COVID-19 could reverse gains made for African children, warns Save the Children

THE COVID-19 pandemic threatens to reverse progress made for children in Africa by years or even decades, with economic aftershocks risking to push an additional 33 million children into poverty, according to Save the Children. With malaria levels projected to rise to levels of some 20 years ago, an estimated 265 million younger children out of school because of COVID-19 and the virus added to the factors driving food insecurity, the pandemic is expected to have a long term impact on children, despite early decisive action taken by many African…

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One In Every Four Children Not Registered- UNICEF

DATA released by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) indicate that one in four children under the age 5 (166 million), on average, are not registered in the world today. By Michael Gwarisa According to a publication by UNICEF called “Birth Registration for Every Child by 2030: Are we on track?” children under five fail to get registration owing to a plethora of barriers which range from poverty, long distance to health facilities among others. And even when they are, they may not have proof of registration. The reasons are…

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Children Nutrition Status Improves In Zim: MICS

ZIMBABWE made great strides between 2014 and 2019  in improving the nutritional status of children which saw reduction in stunting, wasting, underweight and overweight, the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2019 states. By Kudakwashe Pembere The MICS was designed by UNICEF in the 1990s to assist countries in filling data gaps on children’s and women’s wellbeing for tracking progress toward World Summit for Children Goals, in 1995 and 2000. Giving the findings, Zimbabwe Statistical Agency technical committee co-lead of this survey Mr Handrick Chigiji said there was a reduction in…

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Save The Children Offers Psychosocial Support To Cyclone Idai Affected Children

SAVE The Children Zimbabwe is currently offering Psychosocial Support Services (PSS) to children in Cyclone Idai affected communities in a bid to empower children to overcome fear through building resilience as well as develop coping mechanisms. By Michael Gwarisa Through the use of a PSS toolkit called Singing to the lion’s by Dr Jonathan Brakash a Clinical psychologis, Save the Children has reached a total of 1463 children comprising of 777 girls and 686 boys with PSS activities that are implemented at two Child Friendly spaces they have set up…

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Zim Ranks 3rd In Global PMTCT Rankings

ZIMBABWE has achieve a 65% coverage of children born to women living with HIV who were tested for HIV within eight weeks of birth ranking it 3rd out of the 23 focus countries. According to a UNAIDS report dubbed “Knowledge is Power” antiretroviral therapy for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission greatly reduced new HIV infections among children amidst indications that globally, 1.4 million [880 000–2 100 000] new child infections have been averted since 2010, and in 2017, there were just 180 000 [110 000–260 000] transmissions of HIV from…

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Stool-Based diagnosis Could Eradicate TB In Children

A simple method for processing stool samples for Xpert MTB/RIF testing using minimal equipment has been announced at the 49th Union World Conference on Lung Health and could enable the identification of thousands of children with  tuberculosis (TB) and multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) disease – drastically reducing the numbers of children under five dying from TB. Currently, an estimated 239,000 children die every year from tuberculosis (TB). Children with TB rarely die when they receive standard treatment for the disease, but 90 percent of children who die from TB worldwide went untreated.…

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Zim Needs Strong Domestic Funding For Nutrition- Civil Society

THE National Coordinator for Zimbabwe Civil Society Organisations Scaling Up Nutrition Alliance (ZCSOSUNA), Kudwakwashe Zombe says domestic funding towards nutrition in Zimbabwe was still very low, amidst indications that the national budget currently allocates a paltry 0.47% to nutrition.   By Michael Gwarisa Governments around the world are expected to allocate at least 15 percent from the national budget to the health sector but Zimbabwe has been struggling to meet the benchmark a situation which has seen the sector turn its begging bowl to the donor community. Briefing delegates during…

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Breastfeeding At Workplaces: Reality Or Mirage

THE world over, companies are struggling to implement breastfeeding friendly working environments owing to conflicting interests chief among them being the fear of losing out on productive hours and profits at the expense of breastfeeding.  By Michael Gwarisa As a result, most companies have developed a negative attitude towards women of childbearing age with some companies going to the extent of hiring women only on a fixed contract basis just to avoid keeping them around forever. In Kenya  however women have come out guns blazing against government and the private…

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Zim launches School Health Policy

ZIMBABWE has launched a school health policy which will act as a yardstick towards planning and programming for school children’s  health activities and the sector at large. By Michael Gwarisa Officiating at the launch ceremony, Health and Child Care minister Dr David Parirenyatwa said the policy had come at a time when Zimbabwe needed an education sector specific policy which will scale up disease prevention and programing in schools. “Ill health in schools has been characterised by increasing incidence and prevalence of communicable diseases like HIV infection, tuberculosis, including neglected…

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Zim Underreports Childhood TB Cases

The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation says Zimbabwe has been underreporting child TB cases over the years which has seen the country lag behind the benchmarked number. By Kuda Pembere Addressing journalists at a media sensitisation meeting, EGPAF Unitaid Catalysing Pediatric Tuberculosis Innovation CaP TB leader Dr Tichaona Nyamundaya said on the back of underreporting of TB cases coupled with difficulties in diagnosing children, Zimbabwe hit below the required percentage of notifications. “So moving on to Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is among the top 30 high burden countries. This applies for both…

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