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Fast facts: Child health

Today is World Health Day. World Vision joins the World Health Organization to draw attention to issues of global health, particularly the health of children. Part of this year's theme tagline is "no action today, no cure tomorrow." Consider this challenge as you read these facts.

  • Malnutrition contributes to more than half of all child deaths. (Source: World Health Organization)
  • Every year, 8.1 million children die of poor health. That is ...

22,191 per day,
924 per hour,
15 per minute,
1 child dies every 4 seconds.

(Source: UNICEF, Levels & Trends in Child Mortality, September 2010)

  • 195 million children are stunted due to hunger (1 in 3 children in developing countries). (Source: UNICEF, "Tracking Progress on Child and Maternal Nutrition," November 2009)

In Kenya, a malnourished child is weighed at a World Vision health center. (Tim Freccia/WV)

  • In the time it takes you to brush your teeth in the morning (average of 45 seconds), another child dies of malaria in Africa. (Source: World Health Organization)
  • Each year, 272 million school days are lost for children due to diarrhea. (Source: UNICEF)
  • 193 million children are malnourished with impaired cognitive growth by the time they reach primary school age. That's more than three times the state population of California. (Source: UNESCO, "Education: roads closed," 2008)

  • An estimated one in three school-aged children in the developing world are infested with intestinal worms. (Source: UNICEF)
  • 14.8 million iPads have been sold to date. That's also the number of children who are orphaned by AIDS each year in sub-Saharan Africa. (Fact source: UNAIDS, 2010 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic)

*This statistic was corrected to reflect that 14.8 million children have lost one or both parents to AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa in 2009.

Learn more about World Vision's global campaign for child health.

Read more posts about child health.


    In 2009, 14.8 million children in sub-Saharan Africa were estimated to have lost one or both parents to AIDS. (UNAIDS, Report
    on the Global AIDS Epidemic, 2010)

    Please change erroneous statement on fact sheet. Thanks!

    @Wendy Barrie- Thanks for noticing this very important distinction. We have since updated the post to reflect the correction. Thank you again.

    @Wendy Barrie- Thanks for noticing this very important distinction. We have since updated the post to reflect the correction. Thank you again.

    I do not have any stats to post, but I would like to say thank you for the light you shine on the needs of the children in the world. Through all the struggles, they always show a spirit of endurance. God bless all of the people who care and support the cause.

    Yes, I agree!

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