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Over the past 25 years, the number of children who die before reaching their fifth birthday has fallen by more than half. While the world has not achieved the target of a two-thirds reduction in under-five mortality set out in Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 4, falling mortality has saved the lives of 48 million children under the age of 5 since 2000 — an enormous accomplishment.
The progress that has been made — especially the acceleration achieved in recent years — shows that tremendous advances are possible, even in places with scarce resources and with substantial burdens of child mortality. Wealth does not have to determine destiny; past performance does not have to overshadow future potential; the child mortality curve can be bent. The results communicate a clear message: We can choose a better future for the world’s children.
Keywords: HIV, children, mortality rate, deaths, infants, breastfeeding, coverage