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State of the World's Children 1998

Carol Bellamy, Executive Director, United Nations Children's Fund


Statistical tables

1  Basic indicators
2  Nutrition
3  Health
4  Education
5  Demographic indicators 
6  Economic indicators 
7  Women 
8  The rate of progress
   Measuring human development
   Regional summaries country list 

Statistics, vital indicators of the care, nurture and
resources that children receive in their communities and
countries, help chart progress towards the goals set at the
1990 World Summit for Children. The eight tables in this
report have been expanded to give the broadest possible
coverage of important basic indicators for nutrition, health,
education, demographics, economic indicators and the
situation of women, plus rates of progress and regional
summaries. They also include complete data, as available, on
less populous countries, covering 193 countries in all,
listed alphabetically. Countries are shown on page 93 in
descending order of their estimated 1996 under-five mortality
rates, which is also the first basic indicator in table 1.


1  Vitamin A supplements save pregnant women's lives
2  What is malnutrition?
3  Stunting linked to impaired intellectual development
4  Recognizing the right to nutrition
5  Growth and sanitation: What can we learn from chickens?
6  Breastmilk and transmission of HIV
7  High-energy biscuits for mothers boost infant survival by  
   50 per cent
8  UNICEF and the World Food Programme
9  Triple A takes hold in Oman
10 Celebrating gains in children's health in Brazil
11 Rewriting Elias's story in Mbeya
12 Women in Niger take the lead against malnutrition
13 BFHI: Breastfeeding breakthroughs
14 Tackling malnutrition in Bangladesh
15 Kiwanis mobilize to end iodine deficiency's deadly toll
16 Indonesia makes strides against vitamin A deficiency
17 Making food enrichment programmes sustainable
18 Zinc and vitamin A: Taking the sting out of malaria
19 Protecting nutrition in crises
20 Progress against worms for pennies
21 Child nutrition a priority for the new South Africa


World Food Summit
Ten steps to successful breastfeeding
Vitamin A

Text figures

Fig.1  Malnutrition and child mortality
Fig.2  Trends in child malnutrition, by region
Fig.3  From good nutrition to greater productivity and beyond
Fig.4  Poverty and malnutrition in Latin America and the      
Fig.5  Causes of child malnutrition
Fig.6  Inadequate dietary intake/disease cycle
Fig.7  Intergenerational cycle of growth failure
Fig.8  Better nutrition through triple A
Fig.9  Iodine deficiency disorders and salt iodization
Fig.10 Progress in vitamin A supplementation programmes
Fig.11 Measles deaths and vitamin A supplementation
Fig.12 Zinc supplementation and child growth (Ecuador, 1986)
Fig.13 Maternal height and Caesarean delivery (Guatemala,     



Press Kit
 Summary: Malnutrition: Causes, consequences and solutions
 Fact Sheet: Summing up malnutrition's shame
 Fact Sheet: Malnutrition: Causes
 Fact Sheet: Micronutrients
 Feature: Child malnutrition and women's rights
 Feature: In Burundi camps, the spetre of malnutrition looms
 Feature: Malnutrition in industrialized countries

The state of the world's children 1998 - Chapter II

Figure 1. 

Malnutrition and child mortality

If a child is even mildly underweight, the mortality risk is
increased. WHO estimates that malnutrition was associated
with over half of all child deaths that occurred in
developing countries in 1995.

Malnutrition                       55%
Acute respiratory infections (ARI) 19%
Diarrhoea                          19%
Perinatal causes                   18%
Measles                             7%
Malaria                             5%
Other                              32%

Source: WHO, based on C.J.L. Murray and A.D. Lopez, The
Global Burden of Disease, Harvard University Press, Cambridge
(USA), 1996; and D.L. Pelletier, E.A. Frongillo and J.P.
Habicht,  Epidemiological evidence for a potentiating effect
of malnutrition on child mortality', in American Journal of
Public Health, 1993:83.

                         * * * *

Figure 2 - Trends in child malnutrition, by region is not
available in this file.

This can be found in the website at:


                        * * * *

Figure 3 -From good nutrition to greater productivity and
beyond is not available in the gopher.  

