Over the past two decades, there have been significant improvements in the health status of children and women in Nepal. With the continual support of multiple donors and partners, the Government of Nepal has been successful in developing and implementing high-impact, community-based interventions, as a result of which, there has been a dramatic reduction in child and infant mortality rates since 1996. Nepal is one of 15 countries currently on track to achieve its MDG (Millennium Development Goal) target for child mortality.
However, deeper analysis has revealed that 3.3 percent of children die during the neonatal period (33 deaths per 1,000 live births), making the prevention of neonatal death a top priority. Of the remaining deaths, 24 percent occur during the post-neonatal period (one month to one year), and 23 percent occur between the ages of 12 months and 59 months. This means that one in every 21 Nepali children dies before reaching his or her first birthday, while one in every 16 does not survive to his or her fifth birthday.
UNICEF is supporting the Government of Nepal to design and implement health initiatives that will further accelerate attainment of MDG 4 (to reduce child mortality rates) in a sustainable manner. Current health programming is driven by humanitarian principles and is rights-based and results-based. UNICEF’s work focuses on the most disadvantaged and on reducing inequity. UNICEF assists the government in initiating evidence-based, high-impact and cost-effective health interventions, while ensuring sustainability and ownership of the programs by the government.
UNICEF Statistics on Nepal
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