Globally, 6.6 million children under the age of 5 die every year, according to 2012 figures, nearly 18000 every day. About 43% of deaths in children younger than 5 years in 2011 occurred before 28 days of life – the neonatal period.
Almost 90% of all child deaths are attributable to just six conditions: neonatal causes (particularly prematurity, birth asphyxia and infections), pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria, measles, and HIV/AIDS. About one third of child deaths are linked to malnutrition.
The majority of child deaths can be prevented by known, simple, affordable and low cost interventions such as essential newborn care, exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months of age, immunization, appropriate use of antibiotics, oral rehydration therapy and zinc, insecticide treated bed nets, and anti-malarials.