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Day of the African Child

Message from Esther Guluma
UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa

The theme of this year's Day of the African Child - Right to participate: Let Children be seen and heard -  is an excellent one.

Too often the young are not able to participate and their voices are not heard. In many emergencies they are portrayed as the striking but mute victims. Some countries are still not listening to them and laying good foundations for the world they will inherit. Not only are there too few opportunities for children and young people to actively participate in civic society, the awful truth is that far too many are silenced before they even have a chance of life.

In West and Central Africa two out ten children do not reach the age of 5.    Much more needs to be done. We need to make sure that communities and families are better resourced to save children and give them lives where their potential is fulfilled.

Today we are releasing a publication called 'Drops of Life'. Based on experience in this region, it demonstrates children will have more of a chance of surviving if they get Vitamin A.  The facts are dramatic and conclusive. The report concludes that of all the challenges to reducing child mortality in this region, preventing Vitamin A deficiency is one that can be overcome.

On this Day let us think about the voices of the children of Africa, and think about how we can prevent many more being lost.

 

 

 

 

More on the Day of the African Child

Mali -The President of the Republic recognizes the efforts of UNICEF in Mali on the Day of the African Child
[pdf - 84KB]

Central African Republic - Our lives: Street children pick up cameras in CAR  [read]

Guinea Bissau - The Day of the African Child Marked by a Special Children’s Parliament Session [read]


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