6 Reduce child mortality

Where we are

Photo: UNDP Lao PDR/Philippe Pernet


The Lao PDR has already achieved its target for the decline in under-five mortality rates. Between 1993 and 2011, under-five mortality rates fell from 170 to 79 per 1,000 live births. The Lao PDR is also on track to reach its target for reduced infant mortality, though it faces not insignificant challenges to do so. From 1993 to 2011, infant mortality fell from 114 to 68 per 1,000 live births. Much of this progress was due to improved socio-economic circumstances for the less poor. Achieving the infant mortality target of 45 per 1,000 live births will require that the Lao PDR reach the poorest and most disadvantaged populations in the country. Steady economic growth allows for fiscal space in the budget to cover vaccines, other essential supplies and functioning of primary health care facilities.

Meeting the targets

Most child deaths are caused by neonatal conditions and communicable diseases, in particular malaria, acute respiratory infections, diarrhoea and epidemics such as dengue fever, measles or meningitis. To address this, the Government must tackle some of the more difficult problems, such as ensuring universal access to quality health care, and particularly skilled birth attendants; combating malnutrition; and increasing and sustaining immunization coverage. Again, this needs to be done in a way that benefits all people regardless of geographic location, gender or wealth.

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