ZIMBABWE’s infant mortality rate has declined from 94 to 75 deaths per 1 000 live births between 2009 and 2014, according to the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) report released in Harare last week.
Stakeholders attributed the decline to several critical interventions made by various players in the health delivery system.
It, however, remains doubtful if the country will be able to meet the Millennium Development Goal 4 to reduce the mortality rate by two-thirds by 2015.
Part of the report reads: “Similarly, the under-five mortality rate was 75 deaths per 1 000 live births between 2000 and 2004, 84 deaths per 1 000 live births between 2005 and 2009, and 75 deaths per 1 000 live births between 2010 and 2014.”
Speaking during the launch of the report, Unicef representative to Zimbabwe Reza Hossaini said: “A number of (other) health system strengthening measures have resulted in improvements of maternal and child health.”
Children in rural areas are said to have a higher mortality rate as compared to their urban counterparts with research showing that low socio-economic status and poor education standards of the mother led to lower mortality rates for children.
The vast majority of under-five deaths have been on four preventable conditions of HIV, neonatal problems, pneumonia and diarrhoea, with the high cost of obtaining treatment and restricted access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation cited as major obstacles to reducing under-five and infant mortality rates.