- Q: How does building roads reduce child deaths?
- A: Roads make health facilities more accessible to poor families in rural areas, which allows for more frequent and less costly visits for their children—plus better access to antenatal/postnatal care, helping to prevent infant and maternal deaths and illness.
World Bank: Worrying Trends in Child Mortality
Child deaths have been halved over the last few decades thanks to better nutrition, health care, and standards of living. In 1990, 13 million children in developing countries died before the age of 5 from diseases such as diarrhea, malnutrition, pneumonia, AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. By 2006 that number had dropped to 10 million. Yet under-5 mortality rates remain unacceptably high: 8 million under-5 children die a year from preventable causes. Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for about half of those deaths, with the HIV/AIDS epidemic and civil conflicts hampering the region’s progress. Over half of the MDG countries are not on track to achieve the under-5 mortality target. The World Bank is redoubling efforts in nutrition, health care, infrastructure, and the other areas that can help save children’s lives.
- We can reduce child mortality by:
- strengthening national health systems
- expanding immunization programs
- enhancing growth monitoring of children
- ensuring the survival and improved health of mothers
- supporting better nutrition for child and mother
- investing in improved reproductive health
- making infrastructure investments
Making Strides in Child Mortality
Investment in reducing child mortality by the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the poorest countries, resulted in 310 million children being immunized over the last 10 years.
Our Child Health Strategy
- Strengthen national health systems for better results
- Tie financing to performance in improving children’s health and saving their lives
- Protect the poor from ill health and unaffordable costs and treatment
Some of Our MDG 4 Results
From 1995 to 2007, IDA helped the poorest countries to achieve MDG 4 by reducing under-5 child mortality from 134 deaths per 1,000 children to 105 deaths per 1,000 children.
- Afghanistan: From 2002 to 2006, under-5 mortality dropped by 26%.
- Senegal: Malnutrition has dropped from 20% to 10% in IDA project areas.
- Bolivia: Infant deaths dropped from 67 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1998 to 54 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2003.
- Rwanda: From 2006 to 2008, health visits for children ages 2 to 5 increased 133%.
How’s the World Doing?
- 3 million fewer under-5 children died from diseases such as diarrhea, malnutrition, pneumonia, AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis in 2006 than in 1990.
- 1 in 14 children die before the age of 5 in poor countries, compared with 1 in 147 in high-income countries.
- 107 out of 145 developing countries* are off track to achieve MDG 4 by 2015 (2008).
- 2 of 33 fragile states have achieved or are on track to achieve MDG 4 by 2015 (2008).