The children

Early years

Primary school years



Early years

© UNICEF/MK/2001

The best possible start in life…

Although the country experiences the low infant mortality rate, disparities in access to health and education between rural and urban areas are obstacle towards achieving the low mortality rate of Western European countries.

Families benefit from childbirth education classes which brief parents about healthy pregnancy and antenatal care.  Newborn babies are delivered in baby friendly hospital wards where they spend all the time with their mother in intimate, bonding environment.

Exclusive breastfeeding is promoted for the first six months of a child life, with continuous breastfeeding and complimentary feeding for up to two years. With breast feeding rate of over 65 per cent, many infants are ensured quality food for healthy growth and development at the very beginning of their life.  

Over 92 per cent of children in the country are immunized and safe of diseases such as tuberculosis, polio and rubella. This is the first country in the region certified as Iodine Deficiency Disorders free.

Children are prepared for elementary school through formal pre-school education as well as community based early learning initiatives aimed at developing child’s cognitive abilities.

However, 8 percent of the children are not immunized, and 10 percent of the Roma children never enrol in school. Some 2 percent of children are not registered at birth. Pre-school education remains to be low at 12%. Institutionalized children and children working and begging in the street continue to pose challenge for the country to work on the realisation of children rights.



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