Every fifth second, a child dies somewhere in the world

malnourished childThis undated 2018 handout image provided by Dr. Mekkiya Mahdi, Head of Aslam Health Center, shows a severely malnourished child at the Aslam Health Center in Hajjah, Yemen. Before the war, the health center would see one or two malnourished children a month. This year, it has seen around 700. In August 2018 alone, it received 99 cases, nearly half of them in the most severe stages, the center’s nutrition chief Khaled Hassan said. (Courtesy of Dr. Mekkiya Mahdi via AP)

Every five seconds, a child dies somewhere in the world,but the good news is that child mortality is falling shows a new UN report.


An estimated 6.3 million children died last year before the age of 15, the vast majority of whom could easily have been prevented or cured reported the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF),World Health Organization (WHO), and World Bank.

The vast majority of children who died in 2017, approximately 85% or 5.4 million, were under five years old and among them,2.5 million died during birth or during the first month of life.

Fewer door

“Without immediate effort, 56 million children will die, half of them newborns” said Laurence Chandy of UNICEF.

She emphasised that child mortality has fallen sharply since 1990, when 12.6 million children died in five years.

“But millions still die because of who they are and where they are born.With simple solutions like medicines, clean water,electricity, and vaccines, we can change this for all children” said Chandy.

Most in southern Africa

Half of all children who died before they reached five years last year died in sub-Saharan Africa. Every 13th child in this part of the world never experiences their 5th birthday, against every 185th child in rich countries.

The most common cause of death for infants is complications during birth, diarrhoea, pneumonia,infections, and malaria.

Accidents, especially traffic accidents and drowning, are a more common cause of death among children aged between 5 and 15 years, the report shows.

City and country

There are not only big differences from country to country in child mortality, but also inland, within countries according to the report.

Child mortality in rural areas is approximately 50% higher in many countries than in towns, and children born of uneducated women are twice as likely to die as children born of women who have completed higher education.


© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today