Objectives: To study the change in mortality rate for children under 5 years of age in China over the past decade, and to evaluate China's progress in achieving Millennium Development Goal 4.
Study design: Population-based descriptive study.
Methods: A population-based survey was conducted through a nationwide multi-level surveillance network. The mortality rate and the leading causes of death for children under 5 years of age were analysed.
Results: The mortality rate for children under 5 years of age in China dropped by 54.2% between 1996 and 2006 (from 45.0 per 1000 livebirths to 20.6). During this period, deaths due to pneumonia and diarrhoea dropped by 69.4% and 69.7%, respectively. The proportion of deaths due to pneumonia dropped from 23.4% in 1996 to 15.6% in 2006, and the proportion of deaths due to diarrhoea dropped from 5.6% in 1996 to 3.7% in 2006.
Conclusion: The mortality rate for children under 5 years of age in China dropped remarkably from 1996 to 2006. This reduction was mainly due to a significant decrease in deaths due to pneumonia and diarrhoea. Based on the survey results, China should be able to achieve Millennium Development Goal 4.
Copyright © 2011 The Royal Society for Public Health. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.