Health and Nutrition
The Child Survival and Development (CSD) programme aims to decrease the deaths of children under five years of age by 29 percent, maternal deaths by 37 percent by 2011.
The High-Impact Health and Nutrition project primarily focuses on cost effective interventions that have proven to reduce morbidity and mortality among under fives and pregnant women using the Accelerated Child Survival and Development (ACSD) strategy. The Programme supports the implementation of interventions on the Integrated Management of Neonatal and Childhood Illness at both health facility and community levels. It also promotes the 5 key household practices namely exclusive breastfeeding, ORS, handwashing, sleeping under insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) especially for under fives and pregnant women, and salt iodization.
Nationwide, immunization coverage of under fives is very good – DPT3 is at 93 percent The project works to sustain this high coverage, as well as to integrate immunization services with other lifesaving interventions – such as vitamin A supplementation for under-fives and lactating mothers, de-worming, and the distribution of treated bednets to U5 and pregnant women. Iodine, an essential nutrient for physical and mental development, is lacking in the diets of the overwhelming majority of children and pregnant women in The Gambia, leading to serious health and developmental problems. The project seeks to increase the consumption of iodised salt by households to 50 percent and 30 percent in intervention zones and nationally respectively, thus reducing the adverse effects of iodine deficiency disorders among children. UNICEF also supports public health facilities through providing focused antenatal care and emergency obstetric care.
In addition, the project aims to improve the capacity of the health sector to implement life-saving interventions for children and women in times of emergency, as per UNICEF’s Core Commitments for Children in Emergencies.
WHO/UNICEF JOINT STATEMENT - Home Visits for the newborn child: a strategy to improve survival