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close this bookThe Condition of Young Children in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Convergence of Health, Nutrition, and Early Education (WB, 1996, 64 p.)
close this folder2. The status of children In sub-Saharan Africa
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentProgress in human development
View the documentPhysical needs: Survival, health, and nutrition
View the documentEducational profile
View the documentEarly interventions, school readiness and subsequent performance
View the documentThe challenge ahead
View the document3. What can early childhood development programs do?
View the documentImproving child quality
View the documentIncreasing the efficiency of primary and secondary school investments
View the documentEnhancing the economic contribution of the child to society
View the documentReducing social inequity
View the documentAddressing the intersecting needs of women and children
View the documentCreating synergistic effects of health, nutrition, and early stimulation


Indicators of child welfare confirm that the adverse socioeconomic context just described has had a dramatic effect on child growth and development. Sub-Saharan Africa is the only major region in the world where the status of children has actually deteriorated in recent years.

This section begins with a brief discussion of SSA's human development condition as measured by the UNDP's Human Development Index (HDI). It then proceeds to describe the status of Sub-Saharan African children, including physical aspects such as survival, health, and nutrition, as well as educational and social-psychological aspects. For the convenience of description. the various types of physical, cognitive and socio-emotional needs, and attendant indicators are separated. Yet it is important to note that they are operationally inseparable if we are concerned with fostering the healthy development of the whole child.