‘10% of children born in poor families die before fifth birthday’

Nearly one in 10 of children born in Zimbabwe’s remote and poor communities die before the age of five, a new report by the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) has revealed.

Source: ‘10% of children born in poor families die before fifth birthday’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 7, 2016

BY MUNESU NYAKUDYA

The 2016 State of the World’s Children Report, which was released on Tuesday, highlighted issues affecting children.

“About 10% of children born in areas like Kariba, Shamva, Muzarabani, Mudzi and Murewa, among others, die before they reach their fifth birthday,” the report said, adding 69 children die per every 1 000 live births in Zimbabwe.

The report noted that children born in poor families were almost twice more likely to die compared to those born in rich families.

Unicef Zimbabwe official, Samson Muradzikwa, said the government should intervene in poor and marginalised societies if the trend was to be buckled, adding that although there had been a significant improvement, the gap was still wide.

“Unless governments make deliberate efforts to reach these children, their future will remain blighted by poverty, disadvantage and vulnerability.

“Unicef is urging governments to invest in areas where children are being left behind or face the consequences of a far more divided and unfair world by 2030,” he said.

Muradzikwa said millions of children were leading a life of poverty and lack of opportunity simply because of the country, community, gender, or the circumstances into which they were born.

“Zimbabwe has made great progress in improving the status of children with statistics showing a downward trend on most of the indicators,” he said.

The report said 5,9 million children worldwide died last year due to pneumonia, malaria, meningitis, tetanus measles sepsis and Aids, among other diseases.

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