|A mother with her child, who is receiving treatment in the malnutrition ward at Beira Central Hospital in Mozambique’s Sofala province.|
MAPUTO, Mozambique, 13 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 points 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 covered more than over 14,000 households nationally, using methods that meet 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, and HIV and AIDS, among others.
Improvements in health
With regard to children under one year of age, MICS shows that immunization rates have increased over the past decade. Around 87 per cent of these children have received the vaccine against tuberculosis, while 71 per cent have received DPT-3 (for protection against diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus).
The rate of immunization against polio has seen the most significant increase, from 55 percent in 1997 to 70 percent in 2008.
According to the survey, 89 per cent of women receive antenatal care provided by qualified medical personnel, an increase over the 85 per cent registered in the 2003 Demographic and Health Survey. This improvement in national coverage results from progress in rural areas, where the proportion of women attended by trained personnel increased from 79 per cent in 2003 to 86 per cent in 2008.
|© UNICEF 2009/Mozambique|
|The Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey released by Mozambique’s National Statistics Institute.|
Progress has also been made in vitamin A supplementation – with 72 per cent of children aged 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 show, as well, a significant increase in the use of mosquito nets. Sixty-five per cent of households with children under five possess at least one net – a significant increase over 2003, when only 18 per cent of households owned one. The percentage of children under five who slept under a mosquito net the previous night rose from 10 per cent in 2003 to 42 per cent in 2008.
HIV/AIDS and nutrition findings
Regarding HIV, the results of the survey indicate that the percentage of women who are counseled and tested during prenatal visits has also increased over the last five years. About 57 per cent of women were counseled in 2008, compared to 51 per cent in 2003.
The number of women tested during prenatal visits increased sharply, from 3 per cent in 2003 to 46 per cent in 2008.
The MICS findings show that 12 percent of children in Mozambique are orphaned and 5 percent are vulnerable to AIDS. The proportion of orphaned and vulnerable children is higher in urban areas (20 per cent) than in rural areas (16 percent), and there is significant variation among provinces.
On nutrition, the study indicates that 44 per cent of children suffer from chronic malnutrition, compared to 48 per cent in 2003. And 18 per cent of under-five children are underweight for their age, according to MICS.
Access to education and safe water
The MICS data further reveal that 81 per cent of primary school-age children are attending school, including 82 per cent of boys and 80 per cent of 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.
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 to 12 per cent in 2004, the MICS data say.
MICS provides the most up-to-date and current data for monitoring the Millennium Development Goals; 17 MDG indicators are collected through this survey, which has been conducted in about 100 countries since 1995.