Child survival and development
In Senegal, we work to keep every child alive and healthy
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Today, children in Senegal have a greater chance of reaching their fifth birthday than ever before. Child deaths have significantly declined over the past decades, a significant victory for children and women.
In 1990, 134 children under five died for every 1,000 born. That number dropped to 47 in 2016. Still: most of these deaths are preventable with the right childcare practices and access to timely medical attention.
The maternal mortality ratio remains high at 315 per 100,000 live births (2015), as does the neonatal mortality rate, at 21 per 1,000 live births (2016).
The prevalence of stunting among children under-five decreased from 27 to 17 per cent between 2010 and 2016, although six of the country’s 14 regions have rates above 25 per cent.
Six in 10 children (66%) aged 6 to 59 months are anaemic and management of acute respiratory infections, diarrhoea and paediatric HIV are suboptimal.
Access to improved sanitation remains low at only 51 per cent, with an almost two-fold difference between urban and rural areas.
Families have difficulty accessing and utilizing services because of cost, distance and lack of knowledge and care-seeking behaviour in critical areas, such as treatment of common childhood infections, maternal health and child nutrition.
Persistent gender inequalities and adverse sociocultural beliefs and practices, including late initiation of antenatal care and women limited decision-making power are also contributing factors.
We support interventions in health, HIV/AIDS, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene and early childhood development, that contribute to women’s health and the survival and development of newborns, children, adolescent girls and boys.
UNICEF will further increase the high rate of immunization coverage, focused on equity and sustainability, using immunization as an entry point for other interventions such as birth registration.
We will maintain the current mortality downward trend among children under five by supporting the implementation of integrated management of childhood illness, strengthening health workers capacities and equipping them with the necessary medical equipment and supplies (neonatal units, resuscitation equipment, etc.)
In line with the National HIV Strategic Plan, UNICEF supports the integration of the prevention of mother-to-child transmission and paediatric HIV care programmes at subdistrict level and the introduction of innovative point-of-care for early infant HIV diagnosis towards elimination of paediatric HIV and AIDS.
Good nutrition is the bedrock of child survival and development. Well-nourished children are better able to grow, learn, play and participate in their communities. In Senegal, UNICEF works to prevent all forms of malnutrition by improving children’s and women’s access to nutritious, safe, affordable and sustainable diets. We support quality nutrition, health, water and sanitation, and social protection services that keep children well nourished.
We also promote optimal feeding – including exclusive breastfeeding, hygiene and care practices for children and women. The most critical time for good nutrition is during the 1,000-day period from pregnancy until a child’s second birthday.
Our WASH programme aims to strengthen institutional capacity to create a favourable environment for innovative financing and the strengthening of coordination and monitoring mechanisms for sanitation and water quality, in order to support the use of equitable, gender-responsive, sustainable WASH services by children, adolescents and women.