Comprehensive survey on the situation of children and women in Moldova shows many improvements in recent years, but disparities remain
UNICEF and Ministry of Health launched today the results of the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS), which monitors the situation of children and women in Moldova
MICS is an important national representative survey providing disaggregated data on a range of topics affecting children's rights to survival, development, health, education and experience of life
A similar survey – Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), was conducted in Moldova seven years ago – in 2005
Chisinau, April 17, 2014 — Situation of children and women in Moldova has improved significantly in recent years in a number of areas, yet several indicators show discrepancies between the poorest and richest households, those living in urban and rural areas, and between boys and girls – the results of the recent Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) launched today in Chisinau reveal. The Survey was conducted in Moldova in 2012 on a national representative sample of 12,000 households collecting information on the households, women and men aged 15-49 years, as well as children and youth.
During the survey, disaggregated data was collected on a range of topics affecting children's rights to survival, development, health, education, and experience of life. Fieldwork teams also tested the salt used for cooking in the households for iodine content, observed the place for hand washing, measured the weight and height of children under 5 years of age as well as the haemoglobin levels in women and children.
According to Nuné Mangasaryan, UNICEF Representative in Moldova, MICS results show that Moldova has made remarkable progress in many areas, such as health, education and nutrition. Still disparities remain. “We hope that the recent disaggregated data obtained through MICS will help the Government of Moldova and partners to focus efforts on addressing disparities and reaching the most vulnerable families with children”, she added.
The Deputy Minister of the Republic of Moldova, Tatiana Potîng, expressed the gratitude for the support to MICS implementation in Moldova and noted that the Government will ensure the adoption of policies and laws benefitting the harmonious development of children. "Children represent one third of the population of Moldova, in a few years they will become active citizens and the future of our country depends on their growth and development," she added.
The Head of the EU Delegation to Moldova, Pirkka Tapiola, attended the launching event of MICS results together with his staff and their children and stated: “Moldova is the only country in the Eastern Partnership which has a chapter on child rights. We don’t want it to remain a dead letter”.
The MICS results show that the situation in health has improved compared to 2005. At present 21% of children suffer from anaemia, compared to 32% seven years ago. Anaemia in pregnant women has almost halved – from 40% in 2005 to 26% in 2012. The levels of general vaccination of children remain high – 89%, especially in the rural areas: eight out of ten children from urban areas are vaccinated against preventable childhood diseases compared to nine out of ten children in rural areas.
Six per cent of children are stunted (they are short for their age due to chronic malnutrition) compared to 8% in 2005, but the discrepancies are high – children from the poorest families are affected by stunting nearly four times more than children from the richest families. At the same time, children from wealthy families are twice as likely to be overweight compared to poorest, which is also alarming for their health.
Children in Moldova continue to be affected by migration – every fifth child has at least one migrant biological parent. Violent discipline is present in most families – 75% of children aged 2-14 years are subjected to physical punishment or psychological aggression. Interestingly, even though adults do not consider it necessary to use violent methods for disciplining children, they do it, which shows that parents lack knowledge on positive non-violent methods of discipline and need parental education on this.
Discrepancies exist in sanitation – in rural areas only 9% of households use flush toilets compared to 75% in urban areas. Improved sources of drinking water are available to 86% of the population.
MICS was conducted in Moldova in 2012 by the National Centre of Public Health of the Ministry of Health and supported by UNICEF, with additional contribution provided by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the World Health Organization. The survey did not cover the region of Transnistria. Data collection took place over a three months period between April-June 2012.