ISSUES - Child Mortality


Child mortality-the death of children and infants under the age of five years— is on the decline around the world but remains unacceptably high. According to a joint report by UNICEF, WHO, the World Bank Group and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs/Population Division, Levels & trends in child mortality, released in September, 2013, child mortality has been reduced from an estimated 12 million deaths in 1990 to an estimated 6.6 million in 2012.

However, 18,000 children still tragically lose their lives every day around the world. Urgent action is needed to treat and prevent the leading causes of child mortality including pneumonia (17% of all under five deaths), preterm birth complications (15%), complications during birth (10%), diarrhea (9%), and malaria (7%). Globally, about 45 percent of under-five deaths are attributable to undernutrition.

Nearly half of all under-five deaths occur in only five countries: China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Nigeria, and Pakistan; India (22%) and Nigeria (13%) together account for more than one-third of all deaths of children under the age of five according to Levels & trends in child mortality.

The first 28 days of life—the neonatal period - is the most vulnerable in a newborn’s life. In 2012, close to three million babies died during the first month of life, mostly from preventable causes and half of these deaths occurred on the first day of life.

Nearly 1 million newborns die in the first minute after birth simply because they cannot take their first breath. This "golden minute" is the most dangerous time in a person’s life. Birth asphyxia kills more children than malaria and nearly five times more than HIV/AIDS while complications from preterm birth are responsible for 34 percent of neonatal deaths, the majority of them preventable.

Simple resuscitators are needed in low resource areas to save the lives of newborns and access to life-saving medical intervention and treatment for unborn children can prevent the deaths of these youngest patients.

PNCI prioritizes nutrition for women during their reproductive years so the child receives sufficient nutrition beginning at conception to ensure healthy growth and development in the womb and supports access to prenatal care and skilled assistance during childbirth to save the lives of mothers and their children.

PNCI recognizes the need for clean water and sanitation for the well-being of children and mothers and advocates for access to life-saving health care including antibiotics, treatment of HIV/AIDS, immunizations for communicable disease, prevention and treatment of malaria, treatment of pneumonia and oral rehydration for diarrheal disease.

PNCI believes that the death of a child-any child, anywhere - is a tragedy, including deaths caused by abortion.


Children’s AIDS Fund

Count the Kicks

Helping Babies Breathe

Study: Levels & trends in child mortality 2013

World Vision