In 2013, an estimated 6.3 million children under five died, 2.9 million of them in the WHO African Region. This is equivalent to five children under 5 years of age dying every minute. Two-thirds of these deaths can be attributed to preventable causes. A third of all these deaths are in the neonatal period.

Pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria and HIV are the main causes of death in infants and young children. In the African Region, about 473 000 children die from pneumonia, 300 000 from diarrhoea, and a further 443 000 from malaria

every year. In 2012, 230 000 new HIV infections were recorded among children under 5 years of age. 

Information from the World Health Organisation

Imperial's researchers are passionate about improving child health across Africa. Read more about our initiatives below.

Centre for International Child Health

Partnership for Child Development

Partnership for Child Development


The Partnership for Child Development (PCD), formed in 1992, works to improve the education, health and nutrition of school-age children in low- and middle- income countries. Working with governments, communities and development agencies, PCD helps to deliver effective and sustainable demand-driven school health and nutrition (SHN) programmes, which benefit millions of children around the world.

PCD supports the development of national school health and nutrition programmes by building the evidence base through a focus of on quality science in development. By building a wide range of partnerships PCD provides technical assistance to governments and their development partners that is founded on academic excellence, technical expertise and high-level networks. PCD adopts a cross-sector approach to developing the most effective, scaled and sustainable programmatic solutions to a range of school health and nutrition interventions including, school feeding, deworming, inclusive education, WASH, HIV/AIDS prevention, nutrition, etc.  As well as the provision of technical assistant PCD also works to disseminate the latest school health research and best practice through its website and PCD is a founding member of the London Centre for Neglected Tropical Disease Research.