Child Survival

© UNICEF/NYHQ2011-2159/Esteve
A health worker administers an oral polio vaccine to a boy in Moundou, the capital of Logone Occidental Region. UNICEF and partners actively work to eradicate polio from Chad, which recorded the world’s second-highest number of polio cases in 2011.    
Over the past 50 years, child mortality has dropped by 70 per cent worldwide.  In the past two decades alone, child deaths have fallen dramatically, plummeting from 12 million in 1990 to 7.6 million in 2010. This rapid progress is largely due to high-impact interventions and tools for child survival, notably new vaccines and improved health care practices.  However, progress continues to elude many children. In rich and poor countries alike, the poorest and most disadvantaged children continue to miss out on life-saving interventions.

The sobering fact that far too many women and children continued to die from preventable diseases provided the impetus for the U.N. Secretary-General’s “Every Woman Every Child” strategy, an initiative launched in 2010 to reduce maternal and child mortality world-wide. 

In order for a child to thrive, interventions beyond health are critical. Protection from abuse and neglect, equitable access to an education for girls and boys, adequate nutrition, and clean water are all integral components to child survival.

All partners joining A Promise Renewed pledge to take action to accelerate progress on new-born, child and maternal survival. Governments will identify and track five year benchmarks for maternal, new-born and child survival, with the goal of reducing deaths to 20 per 1,000 by 2035 or, if their nations are already below that level, to sustain the progress, with a focus on reducing inequalities at the sub-national level.  By achieving this goal, we will reduce the global child mortality average to 15 deaths per 1,000 live births by 2035, compared to 57 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2010 - a critical milestone toward the ultimate goal of ending preventable child deaths.