Child Health

Speeches Shim

Mothers and small business owners, Hanna Achika, 27 (left) and Victoria Titus, 25 (right) hold their children at the Peace Sanctuary in Lokoja, Nigeria.
Mothers and small business owners, Hanna Achika, 27 (left) and Victoria Titus, 25 (right) hold their children at the Peace Sanctuary in Lokoja, Nigeria.
Photo: Karen Kasmauski/MCSP

Globally, 70 percent of deaths among children and young adolescents occured in the first five years of life in 2019.1

Pneumonia, diarrhea, and malaria are among the leading causes of childhood death and are collectively responsible for almost one-third of deaths among children under five years old—but most of these deaths can be prevented with inexpensive, evidence-based interventions. Deaths among children under five have fallen from 12.5 million per year in 1990 to 5.2 million in 2019—a dramatic decrease, but one that demands further progress.2

USAID's investments to support child health aim to reduce child mortality, expand equitable access to quality care, and lay the groundwork for optimal growth and development so that children can grow into healthy adults. To accelerate further reductions in preventable child deaths, USAID partners with countries to implement known, affordable, low-technology interventions at scale and works with the private sector to build its capacity to provide high-quality health information, products, and services for children.

In 2019 alone, USAID's child health programs helped reach 92.8 million children with treatments for diarrhea and pneumonia.3

USAID’s child health efforts focus on 25 countries that collectively account for more than 70 percent of child deaths worldwide and often have limited access to high-quality facility based services. In the absence of public or private, facility-based services in remote areas, USAID supports integrated community case management (iCCM), a platform from which trained community health workers can diagnose and treat key illnesses, as well as identify and refer those cases that need immediate and more specialized levels of care to ensure that no child is left behind.

Our work to improve child health is cross-sectoral and includes preventive measures such as timely, long-lasting insecticide-treated bednets to prevent malaria; accurate diagnosis and treatment of malaria; improved water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure and behaviors; adequate nutrition; and strong, resilient routine immunization systems. Our efforts rely on catalytic investments and strong partnerships with country governments, donors, and the private sector to extend our reach and have the greatest possible impact on child survival.


Child Health Task Force

USAID 2020 Acting on the Call: Ending Preventable Child and Maternal Deaths

President’s Malaria Initiative

UNICEF One is Too Many: Ending Child Deaths from Pneumonia and Diarrhea

UNICEF: Levels and Trends in Child Mortality, 2020

USAID's Impact



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