DHS surveys routinely collect data on infant and child mortality and child health. Several measures of childhood mortality are calculated using DHS survey data:
- Neonatal mortality – the probability of dying within the 1st month of life
- Infant mortality – the probability of dying before the 1st birthday
- Postneonatal mortality – the difference between infant and neonatal mortality
- Under-five mortality – the probability of dying before the fifth birthday
- Child mortality – the probability of dying between the 1st and 5th birthdays
What are the DHS indicators related to infant and child mortality?
- Infant and child mortality by background characteristics (10-year rates)
- Infant and child mortality by demographic characteristics (10-year rates)
- Reporting of age at death in days
- Reporting of age at death in months
- Perinatal mortality
Why is child mortality important?
Under-5 mortality rate is a leading indicator of the level of child health and overall development in countries.
Millennium Development Goal #4 is to reduce by two thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the mortality rate of children under five. Between 1990 and 2008, the number of children in developing countries who died before they reached the age of five dropped from 100 to 72 deaths per 1,000 live births.
Photo credit: © 2009 Arie Basuki, Courtesy of Photoshare. A mother kisses her child after being treated at a health post for an acute upper respiratory tract infection (ARI) in Pangalengan, Bandung, West Java, Indonesia.