Inequities in child mortality across and within countries remain large. At the country level, the under-five mortality rate ranged from a high of 133 deaths per 1,000 live births to a low of 2 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2016. Many countries still have very high rates – particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, home to all six countries with an under-five mortality rate above 100 deaths per 1,000 live births. Hypothetically, if all countries had reached an under-five mortality rate at or below the average rate of high-income countries – 5.3 deaths per 1,000 live births – the toll of under-five deaths in 2016 would have been 0.7 million. In other words, almost 5 million deaths (87 per cent of the total under-five deaths) could have been prevented in 2016. Reducing inequities and reaching the most vulnerable newborns and children as well as their mothers are important priorities to achieve the SDG targets on ending preventable child deaths.
Keywords: UNICEF, HIV, SDGs, children, deaths, data