Under-five mortality rate drops by fifteen points in Mozambique
Mozambique, October 2009 - The results of a national survey on the situation of women and children, known as Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS), were made public earlier this month by Mozambique’s National Statistics Institute. The survey, which was conducted during 2008 and completed this year with support from UNICEF, shows that child mortality has been reduced by 15 point in the country over the last five years, from 153 to 138 deaths per 1,000 live births (a 9.8 per cent reduction).
The 2008 MICS surveyed over 14 thousand households at national level, using methods of high standards of quality, accuracy and reliability. The survey provides statistics and estimates on several internationally comparable indicators on health, nutrition, water and sanitation, education, child protection, HIV and AIDS, among others.
With regard to the immunization of children under one year of age, for example, the MICS shows that immunization rates have increased over the past decade. Around 87 per cent of children under one year have received the vaccine against tuberculosis (BCG), while 71 per cent have received DPT-3. The rate of immunization against polio has seen the most significant increase, from 55 per cent in 1997 to 70 per cent in 2008.
Progress has also been made in vitamin A supplementation, with 72 per cent of children aged from 6 to 59 months receiving vitamin A in the six months preceding the survey, compared to 50 per cent recorded in 2003.
The MICS data also show a significant increase in the use of mosquito nets. Sixty-five per cent of households with children under five were reported to possess at least one mosquito net, which is an increase since 2003, when only 18 per cent of households owned a mosquito net. The percentage of under-fives who slept under a mosquito net the previous night rose from 10 per cent in 2003 to 42 per cent in 2008.
According to the survey, 89 per cent of women receive antenatal care provided by qualified medical personnel, which constitutes an increase over the 85 per cent registered in the 2003 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS). The improvement of national coverage is the result of progress in rural areas, where the percentage of women attended by trained personnel increased from 79 per cent in 2003 to 86 per cent in 2008.
Regarding HIV, the results of the survey indicate that the percentage of women who were counseled and tested during prenatal visits increased over the last five years. About 57 per cent of women were counseled in 2008, compared with 51 per cent in 2003; the percentage of women tested during prenatal visits increased from 3 per cent in 2003 to 46 per cent in 2008.
The MICS data reveal that 81 per cent of children of primary school age from 6 to 12 years are attending school. The difference by gender is two percentage points, with 82 per cent for boys and 80 per cent for girls.
About 15 per cent of pupils entering primary school complete the primary school cycle within the expected number of years, with a completion rate of 31 per cent in urban areas and only 7 per cent in rural areas.
Regarding nutrition, the study indicates that the percentage of children with chronic malnutrition is 44 per cent, while it stood at 48 per cent in 2003. The percentage of under-five children who are underweight for their age stands at 18 per cent.
About 43 per cent of households have access to safe water, compared to 36 per cent in 2004, and about 30 per cent of rural households have access to drinking water, compared to 70 per cent in urban areas. Moreover, almost one fifth - 19 percent - of households in the country have access to safe sanitation, compared with 12 per cent in 2004, indicates the MICS.
The MICS also notes that 12 per cent of children are orphaned and 5 per cent are vulnerable to AIDS. The percentage of orphaned and vulnerable children is higher in urban areas - 20 per cent - than in rural areas - 16 per cent – and there are significant differences between the various provinces.