This can be found in the website at:


                         * * * *

Figure 4 

Poverty and malnutrition in Latin America and the Caribbean

Malnutrition in Latin America decreased from an estimated 21%
in 1970 to 7.2% in 1997, while the rate of poverty, measured
by income level, fluctuated only slightly over the last three
decades, dropping from 45% in 1970 to 44% in 1997. These
trends show that the reduction of malnutrition is not solely
dependent on increases in income. In Latin America, the gains
in reducing malnutrition are attributed at the underlying
level to good care practices and access to basic health
services, including family planning, and water/sanitation
services; and at the basic level to women's empowerment in
terms of their education and the cash resources they control.

Per cent of underweight      Per cent of families with
      children               Income below poverty level

    Year      %                   Year      %    
    1970      21                  1970      45
    1979      16.3                1980      41
    1985      10                  1986      43
    1990      0.1                 1990      46
    1995      8.0                 1994      44
    1997      7.1                 2000      44
    2000      5.1

Source: Aaron Lechtig,  Child Undernutrition in Latin America
and the Caribbean: Trends, reasons and lessons', presented
tot he Workshop on the Changing Conditions of the Child in
Latin America and the Caribbean, University of Notre Dame,
South Bend (USA), 26 September 1997, based on ACC/SCN,
 Update of the Nutrition Situation 1996', Summary of results
for the Third Report on the World Nutrition Situation,
ACC/SCN, Geneva, 1996, and ECLAC, Social Panorama of Latin
American 1996, Santiago (Chile), 1996.

                        * * * *

Figure 5 - Causes of child malnutriton is not available in
the gopher.  

It be found in the website at:


                        * * * *

Figure 6 - Inadequate dietary intake/disease cycle is not
available in the gopher.  

This can be found in the website at:


                         * * * *

Figure 7 - Intergenerational cycle of growth failure is not
available in the gopher.  

This can be found in the website at:


                          * * * *

Figure 8 - Better nutrition through Triple A is not available
in the gopher.  

This can be found in the website at:


                       * * * *

Figure 9

Iodine deficiency disorders and salt iodization

Iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) were still a major health
problem in may parts of the world in 1990. Today, programmes
to produce or import iodized salt are in place in most
developing countries.

Global prevalence of iodine deficiency disorders     
situation around 1990)

Countries                IDD Status

Mauritania                    1    
Niger                         1 
Mali                          1
Guinea-Bissau                 1  
Liberia                       1
Togo                          1
Zaire                         1
Sierra Leone                  1
Nigeria                       1
Senegal                       1
Guinea                        1
Central African Rep.          1
Chad                          1
Cameroon                      1
Benin                         1
Burkina Faso                  1
Ghana                         1
Cote d'Ivoire                 1 
Congo                         1 
Gabon                         2
Mozambique                    1
Namibia                       1
Madagascar                    1
Malawi                        1
Rwanda                        1
Zambia                        1
Zimbabwe                      1
Tanzania, U. Rep. of          1
Uganda                        1
Burundi                       1
Botswana                      1
Angola                        1
Eritrea                       1
Ethiopia                      1
Kenya                         1
Lesotho                       1
Mauritius                     2
Somalia                       9
South Africa                  9
Papua New Guinea              1
Myanmar                       1
Mongolia                      1
Viet Nam                      1
Thailand                      1
Philippines                   1
China                         1
Cambodia                      1
Lao Peoples's Dem. Rep.       1
Indonesia                     1
Korea, Rep. of                2  
Korea, Dem. People's Rep      2
Malaysia                      9
Nepal                         1
Pakistan                      1
Sri Lanka                     1
Bangladesh                    1
Afghanistan                   1
India                         1
Bhutan                        1
Oman                          1
Morocco                       1
Sudan                         1
Yemen                         1
Syrian Arab Rep.              1
Libyan Arab Jamahiri          1
Iran, Islamic Rep. of         1
Egypt                         1
Algeria                       1
Lebanon                       1
Jordan                        1
Iraq                          1
Tunisia                       2
United Arab Emirates          9
West Bank & Gaza              9
Bahrain                       9
Qatar                         9
Kuwait                        9
Paraguay                      1
Panama                        1
Venezuela                     1
Peru                          1
Honduras                      1
Cuba                          1
Dominican Rep.                1
Colombia                      1
Brazil                        1
Chile                         1
Bolivia                       1
Guatemala                     1
Haiti                         1
El Salvador                   1
Argentina                     1
Ecuador                       1
Trinidad and Tobago           2
Uruguay                       2
Nicaragua                     2
Costa Rica                    2
Jamaica                       2
Mexico                        9 
Estonia                       1
Czech Republic                1
Croatia                       1
Hungary                       1
Georgia                       1
Yugoslavia Fed.               1
Armenia                       1
Turkey                        1
Albania                       1
Azerbaijan                    1
Bulgaria                      1
Bosnia & Herzegovina          1
Belarus                       1
Macedonia (FYR of)            1
Moldova                       1
Poland                        1
Lithuania                     1
Kyrgyzstan                    1
Kazakhstan                    1
Latvia                        1
Turkmenistan                  1
Ukraine                       1
Uzbekistan                    1
Tajikistan                    1
Romania                       1
Russian Federation            1
Slovakia                      1
Fiji                          1
Swaziland                     1
Equatorial Guinea             1
Gambia                        1
Comoros                       1
St Kitts & Nevitts            2
Saint Lucia                   2
Grenada                       2
Montserrat                    2
St. Vincent/Grenadin          2
Turks & Caicos Isl.           2
Seychelles                    2
Suriname                      2
Anguilla                      2
Micronesia, Fed. Sta          2
Marshall Islands              2
Solomon Islands               2
Samoa                         2
Cape Verde                    2
Sao Tome and Principe         2
Kiribati                      2
Cook Islands                  2
Tokelau                       2
Barbados                      2
Bahamas                       2
Dominica                      2
British Virgin Isl.           2
Tuvalu                        2
Tonga                         2
Antigua & Barbuda             2
Vanuatu                       2
Guyana                        9
Niue                          9
Palau                         9
Maldives                      9
Djibouti                      9
Belize                        9


