Before reaching their fifth birthday 1 in every 21 children in India are dying with the country recording the highest number of deaths under 5 years around the world. The under-five mortality rate (U5MR) in India is about seven times higher than in high-income countries where 1 in 147 is dying.
1 in 5 under five deaths took place in India in 2015 (20% of the global deaths) - numbering to 1.2 million children, reveals study published in The Lancet
U5MR in India dropped from 126 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 48 in 2015 - a 62% reduction. This is higher than the average global reduction of 53%.
Pneumonia and diarrhea are still main killers of children under age five in India. In 2015, pneumonia is estimated to account for about 15% of the 1.2 million under-five deaths in India. Diarrhea accounts for about 9%.
The research by Dr Danzhen You says that a whopping 236.3 million children under age five died between 1990-2015. Dr You from the UNIGME said "In India, 1.2 million children are still dying before reaching their fifth birthday per year, dropping from 3.4 million in 1990. Given the large under-five population and its relatively high mortality rate, India has the largest number of under-five deaths in the world, accounting for 20% of global under-five deaths. Progress in India will therefore greatly affect the average progress in its region and in the world".
Millennium Development Goal 4 calls for reduction in the U5MR between 1990 and 2015. The under-five mortality rate in India dropped from 126 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 48 in 2015 - a 62% reduction, very close to meet the MDG 4 target.
"The annual rate of reduction in the under-five mortality rate in India increased from 3.2% in the 1990s to 4.3% in 2000-2015. In India, 58% of under-five deaths in India occur in the neonatal period (0-27 days of life). Prematurity and complications during labor and delivery account for 25% and 11% of under-five deaths, respectively. Given India's under-five mortality level, neonatal mortality there (28 deaths per 1,000 live birth) is considerably higher than expected relative to the global pattern".
If SDG target is met an extra 38 million children lives under 5 will be saved. If current mortality rates are maintained, 94 million children will die in during 2015-2030; if the rate of progress from 2000-2015 is maintained from 2015-2030 then 69 million will die, while if the SDG target above is met, the death toll in under 5s will be 56 million, reveal sources.