Global call for papers on child and adolescent health

In 2000, the UN adopted the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which aimed to address the main determinants of human health and well-being, including poverty, hunger and disease. One of the MDGs included the specific goal of reducing child mortality worldwide [1]. However, now that the original target date of 2015 has passed, concerns have been expressed that all of the MDGs, including the targets on children’s health and well-being, have ultimately not been met. WHO reports that in 2018, still more than 6 million children and adolescents died worldwide, of which more than 5 million died before the age of 5. The majority of these deaths are preventable. The main causes of death in children under 5 are pneumonia, diarrhea, neonatal sepsis and malaria. Among adolescents aged 10 to 19, road traffic crashes, self-injury, HIV, and interpersonal or group violence are predominant causes of death, and their contributions to mortality differ for girls and boys.

The overwhelming majority of child and adolescent deaths still occur in low- and middle-income countries in Africa and South Asia [2,3]. Although considerable progress has been made over the past century in reducing mortality from birth to adolescence, much work remains to be done. PLOS Medicine and guest editors therefore invite high-quality and impactful research in this important area.

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