Child Mortality: Some Facts

Some key facts about child mortality in low income countries:


The following chart shows the wide range of child mortality around the world. The graph illustrates how even very poor countries can have either low or high mortality rates.   



The main causes of deaths for children that survive delivery are diseases which are simple to cure:  dehydration due to diarrhoea, pneumonia and malaria.  The other two major causes of deaths are birth asphyxiation during delivery, and neonatal sepsis, often acquired during the cutting of the umbilical cord, and subsequent treatment of a child’s belly button.  Poor nutrition may also play a role in child deaths, although children who are sick often tend to become malnourished, hence it is not clear whether poor nutrition is a cause or a symptom of disease.


Most of these diseases can be treated and cured with inexpensive medicines, or improved hygiene and safer delivery procedures.  In order to achieve this in a cost effective manner, it is important that the treatments reach communities, and that parents are able to diagnose, and properly react to, need for treatment early.  Our projects aim to achieve this quickly, with intensive community health promotion, along with medicines and service provision as appropriate to the local conditions.