Health and Nutrition


Water and Sanitation







UNICEF Malawi/2014/Ganesh
© UNICEF Malawi/2014/Ganesh

Result & Indicator

The overall goal of the health programme is to contribute to the improvement of maternal, new born and child health through strengthening of national and district-level systems to scale up high-impact preventive, promotive and curative nutrition interventions including family and community care practices that impact on child survival and development with priority to 15 underserved districts


Malawi is one of the countries in Eastern and Sub-Saharan Africa with high incidences of women who die while giving birth. Although child deaths have been reduced significantly reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) targets, death of newly born babies remains very high. Malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea are the leading causes of illness and death among infants and children below five years. Maternal mortality on the other hand is fuelled by long distances to health facilities that provide obstetric care, shortage of human resource, logistical and administrative barriers to women’s access particularly those living in hard to reach areas, slow pace of progress to scale up community based maternal and new born care centres and lack of investment in education for youths and families on the benefits of family planning.

Strategies & Actions

  1. Strengthen the capacity of health workers, especially those working in hard to reach areas to enable them  provide high quality and efficient services
  2. Support rapid scaling up of community maternal, new-born and child health services at village outreach clinic level, focusing on hard to reach areas
  3. Advocacy  for reducing stunting
  4. Support improvement of management, planning and data collection in 15 priority districts
  5. Support districts to develop situation analyses of women and children, health facility and multi-year investment plans for maternal, new born and child survival and health essential commodities such as drugs, diagnostic tests, and equipment, logistics and information materials.
  6. Support improved supervision and mentoring of village level service providers and leaders
  7. Support districts to scale up prevention, promotion and community case management interventions to reduce morbidity and mortality due to malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea especially, among under five children
  8. Support the strengthening of primary level maternal, new born, child health care and quality referral services
  9. Contribute to research and data collection in order to generate evidence to inform national development, budgeting and management





Photo essay: Kangaroo Mother Care: Saving lives

Malawi has the highest preterm birth rate in the world. Despite strong progress in reducing child mortality, many babies do not survive the first month of their life, mainly because they were born premature.

[View photo essay]

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