Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

Child mortality rates plunge by more than half since 1990 but global targets missed

A child in the street

9 September 2015 -- Child mortality rates have plummeted to less than half of what they were in 1990, according to a new report released today. Under-five deaths have dropped from 12.7 million per year in 1990 to 5.9 million in 2015. New estimates in “Levels and trends in child mortality: report 2015,” released by UNICEF, WHO, the World Bank Group, and the Population Division of UNDESA, indicate that although the global progress has been substantial, 16 000 children under 5 still die every day.

Celebrating 25 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

Brazil dengue project: portrait of a young girl
WHO/TDR /Julio Takayama

On 20 November 1989, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted a landmark – the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention recognises that children are human beings and more than just ‘passive objects of care and charity’ who are entitled to the enjoyment of a distinct set of rights in accordance with their specific needs. The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the most widely and rapidly adopted international treaty of all time, with more than 190 member states having ratified it.

Child health

WHO publication wins top medical book of the year award

25 November 2014 -- The WHO Pocket book of hospital care for children has won the top prize in the British Medical Association book awards.

WHO published the first edition of the Pocket book of hospital care for children in 2005, after a study on the quality of hospital care for children in less-developed countries revealed a serious need for guidelines on specific illnesses. These guidelines focus on the major causes of childhood mortality.

Child mortality rates falling faster than ever

An infant holding the hand of an adult.

16 September 2014 -- New data released show that under 5 mortality rates have dropped by 49% between 1990 and 2013. But overall progress is still short of meeting the global target of a two-thirds decrease in under 5 mortality by 2015. The latest release of "Levels and trends in child mortality" shows that in 2013, 2.8 million babies died within the first month of life, which represents about 44% of all under 5 deaths.