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Thursday, May 23, 2024
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Unicef Gambia report reveals progress in health and well being of children

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By Oumie Bojang

The Unicef 2021 annual report on Gambia has revealed  that progress has been made in the lives of children and women over the years, but important gaps remain.

The report released recently said under-five mortality rate and neonatal mortality rate are still high at 56 and 29 deaths, respectively, per 1,000 live births, with more than half of the U5MR occurring during the neonatal period due to limited access to and availability of qualified and well-equipped maternal and newborn services.

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The report further states that  The Gambia recorded “a 36% reduction in maternal mortality ratio from 932 to 597 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2017, still one of the highest in the world. ”Despite a 41% decrease in the adolescent birth rate from 124 in 2000 to 73 in 2019 births per 1,000 women, it surpasses the Sub-Saharan African average. Overall 85% of children aged 12-23 months received all basic vaccinations (in rural areas 90%; and urban 82%), with the lowest in Banjul (77%), and the largest difference found between children with vaccination card (over 99%) and those without (84%) while COVID-19 did not interrupt routine immunization,” the report said.

It further revealed that data from 2020 confirms improvement in childhood malnutrition and young child feeding (SDG2): stunting (from 25% to 18%) wasting (from 9% to 5%), underweight from (15% to 12%), exclusive breastfeeding (54% from 47%).  The report also noted that Vitamin A supplementation, critical for enhanced child survival, suffered a significant reduction from 99% in 2010 to 30% in 2018.

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