Children that survive and thrive

What is the C theme about?

During the MDG era deaths for children under five have been halved. Our focus is on ending preventable child deaths, and improving child development and nutrition.

Despite significant progress in reducing childhood mortality there are still more than 6.7 million deaths of children under five each year (1 child every 5 seconds), almost half occurring in the first month of life.

In 2013 preterm birth complications became the leading cause of child deaths at 1 million per year, followed by pneumonia. The causes with the largest reductions since 2000 were pneumonia, diarrhea and measles, together accounting for almost half of the overall reduction. Those with the slowest progress (<3% per year) included preterm birth, congenital conditions, neonatal sepsis, injury.

Many of these deaths could be prevented if we reached every woman and every child with evidence based interventions, particularly care of the newborn and prevention, diagnosis and treatment of infections. Evaluating how best to implement, overcoming systems barriers and promoting behaviour change, is critical. The School excels at this research as well as more upstream discovery and delivery research.

Worldwide, as more children survive, increasing attention is focused on healthy childhood: nutrition, growth, development and the prevention and management of injury and disability, maximizing health in later life.

 What does the C theme do?

ch2MARCH is uniquely positioned to address the priority challenges in child and newborn health. As one of the world’s largest schools of public health, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine researchers work across a range of disciplines: from molecular biologists discovering vaccine targets and biomarkers of infections, and immunologists unpacking the relationship between host immunity and infection, through to social scientists, epidemiologists, mathematical modellers and health economists, using qualitative and quantitative approaches to describing and understanding newborn and child health, and to design and evaluate interventions to address key challenges.

School researchers also lead multidisciplinary research in collaboration with other sectors, for example research on injury and violence prevention in schools, collaborative research on nutrition and agriculture, innovative work on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), and research on the prevalence and impact of disability in childhood.