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Educated mothers, healthy children

Educating girls can save millions of lives. There are few more dramatic illustrations of the power of education than the estimate that the lives of 2.1 million children under 5 were saved between 1990 and 2009 because of improvements in girls’ education. Education is one of the most powerful ways of improving children’s health. Educated mothers are better informed about specific diseases, so they can take measures to prevent them. They can recognize signs of illness early, seek advice and act on it.

In low income countries, mothers who have completed primary school are 12% more likely than mothers with no education to seek appropriate health care when their child has symptoms of diarrhoea.

In sub-Saharan Africa, which accounts for 70% of the world’s HIV infections, 91% of literate women know that HIV is not transmitted by sharing food, compared with 72% of those who are not literate.

In the Arab States, a one-year increase in maternal education is associated with a 23% decrease in the number of children under the age of five dying from pneumonia.

In Cameroon, where the female secondary gross enrolment ratio was 47% in 2011, if all women had had secondary education, the incidence of malaria would have dropped from 28% to 19%.

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Next: Education transforms lives

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Coming soon: Come back to this site on 19 September 2013 for more infographics, from the people at Information Is Beautiful...