Every child survives and thrives
This component responds to barriers in quality health services for mothers, children and adolescents, and nutrition practices
Every child survives and thrives
In 2015, Cuba became the first country to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and congenital syphilis, an achievement revalidated in 2017. Under-five mortality has remained stable at 4.0 per 1,000 live births, with a survival rate of 99.5 percent. A free and accessible vaccination program offers immunization coverage against 13 diseases for 95 percent of the population.
Maternal mortality has remained stable in the last five years. In 2018, 43.8 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births were registered. Thirty-two percent of children under six months were exclusively breastfed and 24 percent reported continued breastfeeding between 20-23 months. Community acquired infections (Acute Respiratory Infection and Acute Diarrhoeal Disease) are the main cause of child medical care, the third leading cause of death among children under 1 year of age, and the second one among pre-schoolers. The MMR vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella is not produced in Cuba due to technological and financial limitations, thus requiring international support to ensure universal coverage.
Overweight and obesity in early childhood have reached 17.3 percent. Iron deficiency anemia, mostly among children from 6 to 24 months represent a public health problem. The proportion of anaemic pregnant women in their third quarter amounts to 23.2 per cent.
The main drivers of vulnerability among adolescents include the early start of unprotected sexual relations, with a tendency to lower age of onset; high fertility rate among adolescents (54 per 1,000 live births, 14 percent of births in 2018 were to teenage mothers); morbidity related to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and a low-risk perception of STIs and HIV, with 50 percent of adolescents who consider themselves unlikely to contract them. Between 2016 and 2017, accidents were the main cause of death among children aged 10 – 19 years, with a rate ranging from 8.3 to 8.6 per 100,000 inhabitants (4.3 males, 2.4 females). The largest proportion was caused by road accidents.
This component responds to barriers in quality health services for mothers, children and adolescents, and nutrition practices so that children, adolescents, and their families in priority areas receive better health and nutrition care for their well-being and development, even in emergency situations. In alliance with other sectors, the component will focus on maintaining the results achieved in the area of mother-child survival as it will strive to achieve a better quality of life and well-being across the life cycle, from early childhood to adolescence, by improving knowledge and positive capacities and practices related to gender, social standards, cultural beliefs, and harmful parenting styles.
The intervention logic states that once the health system provides comprehensive quality services, and children, adolescents, and their families own their rights, access comprehensive health services, and adopt positive and healthy parenting practices and behaviors with a gender approach, children and adolescents will have better conditions to survive and thrive, even in emergency situations.
UNICEF will work together with government institutions at all levels, including the Ministry of Public Health, the Ministry of Education, the Centre for Youth Studies, the National Road Safety Commission, and the National School for Public Health.