Levels and Causes of Mortality Under Age Five

Authors: Li Liu, Kenneth Hill, Shefali Oza, Dan Hogan, Simon Cousens, Colin Mathers, Cynthia Stanton, Joy Lawn, Robert Black


This chapter reviews recent estimates of levels and distributions by cause of death of children under age five years, including stillbirths, by (1) focusing on 2000–15, (2) presenting results by World Bank region, and (3) introducing a new concept of the total under-five mortality rate (TU5MR), a composite measure of mortality occurring between 28 weeks gestation and age five years. Mortality rates among young children remain the best single indicator of child health in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), and including stillbirths in summary measures of child mortality provides a more inclusive assessment of health service provision than the standard convention. Within this age group, child survival efforts should focus on stillbirth and neonatal mortality, as well as preterm birth complications, pneumonia, and intrapartum-related complications. To end preventable child deaths in a generation and attain the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals, child survival needs to remain front and center on the global development agenda.

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