The Child Health Epidemiology Reference Group (CHERG) was established in 2001 by the World Health Organization (WHO) to provide external technical guidance and global leadership in the development and improvement of epidemiological estimates for children under five years of age. It consists of a group of technical experts, external to the UN system, which is guided by a small group of “core” members, with ad hoc working groups addressing specific issues.
The consensus that the 10 million deaths of children less than five years of age, along with a half million maternal deaths, annually can and should be prevented is codified in the Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 that call for the reduction of childhood and maternal mortality. Accomplishment of these ambitious goals by the 2015 target date depends not only on availability of sufficient resources, but also on selection of the most powerful interventions and their delivery at scale in the countries with high mortality. Such selection needs to be informed by the best information on the causes of morbidity and mortality and the effectiveness of interventions in each national or sub-national context. Furthermore, it is necessary to use the best possible measures of the coverage and impact of these accelerated programs so that accomplishments and shortcomings are documented and acted upon to have greater effects.