Nutrition

Current situation

43% of the 0-5-year-old children suffer from chronic under-nutrition, representing almost no progress since 2008
43% of the 0-5-year-old children suffer from chronic under-nutrition, representing almost no progress since 2008. (Sitan 2014)

Good nutrition is a basic child right. However more than two out of five children under five living in Mozambique suffer from chronic under-nutrition, the state of being poorly nourished (click here for a summary on nutrition situation in Mozambique).

Under nutrition is not merely a result of too little food, but of a combination of factors: insufficient protein, energy and micronutrients, frequent infections or disease, poor care and feeding practices, inadequate health services and unsafe water and sanitation.

Malnutrition during childhood has a lasting effect on children’s chance of survival and development. In Mozambique, as estimated 45% of deaths among children under-five is linked to malnutrition. A malnourished child is also less likely to perform well at school and more susceptible to infections including suffering from chronic diseases when adult. On the other hand, it is estimated that well-nourished children contribute to wealth by boosting the national GDP to up to 11%.

Malnutrition has also an impact on the overall society and economic growth of a country. Every year an estimated 16 billion MZN of GDP (as of July 2015 this would be equivalent to more than US$416billion) is lost in Mozambique due to malnutrition because of loss of productivity.

What we are doing

1

Through support to government and civil society, UNICEF is increasing its commitment to reach the poorest and most vulnerable children and women in Mozambique so that they can benefit from high impact and the best quality nutrition services as well as be equipped with good knowledge and skills on adequate feeding practices. 

2

UNICEF is working in collaboration with other sector such as health, water and sanitation, agriculture and education to tackle all the immediate causes of under-nutrition.

The way forward

Treating acutely malnourished children

To address acute malnutrition found in children living in the most vulnerable areas of Mozambique, UNICEF will support the nutrition rehabilitation and treatment program to help save the lives of 253,163 acutely malnourished children annually.

Scaling-up nutrition services in health facilities

UNICEF is supporting health services across the country to deliver nutrition services such as micronutrient supplementation, deworming, infant and young child feeding counselling and support. The aim is to prevent children from becoming malnourished at different stages of their life cycle.

Support is also being provided to the Ministry of Health in three main areas: supporting the scale-up of quality nutrition services in health facilities; promoting infant and young child feeding in communities; and expanding selective feeding interventions for malnourished children.

Community-based nutrition interventions

A range of community-based nutrition activities, including the promotion of good nutrition practices among households and caretakers are being implemented to promote correct infant and young child feeding practices.

The activities include reaching out to about 380,000 children annually for vitamin A supplementation, screening of malnourished children through National Health Week and nutrition education and breastfeeding promotion through community health workers.

Communication and social mobilisation activities on nutrition are important aspects of this community approach, focusing on the empowerment of mothers, families, communities and service providers to reinforce positive behaviours.

NewsReel

  • A story of malnutrition in a remote community in Macossa
    A story of malnutrition in a remote community in Macossa

    A story of malnutrition in a remote community in Macossa

    Funded by the Government of Ireland, through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Irish Aid), the mobile health brigades are one of the programmes that the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is supporting the Government of Mozambique to reach the most vulnerable communities affected by the drought emergency. Up to June 2017, 369,042 children were screened for acute malnutrition and 23,631 severely acute malnourished (SAM) children were treated by UNICEF supported Ministry of Health trained mobile brigades and Management of Acute Malnutrition Program.

    06 December 2017 Nutrition

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  • Despite progress, 180 million children face bleaker prospects than their parents – UNICEF
    Despite progress, 180 million children face bleaker prospects than their parents

    Despite progress, 180 million children face bleaker prospects than their parents – UNICEF

    World Children’s Day activities in over 130 countries to provide platform for children to speak out about their concerns; advocate for children being left behind.

    20 November 2017 Child & social protection | Communication & Participation | Education | Emergência | Health | HIV/Aids | Nutrition | Social Policy, Research & Data | Water, Sanitation & Hygiene

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  • Children to ‘take over’ business, government and entertainment on World Children’s Day
    Children to ‘take over’ business, government and entertainment on World Children’s Day

    Children to ‘take over’ business, government and entertainment on World Children’s Day

    November 20, stars and global leaders rally with UNICEF to give a voice to the most disadvantaged.

    24 October 2017 Child & social protection | Communication & Participation | Education | Emergency | Health | HIV/Aids | Nutrition | Social Policy, Research & Data | Water, Sanitation & Hygiene

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  • How Mobile Brigades shorten distances and save children lives in remote communities
    How Mobile Brigades shorten distances and save children lives in remote communities

    How Mobile Brigades shorten distances and save children lives in remote communities

    In Mozambique, Health and Nutrition Mobile Brigades are saving lives of children in remote communities. They identify and treat in the community cases of children affected by moderate acute malnutrition and severe acute malnutrition without medical complications.

    09 August 2017 Health | Nutrition

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