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An estimated 6.3 million children under 15 years of age died in 2017, or 1 every 5 seconds, mostly of preventable causes, according to new mortality estimates released by UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Population Division and the World Bank Group.
The vast majority of these deaths – 5.4 million – occur in the first five years of life, with newborns accounting for around half of the deaths. Children from the highest mortality countries are up to 60 times more likely to die in the first 5 years of life than those from the lowest mortality countries. Globally, in 2017, half of all deaths under five years of age took place in sub-Saharan Africa, and another 30% in Southern Asia. In sub-Saharan Africa, 1 in 13 children died before their fifth birthday. In high-income countries, that number was 1 in 185.
“Without urgent action, 56 million children under five will die from now until 2030 – half of them newborns,” said Laurence Chandy, UNICEF Director of Data, Research and Policy. “We have made remarkable progress to save children since 1990, but millions are still dying because of who they are and where they are born. With simple solutions like medicines, clean water, electricity and vaccines, we can change that reality for every child.”… (UNICEF, September 18, 2018)