Protecting every child’s right to survive will require addressing persistent inequities and disparities in maternal and child health while also ensuring universal access to safe, effective, high-quality and affordable care for women, children and adolescents. It also demands great understanding of levels and trends in child mortality, as well as the underlying causes of child and young adolescent deaths to help guide policymaking and planning.
Given the absence of reliable vital registration data in many countries – an important resource for monitoring births and deaths – evidence-based estimation of child mortality remains a cornerstone for tracking progress towards child survival goals. These estimates enable governments, international organizations and other stakeholders to set priorities and plan national and global health strategies and interventions.
The United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME) produces estimates of child and young adolescent mortality annually, reconciling the differences across data sources and taking into account the systematic biases associated with the various types of data on child and adolescent mortality. This report presents the UN IGME’s latest estimates – through 2018 – of neonatal, infant and under-five mortality as well as mortality among children aged 5–14 years. It assesses progress in the reduction of child and young adolescent mortality at the country, regional and global levels, and provides an overview of the methods used to estimate the mortality indicators mentioned above.