Nigeria’s health services halved the maternal mortality rate between 1990 and 2010, but in parts of the predominantly Muslim north, which is less socio-economically advanced, women are 10 times more likely to die in childbirth than in the oil-rich, predominantly Christian south.

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“The Independent Monitoring Board on progress with global polio eradication reports the significant finding that 2.7 million children in six countries have never been reached with a single polio vaccine. This is a clarion call to accelerate all efforts to reach these unreached children,” said Anthony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF.

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Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Zainab Maina, has expressed dismay over the rising cases of discrimination against children with disabilities.

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The Women Trafficking and Child Labour Eradication Foundation (WOTCLEF) has said the issue of rape and incest among children is on the increase and only proper implementation of the Child Right Act can effectively curtail the menace of child abuse.

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As Nigerian children celebrate 2012 Children's Day on Sunday, it is sad to note that over 40 per cent of them will celebrate on the street; without access to basic education as economic and socio-cultural factors keep over 10.1 million of the 35.6 million children aged between six and 14, out of schools.

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It is, says Gabriel Demombynes, of the World Bank’s Nairobi office, “a tremendous success story that has only barely been recognised”. Michael Clemens of the Centre for Global Development calls it simply “the biggest, best story in development”. It is the huge decline in child mortality now gathering pace across Africa.

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Aid organizations and rights groups are putting more pressure on the Nigerian government to release a promised US$5.4 million in aid for lead-poisoned children, but government officials keep ducking the issue.

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Most deaths of young children around the world are from mainly preventable infectious causes, experts have said.

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Human Rights Watch (HRW) Deputy Programme Director, Babatunde Olughobi has said over 2500 children have been treated for high level of lead poisoning by Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) (Doctors Without Borders).

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At least one million children are at risk of dying of malnutrition in the central-western part of Africa’s Sahel region due to a drought crisis, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said today, adding that more resources are urgently needed to help those in need.

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