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Countries in Transition
- During the three decades following World War II, Eastern Europe achieved almost universal access to basic social services for children. By the early 1970s, malnutrition and illiteracy were almost eradicated, the literacy rate and primary school enrolment ratio were above 90 per cent. In the early 1980s, the immunization rate was the highest of all regions.
- By the 1970s, social conditions had approached those in industrialized countries. Poor economic growth and widespread inefficiencies in the 1980s and turmoil following the political transition in the 1990s, however, have caused serious deterioration.
- Diphtheria, polio, respiratory illnesses and cholera are on the rise. The immunization rate has declined from 88 per cent in the mid-1980s to 77 per cent in the early 1990s.
- Since 1990, child mortality has increased in Albania, Russia and Ukraine. In other countries, easily treatable respiratory illnesses have again become the leading cause of infant mortality.
- In Russia and Ukraine, the life expectancy of men dropped by five years between 1989 and 1993 to a level actually lower than the official retirement age.
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