What determines the infant and under-5 mortality rates?

These mortality rates depends on both:

  • The health, nutrition and home environment of children
  • The quality of health care that is available to children

The mortality rate will increase if either the health, nutrition and home environment of children is poor or the health care service are poor. Often both poor socioeconomic conditions and inadequate access to good quality health services occur together. It is, therefore, not surprising that the mortality rates for children vary widely between different districts and countries. The district with a high rate may have a specific health problem (e.g. malaria) or a problem with the health service (e.g. low immunisation rate).

The under-5 mortality rate reflects both the socioeconomic conditions and quality of health care provided.

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