Situation and trends
The first 28 days of life – the neonatal period – represent the most vulnerable time for a child’s survival. In 2015, 2.7 million deaths, or roughly 45% of all under-five deaths, occur during this period. Of these, almost 1 million neonatal deaths occur on the day of birth, and close to 2 million die in the first week of life. Reducing neonatal mortality is increasingly important not only because the proportions of under-five deaths that occur during the neonatal period is increasing as under-five mortality declines but also because the health interventions needed to address the major causes of neonatal deaths generally differ from those needed to address other under-five deaths. The proportion of child deaths which occur in the neonatal period has increased in all WHO regions over the last 25 years.