One in 3 children under the age of 5 has never had his or her birth registered, which could prevent them from receiving health care, education and social services, says a report from UNICEF. Sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia have the least number of registered births. "Birth registration -- and a birth certificate -- is vital for unlocking a child's full potential," says UNICEF Deputy Director Geeta Rao Gupta.
Malaria deaths can be prevented by using bed nets, UNICEF said as part of its World Malaria Day statement. "We must distribute insecticide-treated nets to all who need them, provide timely testing for children and appropriate medicine when they are infected," says Nicholas Alipui, UNICEF's director of programs.
A UNICEF report says that 25% of children younger than 5 are permanently stunted from malnutrition, writes Shawn Pogatchnik. Such a child "will learn less in school, will earn less later, is more vulnerable to disease," says Anthony Lake of UNICEF. Separately, IRIN discusses six African countries that are grappling with stunted children.
More than 25% of children in the Democratic Republic of Congo don't attend school, UNICEF says. Societal factors such as poverty, childhood marriage, and children working in farming and mining hamper school attendance. Other factors include lack of education funding and not enough schools.