Afghanistan is the most dangerous place on the planet for a child to born, according to the United Nations.
The country has the highest infant mortality rate in the world. Twenty five per cent of children die before they reach the age of five.
The findings are published in UNICEF’s annual report, The State of the World’s Children on Universal Children’s Day.
Conflict compounds the problem making vaccination programs against such diseases as polio and measles difficult at best.
Dr Alan Karibean is a paediatrician in Kandahar:
“ The typical diseases we see are those associated with poverty in all parts of the world. Because of conflict related issues like poverty, malnutrition soon follows. I believe that is one of the most important factors that increase the severity of the illnesses.”
According to the International Red Cross children are more vulnerable than adults in war zones they loose the protection of family and community and are exposed to a number of threats and abuse.
The UN estimates around a billion children live in countries ravaged by war and millions more are displaced by conflict waged by adults.