Children's Health

State of the World’s Children statistics (South Africa)

Although South Africa does not feature prominently in UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children report, statistics reveal how the country is performing.

Ranks countries in descending order of their estimated 1999 under five mortality rate, a critical indicator of the well-being of children

When measuring the probability of dying between birth and exactly five years of age (per 1000 live births), South Africa was ranked 66 by UNICEF.

The report ranks countries in descending order of their estimated 1999 under five mortality rate, a critical indicator of the well-being of children.

Sierra Leone ranked 1, Angola 2, Mozambique 10 and Zimbabwe 51 while developed countries such as the United States ranked 158, Canada 165 and New Zealand 165. The countries that received the best ranking ‘€“ 187 ‘€“ were Japan, Norway, Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland.

South Africa recorded 1 055 000 births last year and 73 000 under-5 deaths.

Life expectancy at birth in South Africa currently stands at 52

10% of children are exclusively breastfed

9% of children are suffering from moderate or severe underweight

23% are stunted

86% of the population has been using improved drinking water sources in 1999

92% were urban and 80% rural

86% of population has been using adequate sanitation facilities

99% is urban and 73% rural

100% of the routine Expanded Programme on Immunisation was financed by the Government between 1997 and 1999.

The immunisations in this programme include those against TB, DPT, polio and measles, as well as protecting babies against neonatal tetanus by vaccination of pregnant women.

97% vaccinated against TB

76% vaccinated against diptheria, pertussis (whooping cough) and tetanus

72% vaccinated against polio

82% vaccinated against measles

26% of pregnant women received tetanus vaccinations

58% – the percentage of all cases of diarrhoea in children under five years of age treated with oral rehydration salts and/or recommended home fluids.

Adult literacy rate (percentage of people aged 15 and over who can read and write):

67% males and 66% females

355 radio sets per 1000 population and 134 television sets per 1000 population.

About the author

Anso Thom