Health and Nutrition

Child survival


Child survival

© UNICEFGhana/2012/Quarmyne
Today one in 12 children in Ghana dies before reaching his or her fifth birthday.

The major drivers of child deaths in Ghana stem from poverty, discrimination, quality of care and unequal access to basic services. Children from Ghana’s poorest families are nearly 40% more likely to die before the age of five, compared to children from Ghana’s richest families. UNICEF Ghana is supporting the government to identify where there is most need – based on evidence and robust monitoring and evaluation.

Child mortality and morbidity in Ghana are driven by a host of intersecting factors which include:

Poor access to quality services: while improved, only 68% of women deliver with a skilled birth attendant. In the Northern Region that figure drops to 37% of women who have access to a skilled delivery. Care-seeking continues to be impeded by cost, distance and quality of services.
Poor start to life: Stunting and other forms of malnutrition pose a significant risk to a child's health and development, especially in their early years, increasing their vulnerability to diseases and infections.
Risky environment: open drainage and lack of waste management systems are major drivers of malaria (the leading cause of death for children under five) as well as diarrhoea.
Intergenerational poverty: children's health and development is inextricably linked to the wellbeing and health of their mothers, and no less crucially, to their mother’s level of education.

Research has shown that greater levels of education amongst women and lower household poverty lead to significant reductions in infant mortality.



Biking for good health

UNICEF-trained health volunteers provide health services in remote villages in Northern Ghana.

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