Zambia is a society with high levels of poverty in which children and women face many health risks. For children, these include HIV, malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea.
“Malnutrition continues to be an underlying cause of child deaths”
Over the past decade, Zambia has seen a 30 per cent reduction in child mortality. However, during the same period, neonatal mortality rates remained almost stagnant at 24 deaths per every 1,000 births. Inadequate infrastructure and services are key factors hindering stronger progress for women and children. Despite improvements, neonatal and maternal mortality rates remain unacceptably high for a low-middle income country.
Malnutrition continues to be an underlying cause of children’s deaths with little change to stunting levels in the last few decades, which are around 40 per cent for children under 5. In addition, Zambia’s general population has an estimated HIV prevalence of 11.6 per cent, with women carrying a higher burden at 14.5 per cent. Health issues are worse in rural areas and among the poor.