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UNICEF Uganda Keeping Children Alive Safe and Learning_2011

UNICEF Uganda Keeping Children Alive Safe and Learning_2011

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Published by UNICEF Uganda
Programme overview - 2011 version
Programme overview - 2011 version

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Published by: UNICEF Uganda on Feb 01, 2012
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UNICEF in Uganda
Keeping ChildrenAlive, Safe and Learning
With the futures of millions of children keptclose at heart, UNICEF Uganda is workingwith the Government and partners toaccelerate progress toKeep Children  Alive, Safe, and Learning. Three multi-sectoralprogramme components (Keep Childrenand Mothers Alive, Keep Children Safe,and Keep Children Learning) form the coreof the 2010-2014 Government of Uganda/ UNICEF Uganda Country Programme Action
Plan. As a whole, the programme benets
from intersecting activity and crosscuttingstrategies. For example, Alive intersects withLearning where hygiene improvements affectschool enrollment; Learning intersects withSafe where weaving child-friendly principlesinto national education standards reduceschild abuse in schools.The goal of Keep Children Alive, Safe, andLearning is to have a dramatic, positiveimpact on the lives of Uganda’s childrenby the 2015 MDG target year, and beyond.Geographically, we are placing additionalfocus in areas of high disparities, such asdistricts in the northern, northeastern, andwestern-to-central areas. As of 2011,UNICEF is bolstering development effortsin over 30 additional districts around thecountry with the highest absolute mortalityrates, in an effort to join our partners inhaving deeper impact in those underservedareas.It is within Uganda’s reach to save lives andimprove the futures of millions of children ayear. We must not wait until tomorrow: thetime for us to accelerate progress is now.
An Introduction
Uganda is making strides of progress afteryears of instability: more than a millionpeople rose above the poverty line in the last
ve years, and the percentage of school-age
children enrolling in primary school nationallyhas skyrocketed to over 96 per cent.Uganda’s achievements toward reachingthe Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)and other development targets inspire hope.But the current rate of progress needs to beaccelerated greatly to reach the MDG targetsby the year 2015.More than half of Ugandans – over 15.5million – are under the age of 15 years,underscoring just how important andurgent it is to improve the lives of childrenand youth, especially the most vulnerableand marginalized. With such a hugeyoung population, the impact of Uganda’s
achievements for children inuences the
progress of the nation. As the country strides forward economicallycreating new opportunities for some,the poorest children are left far behind.Compared to Uganda’s children living in thewealthiest quintile (20 per cent), children inthe poorest quintile are more than two-and-a-half times less likely to be birthed by askilled attendant. They are less likely to have
ofcial birth registration or be immunized,
and are more likely to suffer malnutrition.They are nearly two-and-a-half times morelikely than their richest peers to be marriedbefore the age of 18, and eight times lesslikely to be using improved basic sanitationthroughout life. These disparities and othersare illustrated in a recent global UNICEFstudy,
Progress for Children:Achieving the MDGs with Equity
– a snapshot of this studyfocusing on Uganda follows onthe next page.Like a marathon runner pushing toward the
nish line, a sustained and focused effort is
needed in Uganda to go the last mile towardreaching the MDGs and other importantdevelopment targets. This will set the tonefor the future beyond 2015, affecting themortality, safety, and education of millions ofUgandan children.
More than half ofUgandans – over15.5 million – areunder the age of 15.
 All photos ©UNICEF Uganda
Achieving the MDGs with Equity:Focus on Uganda
 A recent UNICEF study,
Progress forChildren: Achieving the MDGs with Equity
,reveals deep economic disparities in termsof progress toward meeting the MDGsaround the world. Strengthening the focuson achieving greater equity for children isboth imperative and appropriate, and in
some areas it makes more nancial sensein the long run. Most signicantly, the study
found that an equity-focused approachwill accelerate progress towards the healthMDGs for children faster than the currentpath (in particular to reduce child mortalityand improve maternal health), and willbe considerably more cost-effective andsustainable.The disparities across wealth quintiles inUganda suggest that even as the nationmoves forward, the most disadvantaged andmarginalized children are being left behind,especially in terms of health and childprotection. Compared to their peers in thewealthiest 20 per cent (or quintile), children inUganda’s poorest quintile are:
More than two-and-a-half timesless likely to be birthed by a skilledattendant;
More likely to suffer malnutrition;
Less likely to receive immunization;
Eight times less likely to be usingimproved basic sanitation throughoutlife;
Less likely to have ofcial birth
registration; and
Nearly two-and-a-half times morelikely to be married before the age of18.
Windows of Opportunity
There are windows of opportunity that theGovernment, UNICEF and partners can useto reduce these disparities. For example, the
antenatal care
intervention: A relatively highpercentage of women in the poorest quintilein Uganda receive antenatal care at leastonce during pregnancy (93% in Uganda,versus only 55% of women in the poorestquintile in sub-Saharan Africa). However,many of these women do not follow throughwith the recommended four visits. UNICEF isworking to ensure that the large percentageof those who have one antenatal care visithave three more, an achievement that can
have a profound inuence on half of the
disparities listed above (birth by a skilledattendant, malnutrition, and immunization). Another example is improving
primarylearning and gender equality
: Uganda hasachieved a high primary school enrolmentrate as well as gender parity (the sameamount of girls and boys attend). However, just over half complete primary school. clear prerogative must be to ensure moregirls and boys start early, stay in school,
learn, and nish. To make this happen,
UNICEF is supporting Early ChildhoodDevelopment and helping the Governmentimprove the quality and safety of primaryschools. In addition, support to the widelysuccessful Girls Education Movement ishelping more girls achieve their right to attainthe highest education of which they arecapable – an achievement that can ultimatelyyield progress across all MDG targets.
Numbers In Uganda, with respect to:
Maternal health – delivery: 28% of births areattended by a skilled attendant at delivery forthe poorest quintile, versus 76% of births forthe richest quintile;
Maternal health – antenatal care: 93% ofwomen in the poorest quintile receivedantenatal care at least once, compared to96% in the richest, and 55% of women inthe poorest quintile of sub-Saharan Africancountries;
Malnutrition: 21% of children under 5 areunderweight in the poorest quintile, versus 8%
of under ve children in the richest;
Immunization: 49% of infants in the poorestquintile received measles immunization, versus65% in the richest quintile;
Child Marriage: 62% of women in the poorestquintile are married before the age of 18,versus 26% of women in the richest quintile;
Birth registration: 17% of the children under 5in poorest quintile are registered, versus 26%of the richest quintile;
Basic sanitation: 9% of the population in thepoorest quintile is using improved sanitationfacilities, versus 71% of the population in therichest quintile;
Gender parity index: .99 for primary schools;and .94 for secondary schools.Source: UNICEF:
Progress for Children: Achieving theMDGs with Equity

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