Health-Related MDGs Highlighted at Wednesday@UNIC

The United Nations in Zimbabwe hosted its first “Wednesday@UNIC” event, attended by Government, NGOs, the media, UN staff, and the general public at the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Harare.

Click to view photos from the event.Dr. Custodia Mandlhate, Representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Zimbabwe, participated as guest speaker of the event and presented an update on the status of the health-related MDGs – MDG 4 (Reduce Child Mortality), MDG 5 (Improve Maternal Health), and MDG 6 (Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and Other Diseases) – in Zimbabwe. On reducing child mortality, Dr. Mandlhate noted that the percentage of children with basic vaccines has risen slightly from 53% in 2005-2006 to 65% in 2010-2011, but was down from 80% in 1994. On improving maternal health, the maternal mortality ratio stands at 960 deaths per 100,000 live births – a high figure in relation to the 1999 Demographic and Health Survey target of 283 deaths per 100,000 live births – and has been increasing. In combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases, the HIV prevalence rate has fallen from 18% to 15% since 2006, and there has been a continuous decline in the number of malaria cases since 2004, with Zimbabwe surpassing the Abuja target of 6.8% with an incidence rate of 4.9%. However, TB incidence rates have significantly increased during the last decade from 97 per 100,000 people in 2000 to 782 per 100,000 people in 2007.

Overall, Dr. Mandlhate praised the good progress being made in halting and reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS and malaria but also pointed to the many challenges still remaining in reducing the incidences of child and maternal mortality and tuberculosis.

Following her presentation, attendees were invited to participate in the discussion, with the event concluding in a stimulating period of question and answer.

The purpose of Wednesday@UNIC is to share UN perspectives and provide a forum for public discussion on the progress, challenges, and opportunities related to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Zimbabwe. The next Wednesday@UNIC event will be held on 20 June 2012 and will focus on MDG 7, Ensure Environmental Sustainability.

More information on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 - Reduce Child Mortality, 5 - Improve Maternal Health, and 6 - Combat HIV and AIDS, Malaria and Other Diseases

More information on ZUNDAF National Development Priorities 5 - Access to and Utilisation of Basic Social Services for All and 6 - Universal Access to HIV Prevention, Treatment, Care and Support.