Situation and trends
The first 28 days of life – the neonatal period – represent the most vulnerable time for a child’s survival. In 2016, 2.6 million deaths, or roughly 46% of all under-five deaths, occur during this period. This translates to 7000 newborn deaths every day. The majority of the neonatal deaths are concentrated in the first day and week, with about 1 million dying on the first day and close to one million dying within the next six days. 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. On current trends, more than 60 countries will miss the SDG target of reducing neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 deaths per 1000 live births by 2030. About half of them will not reach the target by 2050. These countries carry about 80 per cent of the burden of neonatal deaths in 2016.