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The systematic assessment of the health status of children enables health professionals to determine the impact of past and current health intervention and prevention programs. Program planners and policy-makers identify trends by examining and comparing information from one data collection year to the next. Although indicators are often assessed on an annual basis, some surveillance systems may only collect data every 2, 3, or 5 years.

In this section, mortality, disease, injury, and health behavior indicators are presented by age groups. The health status indicators in this section are based on vital statistics and national surveys. Population-based samples here are designed to yield data that are representative of the maternal and child population that are affected by, or in need of, specific health services: