6 Reduce child mortality

Where we are?

 nurse attending to baby.
Nurse attending to a baby at a local clinic. Photo - UNDP

The target for MDG 4 is to ensure that, by 2015, under-five mortality rates are reduced by two-thirds. The three relevant indicators are to reduce both under-five mortality and infant mortality by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015, and to increase the proportion of one-year-old children immunised against measles. While the measles immunisation programme is on target, current data for Namibia show that it is unlikely to attain the reduction in child mortality targets by 2015. The infant mortality rate decreased from 57 deaths for every 1 000 live births in 1992 to 38 in the year 2000, but increased to 46 deaths per 1 000 live births in 2006/07. A similar trend was experienced for under-five mortality, which increased from 62 deaths per 1 000 live births in the year 2000 to 69 deaths in 2006/07.

The challenges that contribute towards increased child mortality rates include, inefficient and ineffective health service provision, lack of basic emergency skills among some health workers, insufficient health infrastructure and difficulties of access to health services especially for severely poor and marginalised groups.  The interventions urgently needed to expedite achievement of the 2015 targets are infrastructural development (including equipment and space at health centres and clinics), increased budget allocation, strengthened capacity of health management systems, improved skills and commitment of health workers, strengthened community health structures and roll-out of the Community Health Extension Officer programme. The proportion of one-year-old children immunised against measles has increased steadily from the early nineties, from 63.5 percent to 72.2 percent in the year 2000 and 78 percent in 2006/07. This shows that Namibia is on target to achieve the immunisation target of 85 percent by 2015.

Status at glance




TARGET (2015)




Infant mortality rate (deaths per 1 000 live births)

56.6 (1992)1

46 (2006/07)2


Not on target

Under-5 mortality rate (deaths per 1 000 live births)

83.2 (1992)1

69 (2006/07)2


Not on target

Proportion of 1-year-old children immunised against measles

75.7 (1992)1

78 (2006/07)2


On target

Targets for MDG4
  1. Reduce by two thirds the mortality rate among children under five
    • Under-five mortality rate
    • Infant mortality rate
    • Proportion of 1 year-old children immunised against measles