1 = IDD is a public health problem
2 = IDD is not a public health problem
9 = No data on IDD prevalence

Source: WHO MDIS Report #1 (1993)Report on  Progress Towards 
Universal Sal Iodization', UNICEF HQ/Nutritino Section

Percentage of households consuming iodized salt (1992-1996)

Country                           Category* 
British Virgin Islands                A
Croatia                               A
Jamaica                               A
Kenya                                 A
TFYR Macedonia                        A
Nicaragua                             A
Tunisia                               A
Bhutan                                A
Brazil                                A
Nepal                                 A
Algeria                               A
Bolivia                               A
Lebanon                               A
Panama                                A
El Salvador                           A
Costa Rica                            A
Argentina                             A
Belize                                A
Chile                                 A
Colombia                              A
Ecuador                               A
Lao Rep.                              A
Libya                                 A
Peru                                  A
Rwanda                                A
Zambia                                A
Mexico                                B
Cameroon                              B
Honduras                              B
Indonesia                             B
Nigeria                               B
Iran                                  B
Burundi                               B
Eritrea                               B
Namibia                               B
Zimbabwe                              B
Paraguay                              B
Jordan                                B
Sierra Leone                          B
Tanzania                              B
Lesotho                               B
India                                 B
Yugoslavia                            B
Uganda                                B
Central African Rep.                  B
Venezuela                             B
Guatemala                             B
Mozambique                            B
Viet Nam                              B
Malawi                                B
Kazakhstan                            B
China                                 B
Iraq                                  B
Thailand                              B
Cuba                                  C
Bangladesh                            C
Mongolia                              C
Dominican Rep.                        C
South Africa                          C
Belarus                               C
Guinea                                C
Syria                                 C
Benin                                 C
Oman                                  C
Chad                                  C
Fiji                                  C
Russian Fed.                          C
Botswana                              C
Swaziland                             C
Burkina Faso                          C
Yemen                                 C
Equatorial Guinea                     C
Tajikistan                            C
Pakistan                              C
Turkey                                C
Philippines                           C
Myanmar                               C
Zaire                                 C
Angola                                C
Ghana                                 C
Haiti                                 C
Senegal                               C
Mali                                  C
Niger                                 C
Sri Lanka                             C
Korea, Dem.                           C
Ukraine                               C
Mauritania                            C
Madagascar                            C
Togo                                  C
Egypt                                 C
Ethiopia                              C
Gambia                                C
Mauritius                             C
Turkmenistan                          C
Uzbekistan                            C
Cambodia                              N
Cote d'Ivoire                         N
Guinea-Bissau                         N
Romania                               N
Afghanistan                           N
Albania                               N
Antigua/Barbuda                       N
Armenia                               N
Azerbaijan                            N
Bahamas                               N
Bahrain                               N
Barbados                              N
Bosnia/Herzegovina                    N
Brunei Darussalam                     N
Bulgaria                              N
Cape Verde                            N
Comoros                               N
Congo                                 N
Cook Islands                          N
Cyprus                                N
Czech Rep.                            N
Djibouti                              N
Dominica                              N
Estonia                               N
Gabon                                 N
Georgia                               N
Grenada                               N
Guyana                                N
Hungary                               N
Kiribati                              N
Korea, Rep.                           N
Kuwait                                N
Kyrgyzstan                            N
Latvia                                N
Liberia                               N
Lithuania                             N
Malaysia                              N
Maldives                              N
Marshall Islands                      N
Micronesia, Fed. States               N
Moldova                               N
Montserrat                            N
Morocco                               N
Palau                                 N
Papua New Guinea                      N
Poland                                N
Qatar                                 N
Saint Kitts/Nevis                     N
Saint Lucia                           N
Saint Vincent/Grenadines              N
Samoa                                 N
Sao Tome/Principe                     N
Saudi Arabia                          N
Seychelles                            N
Singapore                             N
Slovakia                              N
Solomon Islands                       N
Somalia                               N
Sudan                                 N
Suriname                              N
Tonga                                 N
Trinidad/Tobago                       N
Turks/Caicos Islands                  N
Tuvalu                                N
U. Arab Emirates                      N
Uruguay                               N
Vanuatu                               N

*90% or more   - A
 50-89%        - B
 Less than 50% - C
 No data       - N

Source: IDD data from UNICEF,  Report on Progress Towards
Universal Salt Iodization', 1994. Salt iodization data
compiled by UNICEF, 1997.

                       * * * *

Figure 10

Progress in vitamin A supplementation programmes

In the 78 countries where vitamin A deficiency is a
recognized public health problem, supplementation 
programmes are on the rise.

                                 1994        1996

Countries where policies 
to supplement post-partum
mothers are in place              19           46

Countries where young children
routinely receive vitamin A       29           45

Countries where more than 50%
of young children routinely
receive vitamin A supplements     17           30

Source: UNICEF/MI/Tulane University,  Progress in controlling
vitamin A deficiency 1997' (draft).

                        * * * *

Figure 11

Measles deaths and vitamin A supplementation

In three separate trials of children hospitalized with
measles - one as early as 1932 - deaths among children given
high-dose vitamin A supplements were significantly lower than
among children not supplemented.  The consistent results
suggest that a change in vitamin A status can rapidly alter
basic physiological functions concerned with cellular repair
and resistance to infection, thereby saving lives.

Country              Non-supplemented  Supplemented  
                        Case fatality rate (%)

1932 United Kingdom      8.7              3.7
1987 Tanzania           13.0              6.8
1990 South Africa       10.3              2.2

Source: Alfred Sommer and Keith P. West Jr., Vitamin A
Deficiency: Health, survival and vision, Oxford University
Press, New York, 1996.

                         * * * *

Figure 12

Zinc supplementation and child growth (Ecuador, 1986)

Zinc's importance in ensuring normal growth and development
is underlined in a 1986 study of Ecuadorian pre-schoolers
with low zinc intake. The children were paired by sex, age
and height; one in each par was given a zinc supplement, the
other a placebo. The results over 15 months showed a slow,
steady gain in the supplemented children's height as compared
with the non-supplemented group.

Change in height-for-age Z-score

Month        Zinc        Placebo

 1          -0.033      -0.015
 2          -0.025      -0.013
 3           0.045       0.004
 4           0.043      -0.003
 5           0.040      -0.030
 6           0.115       0.024
 7           0.151       0.057
 8           0.140       0.022
 9           0.125       0.042
10           0.139       0.023
11           0.139       0.022
12           0.199       0.063
13           0.230       0.066
14           0.246       0.053
15           0.274       0.079

Note: The height-for-age Z-scores in the table refer to the
number of standard deviations below or above the median
height for healthy children in the same age group.

Source: H. Dirren et al,  Zinc supplementation and child
growth in Ecuador', in Nutrient Regulation during Pregnancy,
Lactation and Infant Growth, Plenum Press, New York, 1994.

                       * * * *

Figure 13 - Maternal height and caesarean delivery
(Guatemala, 1984-1986) is not available in the gopher.  

This can be found in the website at:


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