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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.

Poverty and difficult living conditions are the daily realities for many of Madagascar’s children. Even as it struggles with challenges such as flooding, periodic cyclones and widespread malnutrition, Madagascar is working to transform its subsistence economy into a market economy. 

Issues facing children in Madagascar

  • Because many women lack access to quality health care, maternal mortality remains alarmingly high. More than half of all births take place without the assistance of a trained medical professional.
  • Nearly 120 out of every 1,000 children born in Madagascar will die before their fifth birthday. Malaria, diarrhoeal diseases and respiratory infections are among the deadliest threats.
  • Only a little more than half of one-year-olds are fully vaccinated against preventable diseases.
  • Forty-eight per cent of Malagasy children are chronically malnourished; 13 per cent suffer from acute malnutrition.
  • Only about 50 per cent of households have access to clean drinking water, and only 3 per cent have latrines. Contaminated water and poor sanitation greatly increases the risk that children will contract diarrhoeal diseases.

Activities and results for children

  • Approximately 90 per cent of all children under age five have received deworming treatments and vitamin A supplements, which boost the immune system.
  • UNICEF has supported regional campaigns to deliver polio and tetanus immunizations. The initiatives have also included the re-treatment of bed nets, increasing their effectiveness in warding off the mosquitoes that carry malaria.
  • With assistance from UNICEF, the government has developed new national plans to improve nutrition and to expand water and sanitation services.
  • Compulsory primary education has been extended from five to seven years. 
  • Primary school enrolment rates have risen to nearly 90 per cent (net). Girls’ enrolment rates continue to improve, as do completion rates.
  • UNICEF has assisted the Ministry of Education in training more than 43,000 teachers. Some 1,400 teachers have now been trained in educating students in HIV/AIDS prevention.
  • UNICEF is supporting efforts to increase birth registration.
  • In Antananarivo and Toliari, dozens of police officers have been trained to assist children and ensure that their rights are protected.
  • Delegates from Madagascar, Mauritius, Comoros, Seychelles and La Reunion have adopted joint guidelines for preventing, monitoring and responding to violence against children.



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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