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- Progress for children in Africa has been slower and more uneven than in other regions.
- Risk of dying before age five is still higher than in any other region despite the decline in U5MR from 25 per cent in 1960 to 18 per cent in 1993. In recent years, it appears to have increased in several countries, including Madagascar, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
- Life expectancy, which increased from 37 to 51 years between 1950 and 1990, remains the lowest in the world.
- In the early 1980s, only 20 per cent of children in the region were immunized; in the early 1990s, about half were.
- The number of children in primary school has quadrupled since 1960. The girls' enrolment ratio more than doubled from 18 to 46 per cent between 1960 and 1990. Nevertheless, only half of eligible children are enrolled in primary school, and the gender gap remains wide.
- During the 1980s, the enrolment rate decreased in about half the region's countries. No other region has ever experienced such a set-back.
- Malnutrition has not declined, and one third of children suffer from stunting.
- On average, the number of children per mother has barely declined in 40 years: it is still more than 6, the highest of all regions.
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