Zimbabwe needs to increase coverage of its immunization program, more drugs on prevention of parent to child transmission (PPTCT) and to strengthen its health delivery system to achieve the target of reducing child mortality by 2015, a government report said Thursday.
In its progress report to the United Nations on Zimbabwe Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 2004, launched on Thursday, the government noted the need to sustain the high coverage of immunization against most childhood killer diseases, particularly to increase and sustain high child immunization against measles.
It said the country needs to improve access to health care facilities, particularly in newly resettled, rural and remote areas and avail essential medicines and vaccines, especially antiretroviral drugs for PPTCT.
Zimbabwe targets to reduce infant mortality by 66 percent by 2015. The under five mortality is also expected to drop by 66 percent from 102 per 1,000 in 2000 to 34 per 1,000 by 2015.
The government also targets to reduce under five malnutrition from an average of 20 percent in 2002 to seven percent by 2015 while measles immunization is set to reach 90 percent during the same period.
Some of the major causes of child mortality include HIV/AIDS, poverty, hunger and malnutrition, weakened health delivery system, inadequate information, education and communication in childcare, unsafe drinking water and inadequate sanitation as well as adolescent pregnancies.
The government is expected to spend 43.2 million US dollars on health by 2015.
The eight MDGs were adopted by Heads of State and Government at the UN General Assembly in September 2000.
The MDGs include eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality, improving maternal health, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensuring environmental, sustainability and developing a global partnership for development.