The leading causes of death by percentage are:
- 41 percent newborn
- 14 percent diarrhea
- 14 percent pneumonia
- 8 percent malaria
Neonatal Causes of Death
The highest percentage of death occurs after birth and before the fifth year of life. During the neonatal period, 75 percent of deaths occur during the first week of life. The remainder of neonatal deaths occur within the first hour after birth.
Deaths within the first month can often be attributed to poor nutrition, poor prenatal care, or disease. Deaths that occur during the first hour are often the result of poor birth attendant skills or poor prenatal nutrition.
Other Causes of Death
Communicable diseases make up the remainder of the highest causes of infant death. These ailments strike malnourished children most severely. Some 20 million children globally suffer from severe acute malnutrition, which this severely predisposes them to developing fatal illnesses.
Who is at Risk?
Children who are born to parents that live in developing countries are significantly more at risk of malnourishment and dying before the age of five. In fact, children from developing countries are ten times more likely to die before the age of five than those from more affluent nations. This is because children from developing nations are much more likely to to lack a skilled birth attendee and to be malnourished.
Developing Country Infant Death Facts
- One-third of all the child deaths before the age of five are linked to malnutrition.
- It is estimated that some 70 percent of infant conditions which result in death could be prevented with simple medical care, which is lacking in developing countries.
- Developing countries often lack prenatal care and proper prenatal nutrition, contributing strongly to infant malnutrition and neonatal death.