Despite significant reductions in global childhood mortality rates, preventable childhood death remains a significant challenge in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This trend is coupled with equally staggering rates of maternal mortality, which continue to jeopardize Congolese children and families.
Maternal and Child Health in the DRC: A Snapshot*
- Congo has the 5th highest under-five mortality rate in the world. With just 1% of the global population, Congo is responsible for over 6% of global under-five mortality;
- According to USAID, 148 of 1000 Congolese children will not reach the age of five. An estimated 465,000 children in DRC die each year from preventable diseases like malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea;
- Infant mortality is currently 92 per 1000 live births;
- Congo is one of only a handful of countries in which the number of under-five mortality has actually increased since 1990, from roughly 312,000 to over 460,000 per year, according to most recent estimates;
- Only 31% of children less than 1 year old are completely vaccinated, and 46% of children under five are stunted and chronically malnourished;
- The 2007 Demographic and Health Survey, conducted by USAID, estimates maternal mortality rates in Congo to be 549 deaths for every 100,000 births;
- Despite relatively high levels of medical coverage and access to skilled birth attendants, almost one in five deaths (19%) of women between 15 and 49 years of age is due to maternal complications.
Eastern Congo Initiative believes that supporting Congolese-led organizations as they develop and implementing Congolese solutions is the most effective way of harnessing this potential and moving the country forward on a path of progress. By utilizing existing resources and easily applied technologies like bed nets, ECI is building support for the groundbreaking new focus on child survival in the DRC.
*Statistics gathered from USAID