MDGi Zambia

The European Union-funded Millennium Development Goal Initiative (MDGi) aimed to accelerate the reduction of maternal, neonatal and child mortality.

Proud mother to be smiles at the camera during her antenatal visit


Welcome to our resource area on the Zambia Millennium Development Goal Initiative (MDGi), which aimed at accelerating the reduction of maternal, neonatal and child mortality. The 2013-2019 programme was funded by the European Union with an amount of Euro 49.6 million and implemented by the Ministry of Health with technical support of UNICEF and UNFPA. UNICEF was responsible for the overall management of UN support to the programme and provides technical support for key aspects of maternal, newborn and child health, nutrition, adolescent health and health system strengthening. UNFPA lent its technical support in the area of adolescent health.

The programme aimed to achieve five expected results:

  1. A package of highly effective nutrition services, aligned to the national strategy, is available and used by the most vulnerable populations in all targeted districts
  2. Increased availability of a continuum of maternal, neonatal and child health services of good quality
  3. Increased knowledge, demand for services and cultural and geographical access to maternal, neonatal and child healthcare and services
  4. Improved coverage and accessibility of adolescent and youth friendly services in the targeted districts
  5. The capacity for planning, implementation and coordination of the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare and the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders at national, provincial and district level is improved.

The Background

Zambia has made substantial improvements in child health. According to the Zambia Demographic and Health Survey 2013-14, the under-five mortality rate reduced from 178/1,000 live births in 1992 to 75/1,000 live births and the infant mortality rate was lowered from 96/1,000 live births in 1992 to 45/1,000 live births. The neonatal mortality rate, however, remained a significant challenge reducing from 40/1,000 live births in 1992 to 24/1,000 live births. These achievements have been made as a result of key public health interventions for children implemented by the Government of Zambia. Despite these impressive improvements, progress on reducing maternal mortality has not kept pace and Zambia still has high maternal mortality ratio of 398/100,000 live births. Malnutrition remains an underlying cause of child deaths with stagnating levels of stunting at over 40 per cent. In addition, Zambia has an estimated HIV prevalence of 13 per cent in the general population, with women carrying a higher burden of 15 per cent. Disparities in children and women’s health and nutrition outcomes are also evident.

The Programme

The MDGi programme was implemented by the Ministry of Health with technical support from UNICEF and the United Nations Population Agency (UNFPA). The programme covers Ndola, Luanshya, Kitwe, Mufulira, Chingola and Masaiti districts on the Copperbelt Province, while in Lusaka Province it includes Lusaka, Kafue, Chilanga, Chongwe, and Rufunsa districts.