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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.

Young people under the age of 20 account for 58 per cent of Senegal’s total population, making efforts on behalf of children vital to the nation’s future. Many health and nutritional programmes are hampered by a lack of funds and a shortage of trained personnel. Scarce resources have had to be diverted to respond to emergencies, including a cholera epidemic and flooding in Dakar. Despite these challenges, Senegal may be able to achieve several of the Millennium Development Goals, particularly with respect to education, nutrition and access to water.

Issues facing children in Senegal

  • Despite some progress, maternal mortality remains high.
  • Malaria, malnutrition, diarrhoeal diseases and acute respiratory infections claim the lives of many young children.
  • A recent outbreak of yellow fever created the need for an emergency vaccination campaign, which delayed the expansion of Senegal’s routine immunization programme.
  • Chronic food insecurity threatens the healthy growth of children.
  • Traditional attitudes about gender roles persist. Many families do not put a high priority on educating girls.
  • The quality of education offered in Senegal’s schools needs improvement. Completion rates, particularly among girls, remain low.

Activities and results for children

  • UNICEF has implemented an accelerated strategy for child survival and development in the districts of Kedougou and Velingara. These health inventions have already reduced mortality rates for children under age five in these districts by 25 per cent.
  • UNICEF delivered an integrated package of health services in the regions of Tambacounda and Kolda: More than 80 per cent of children under age five received vaccinations, vitamin A supplements and deworming treatment. Mosquito nets were recoated with insecticide to reduce exposure to malaria.
  • Education, health, hygiene and nutrition kits were delivered to the districts of Mbour, Bignona and Velingara in 2005, benefiting more than 12,000 young children.
  • UNICEF’s national campaign for girls’ education is achieving positive results. Primary school enrolment rates for girls continue to improve.
  • The movement to end female genital mutilation continues to gain momentum. More than 100 villages have publicly abandoned this practice and also repudiated early marriages. Senegal hosted a major conference of African parliamentarians to broaden the base of national support for these positive changes.
  • Senegal currently devotes 40 per cent of its national budget to education and 10 per cent to health care.



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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