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This map does not reflect a position by UNICEF on the legal status of any country or territory or the delimitation of any frontiers.

Cameroon, a lower middle-income country, has launched an ambitious, long-term development plan for economic growth and employment. UNICEF works to ensure that the rights of children are included in a substantial way in the national plan. While Cameroon is a signatory to all the major child protection conventions, their application is uneven and draft national legislation that would strengthen the legal protection framework has not yet been adopted. UNICEF partners with other actors to accelerate progress in this area.


Issues facing children in Cameroon

  • Cameroon is ranked 18th amongst the 20 countries in the world with the highest mortality for children under the age of five, which stands at 148 per 1,000
  • Only 13 per cent of children under five sleep under insecticide-treated nets, and malaria accounts for more than 40 per cent of all deaths in this age group
  • Maternal mortality is alarmingly high at 670 per 100,000 births
  • Limited access to, and utilization of, prevention-of-mother-to-child-transmission (PMTCT) services results in HIV infection to children
  • Nationally 30.7 per ent of the population lack access to safe drinking water, and some 66.9 per cent lack adequate sanitation, resulting in regular outbreaks of cholera
  • Limited access to quality primary education in four regions (Extreme North, Adamawa, East and North) is characterized by low enrolment rates and significant gender disparities
  • Thirty per cent of births are not registered in Cameroon, effectively denying an identity and education to these children.

Activities and results for children

  • More than 80 per cent of children under five are vaccinated each year, with UNICEF support
  • Nearly 80 per cent of health facilities nationwide provide PMTCT services in partnership with UNICEF
  • Essential nutrition services are provided in priority health districts where child malnutrition is elevated
  • In 2009, UNICEF worked with the government to secure €120 million from Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, with the aim of increasing bed net coverage from 13 per cent to over 80 per cent by 2015
  • UNICEF is working with communities and the government to increase access to sanitation from 33 per cent to over 60 per cent by 2015
  • Educational quality is being improved through an integrated approach that includes teacher training, parental education and community involvement in school management.



Basic Indicators

Under-5 mortality rank


Under-5 mortality rate (U5MR), 1990


Under-5 mortality rate (U5MR), 2012


U5MR by sex 2012, male


U5MR by sex 2012, female


Infant mortality rate (under 1), 1990


Infant mortality rate (under 1), 2012


Neonatal mortality rate 2012


Total population (thousands) 2012


Annual no. of births (thousands) 2012


Annual no. of under-5 deaths (thousands) 2012


GNI per capita (US$) 2012


Life expectancy at birth (years) 2012


Total adult literacy rate (%) 2008-2012*


Primary school net enrolment ratio (%) 2008-2011*


Definitions and data sources [popup]

Source: The State of the World's Children

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