This is one of those statistics you don’t want to see.

A new study published in the Lancet medical journal on Thursday, August 30th has shown that a whopping 5 million lives of children were lost in several fighting across Africa over the past 2 decades.

According to the report, the children died from preventable diseases because armed conflict deprived them of access to basic healthcare or clean water.

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Most of these deaths resulted from conflicts in countries such as Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo between 1995 and 2015, according to the study.

The figure includes three million victims aged one or younger, and is much higher than previously estimated, with civilian infant deaths outnumbering armed conflict deaths by more than three to one, said scientists who conducted the study.

“Conflict appears to substantially increase the risk of death and stunting of young children over vast areas and for many years after conflicts have ended,” said lead researcher Eran Bendavid from Stanford University in a statement.

“The impact of war generates a series of lethal but indirect impacts on communities caused by potentially preventable infectious diseases, malnutrition, and disruption of basic services such as water, sanitation, and maternal healthcare.”

The study looked at almost 15,500 conflicts in 34 of Africa’s 54 nations over two decades and examined data on conflict-related deaths as well as live births and child mortality rates.

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