaching the age of five.

More than half the pneumonia and diarrhoea deaths – which together account for almost 30 per cent of under-five deaths worldwide – occur in just four countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Nigeria and Pakistan. Infectious diseases are characteristically diseases of inequity, disproportionately affecting poor and vulnerable populations who lack access to basic treatment and prevention interventions. These deaths are largely preventable.

Under the banner of A Promise Renewed, a movement for child survival is growing to re-energize, refocus and build on two decades of significant progress. The opportunity for further sharp reductions in preventable child deaths has never been greater.
Since June, more than half the world’s governments have signed up and renewed their commitment to child survival. Among five priority actions, partners pledge to accelerate progress by focusing on areas where the challenge for child survival is the greatest.

Greater efforts are particularly required in populous countries with high mortality. In addition to medical and nutritional factors, improvements in other areas – notably education, access to clean water and adequate sanitation, adequate food, child protection and women’s empowerment – will also improve prospects for child survival and development.

Countries across the world are making rapid progress in reducing child deaths, demonstrating that it is possible to radically reduce child mortality over the span of two decades, a UNICEF report says today.

The 2012 Progress Report on Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed examines trends in child mortality estimates since 1990, and shows that major reductions have been made in under-five mortality rates in all regions and diverse countries. This has translated into a sharp drop in the estimated number of under-five deaths worldwide. Data released today by UNICEF and the UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation show that the number of children under the age of five dying globally fell from nearly 12 million in 1990 to an estimated 6.9 million in 2011.

The report underscores that neither a country’s regional affiliation nor economic status need be a barrier to reducing child deaths. Low-income countries such as Bangladesh, Liberia and Rwanda, middle-income countries such as Brazil, Mongolia and Turkey, and high-income countries such as Oman and Portugal, have all made dramatic gains, lowering their under-five mortality rates by more than two-thirds between 1990 and 2011.

“The global decline in under-five mortality is a significant success that is a testament to the work and dedication of many, including governments, donors, agencies and families,” said Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director. “But there is also unfinished business: Millions of children under five are still dying each year from largely preventable causes for which there are proven, affordable interventions.”

“These lives could be saved with vaccines, adequate nutrition and basic medical and maternal care. The world has the technology and know-how to do so. The challenge is to make these available to every child.”

The report combines mortality estimates with insights into the top killers of children under five and the high-impact strategies that are needed to accelerate progress. Under-five deaths are increasingly concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, which together accounted for more than 80 per cent of all under-five deaths in 2011. On average, one in every nine children in sub-Saharan Africa dies before reaching the age of five.

More than half the pneumonia and diarrhoea deaths – which together account for almost 30 per cent of under-five deaths worldwide – occur in just four countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Nigeria and Pakistan. Infectious diseases are characteristically diseases of inequity, disproportionately affecting poor and vulnerable populations who lack access to basic treatment and prevention interventions. These deaths are largely preventable.

Under the banner of A Promise Renewed, a movement for child survival is growing to re-energize, refocus and build on two decades of significant progress. The opportunity for further sharp reductions in preventable child deaths has never been greater.
Since June, more than half the world’s governments have signed up and renewed their commitment to child survival. Among five priority actions, partners pledge to accelerate progress by focusing on areas where the challenge for child survival is the greatest.

Greater efforts are particularly required in populous countries with high mortality. In addition to medical and nutritional factors, improvements in other areas – notably education, access to clean water and adequate sanitation, adequate food, child protection and women’s empowerment – will also improve prospects for child survival and development.

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Published by: The United Nations Children's Fund on Sep 13, 2012
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CommittingtoChildSurvival:APromiseRenewed
Progress Report 2012
 
Acknowledgements
Renewing the Promise — in every country, for every child
© United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), September 2012
Permission is required to reproduce any part of this publication. Permission will be freely granted to educational or non-prot organiza
-tions. Please contact:Division of Policy and Strategy, UNICEF
3 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017, USA
Cover photo credit:
©
UNICEF/NYHQ2012-0176/Asselin
This report, additional online content and corrigenda are available at www.apromiserenewed.org For latest data, please visit www.childinfo.org.
ISBN: 978-92-806-4655-9
This report was prepared by UNICEF’s Division of Policy and Strategy.
Report team
StatiStical tableS, FigureS, Planning and reSearch
: Tessa Wardlaw,
 Associate Director,
Statistics and Monitoring Section,
Division of Policy and Strategy; David Brown; Claudia Cappa; Archana Dwivedi; Priscilla Idele; Claes Johansson; Rolf Luyendijk; ColleenMurray; Jin Rou New; Holly Newby; Khin Wityee Oo; Nicholas Rees; Andrew Thompson; Danzhen You.
editorS
: David Anthony; Eric Mullerbeck.
deSign and layout
: Upasana Young.
branding:
Boris De Luca; Michelle Siegel.
coPy editing and ProoFreading
: Lois Jensen; Louise Moreira Daniels.
webSite
: Stephen Cassidy; Dennis Yuen.UNICEF Country Ofces contributed to the review of country example text.Policy and communications advice and support were provided by Geeta Rao Gupta,
Deputy Executive Director 
; Yoka Brandt,
Deputy Executive Director 
; Robert Jenkins,
Deputy Director 
, Division of Policy and Strategy; Mickey Chopra,
 Associate Director, Health
, Pro-
gramme Division; Katja Iversen; Ian Pett; Katherine Rogers; Francois Servranckx; Peter Smerdon.
 
3
Contents
Foreword. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4Overview
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5Chapter 1: Levels and trends in child mortality
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6Under-ve mortality rate league table, 2011
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Chapter 2: Leading causes of child deaths
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
14
Pneumonia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
17
Diarrhoea . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
18
Malaria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19Neonatal deaths . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20Undernutrition. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21
HIV and AIDS
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Other contributing factors
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Chapter 3: Getting to ‘20 by 2035’: Strategies for accelerating progress on child survival
. . . . . . . .
26Country examples
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
28References
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Tables: Country and regional estimates of child mortality and causes of under-ve deaths
. . . . . . . .
34

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