Nearly 400 million Chinese people do not have access to safe drinking water and 76 per cent of the population still lacks access to safe sanitation, the annual report by the United Nations children's fund reveals. 'The public health consequences of these deficiencies, particularly for children, are significant,' the Unicef representative for China, Keshab Mathema, said in a statement. The report, Progress of Nations, gives China high marks in other areas saying that it has achieved major advances in improving primary school enrolment, in providing basic health care services and in advancing the status of children. Statistical tables show that China ranks with Cambodia, Nepal and Vietnam in terms of providing toilets and below Egypt, India and Bangladesh in terms of access to safe water. China also tops the report's league table of countries with most cases of diarrhoea per year among under-fives. In China there are an estimated 360 million cases a year compared with 310 million in India and 70 million in Bangladesh but the report shows that China does well in the provision of oral re-hydration therapy. Statistics show that nine per cent of babies born in China are considered of low weight, a far lower figure than in southern Asia countries. About 16 per cent of under-fives in China are underweight, also a far lower rate than in any other developing country in the South Asia and Pacific region. China also registers well in terms of deaths for children under five with a rate nearly half the world average which is 89 deaths per 1,000. The statistic is especially impressive because China ranks fairly low in the table of countries that provide institutional births. In China 51 per cent of children are born with medical help compared with 90 per cent in Malaysia and 99 per cent in Singapore.