One million child deaths have been avoided in India from 2005-2015, but that number could have been three times greater if proper national child health programs were in place, according to a new study. The reduction is driven by significant drops in mortality from pneumonia, diarrhea, tetanus and measles. The study found a 3.3% annual decline in mortality rates of infants younger than one month old, and 5.4% for those ages one month to 5 years.The authors noted that in the last decade the government of India has modestly increased its traditionally low level of public spending on health, as well as launching programs to encourage women to give birth in hospitals and for children to have a second dose of measles vaccine.

Corresponding author: 

Dr. Prabhat Jha, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto; Centre for Global Health Research, St.Michael’s Hospital, ON, Email:

Original paper published in The Lancet on September 19, 2017.