Young Child Survival and Development
The once robust health system has dramatically declined over the past 15 years. Zimbabwe spends less than $34 USD per capita on health as recommended by the Ouagadougou Declaration on Primary Health Care and Health Systems in Africa (2008).
Under-five mortality has increased by about 20 per cent since the 1990 MDG baseline year, from 79 to 94 children dying out of every 1,000 live births. Most of the children die soon after birth. Newborn disorders account for one third of all under-five deaths; paediatric HIV accounts for a further 20 per cent.
Even more disturbing is the maternal mortality rate, which has more than doubled since 1990. Today, out of every 100,000 live births, some 790 women die during childbirth. The main reasons for this increased mortality are HIV, the decline in the primary health care system and the imposition of user fees for maternal and child health services. Today, 40 per cent of deliveries, mostly from the poorest in society, are not assisted by a skilled birth attendant.
Despite major progress in improved adult access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) and increased coverage of Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV, treatment coverage for qualifying pregnant women and children, especially under the age of two, is negligible.
Immunisation coverage has also fallen, especially among some religious groups, resulting in outbreaks of measles. Today measles accounts for eight per cent of child mortality and is the fifth biggest child killer.
Undernutrition has become a major public health problem, particularly amongst the poorest in society. Some 34 per cent of children under five are stunted. Reasons for this include an unbalanced diet, low rates of exclusive breastfeeding and diarrhoea.
Improve quality and usage of health facilities and improve the nutritional status of children and women, so that under-five mortality is reduced by half and maternal mortality by a quarter by 2015.
Health Transition Fund
Under the HTF UNICEF has contributed to: