Global under-5 mortality has fallen rapidly from 12 million deaths in 1990, to 6·9 million in 2011; however, this number still falls short of the target of a two-thirds reduction or a maximum of 4 million deaths by 2015. Acceleration of reductions in deaths due to pneumonia and diarrhoea, which together account for about 2 million child deaths every year, is essential if the target is to be met. Scaling up of existing interventions against the two diseases to 80% and immunisation to 90% would eliminate more than two-thirds of deaths from these two diseases at a cost of US$6·715 billion by 2025. Modelling in this report shows that if all countries could attain the rates of decline of the regional leaders, then cause-specific death rates of fewer than three deaths per 1000 livebirths from pneumonia and less than one death per 1000 livebirths from diarrhoea could be achieved by 2025. These rates are those at which preventable deaths have been avoided. Increasing of awareness of the size of the problem; strengthening of leadership, intersectoral collaboration, and resource mobilisation; and increasing of efficiency through the selection of the optimum mix of a growing set of cost-effective interventions depending on local contexts are the priority actions needed to achieve the goal of ending preventable deaths from pneumonia and diarrhoea by 2025.
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