'Children from poorest households more likely to die from preventable diseases'

The data is contained in a report released by Unicef on Wednesday titled The Convention of the Child at a Crossroads.

FILE: Unicef said it noticed that in the poorest countries such as South Africa, these gains were under threat. Picture: iStock.

JOHANNESBURG - The United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) said in countries such as South Africa, children from the poorest households were twice as likely to die from preventable diseases before their fifth birthday compared to children from affluent backgrounds.

The data is contained in a report released by Unicef on Wednesday titled The Convention of the Child at a Crossroads.

Wednesday marks World Children's Day, which is commemorated globally to promote children's rights.

On the 30th anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, Unicef said there was a huge improvement in addressing problems faced by children globally.

Unicef said it noticed that in the poorest countries such as South Africa, these gains were under threat.

SA Unicef representative Sanjay Wijesekera said: “We can’t rest and say a lot of progress has been made and that’s great, we’ve now got to pursue the people who’ve been left behind from that progress.”

Wijesekirra said those in power needed to act fast.

“It requires, obviously, government’s action to put in the laws and regulations that control it.”

Unicef said it also noticed that new threats such as cyberbullying, xenophobia and refugees issues were a threat to global progress.