Child mortality in the DRC: 27 years later

KEY FIGURES – The “Levels and Trends in Child Mortality 2017” reveals that 7,000 newborns die every day, despite steady decrease in under-five mortality. Our expert takes stock of the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The survival of each child in the DRC: a real hope

The child mortality rate for children under 5 years of age in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has decreased in the last 27 years. It has decreased from 184 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 94 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2016, a reduction of 49%.

child mortality in DRC

For the same period, the infant mortality rate has decreased from 118 deaths to 72 deaths per 1000 live births, a reduction 39%. For new-born babies, neonatal mortality has decreased from 41 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 29 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2016, a reduction of 29%.

The first month of life is the most dangerous for children

The mortality rate of children under 5 has thus nearly halved; however, in the light of the population growth, the absolute number of children under 5 years of age who die before their 5th birthday is increasing (from 280,000 in 1990 to 304,000 in 2016).

Among these children, those who die in their first month are the most numerous. As a matter of fact, the portion of neonatal mortalities for children under 5 years of age is increasing and has gone from 22% in 1990 to 30% in 2016.

This analysis shows that there is a need to concentrate the efforts of the fight against infant mortality on prevention and the causes of neonatal deaths.

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Translated from French by Elsabe Joubert

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Flavien Mulumba

Flavien Mulumba est Officier de Monitoring et Evaluation pour le bureau de l'UNICEF à Kinshasa. Il croit fermement qu’investir dans les enfants en allouant plus de ressources pour favoriser leurs droits, c’est construire le monde de demain.

Flavien Mulumba has worked is a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at the UNICEF office in Kinshasa. He believes firmly that investing in children's futures and allocating resources to protect their rights is creating a better world for tomorrow.

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