4. Reduce child mortality
In rural Navrongo, Ghana, a program to deliver health care to people in their own homes has succeeded in cutting deaths among children younger than five years by more than half and is on track to achieve a two-thirds reduction within the next few years. The Population Council was instrumental in testing this program and expanding it across Ghana. Photo: James F. Phillips/Population Council
- Reduce by two-thirds the mortality rate among children under five
More than 10 million children under the age of 5 die each year in the developing world. Children born in low-income countries are 13 times more likely to die before their fifth birthday than children born in high-income countries. The Population Council conducts research to find ways of improving the lives and health of infants and children.
In the town of Navrongo in rural northern Ghana, for example, scientists at the Navrongo Health Research Centre teamed with researchers at the Population Council in the mid-1990s to design and evaluate an innovative program to deliver health care to people in their own homes using community volunteers and nurses on motorbikes. The experiment succeeded in reducing deaths among children less than 5 years old by two-thirds in eight years; the program thus demonstrated how a resource-poor setting could reach a Millennium Development Goal in virtually half that target’s timeline.