Plan’s strategy in Guinea is aimed at ensuring that all children realise their rights to survival, development, protection and participation.
Throughout the country, malnutrition, ill health, lack of access to health care and functioning schools, and unfamiliarity with child rights are common.
The urban areas around Conakry, the capital city, have seen the greatest social upheavals, family breakdowns, rise in numbers of street children, and the spread of the HIV virus. In Upper Guinea, poor basic social services and gender inequality are among the highest in the country. In the Forest region, children have been further affected by the influx of up to 1,000,000 refugees in the past decade – more than doubling the population in this historically abandoned area.
Within this context, Plan has identified 2 main country goals to help Guinean children:
- reduce child morbidity and mortality - Guinea has high rates of under-5 child mortality: 163 per 1,000 in 2005 (in the Forest region it is 215 per 1,000)
- increase levels of basic education - too many youngsters, particularly girls and rural youth, do not receive a basic education. This is exacerbated by the huge demand for education: more than 45% of the 9,100,000 population is less than 15 years of age.
Since 1990, when Plan Guinea launched its strategy to address the above problems, significant progress has been made. The efforts in supporting the health system have seen a number of improvements. For example, a higher proportion of children are vaccinated in Plan programme areas compared to the national average.
Accessibility to community health care has improved considerably and nearly two-thirds of mothers now reside within 1 kilometre of a health centre.
Drinking water coverage has improved: 88% of people have a modern source of drinking water compared to 78.5% in 2005. Continuous availability of drinking water has become a reality.
In education, Plan has helped to reduce primary school class sizes to 50 per teacher.