Over 2m Malawi children to receive Vitamin A supplementation: Minister launches Child Health Days

A total of 1,985,000 children in the country are expected to be reached with Vitamin A supplementation, Minister of Health, Khumbize Chiponda has disclosed.

Chiponda: Malawi is among countries with the highest maternal and under five deaths in the world

The Minister said this in Lilongwe on Monday when addressing the presto  mark the launch of this Child Health Days (CHDs) from November 30 to December 4, 2020 in Lilongwe.

She said : “Over 2 million care givers are expected to be reached with information on the recommended infant and young child feeding practices and importance of using insect-treated bed nets for  malaria prevention.”

Chiponda said Malawi was among the countries with the highest maternal and under-five mortality rates in the world.

She said Under-five mortality rate is at 63 per 1000 live births (DHS 2016) and main causes of child death in the country are Malaria, Diarrhea diseases and acute respiratory infections, with malnutrition as the key contributing factor.

Said the minister: “This is not acceptable and we need a concerted effort to address this situation. The campaign would focus on provision of Vitamin A supplementation and de-worming tablets, active case finding for malnutrition, distribution of micronutrient powders for eligible children.”

The minister said this will be  accompanied by intensive social mobilization and Information Education and Communication with emphasis on Infant and Young Child Feeding, use of insecticide treated bed nets and hygiene practices.

During this period, children aged 6 to 59 months and post-natal mothers who are within eight weeks after delivery would receive Vitamin A capsules.

“At the same time, children aged 12 to 59 months will receive de-worming tablets,” Chiponda stated.

The Minister expressed gratitude to development partners; united Nations children Fund (UNICEF), GIZ and World Vision Malawi (WVM) for their support in all child survival programmes and e donors for continuously supporting these initiatives.

Secretary for Health, Dr Charles Mwansambo said the CHDs are essential in protecting the country’s young population by reaching them with vaccines in order to safeguard them from various illnesses.

He said communities need to make use of the campaign period by making sure children have access to vital vaccinations and supplementations.

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