Facts for Life


Nearly 9 million children died in 2008 from preventable illnesses before reaching their fifth birthday – more than two thirds of them during the first year of life. Millions more survive only to face diminished lives, unable to develop to their full potential.

Five diseases – pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria, measles and AIDS – together account for half of all deaths of children under 5 years old. Undernutrition is a contributing cause of more than one third of these deaths.

It is possible to save lives and greatly reduce human suffering by expanding low-cost prevention, treatment and protection measures. The challenge is to ensure that this knowledge is shared with parents, caregivers and communities, who are the first line of defence in protecting children from illness and harm.

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