France Donates US$2.5 Million To Zimbabwe For Routine Immunisation
France has availed US$2.5 million to strengthen Zimbabwe’s routine immunisation and the integration of COVID-19 vaccination into the routine vaccination programme.
In a statement, UNICEF said French Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Laurent Chevallier, and the French Regional Counselor for Global Health in Southern Africa, Thomas Mourez, conducted a field visit in Harare.
The visit, which took place ahead of World Health Day on 8 April, was facilitated by the Ministry of Health and Child Care and UNICEF. Reads part of the statement:
The Government of France is the third donor to the COVAX facility, which aims – through Gavi, the Global Vaccine Alliance – to improve equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines and ultimately scale up to COVID-19 vaccination.
In the follow-up to the field mission, the French Regional Counselor for Global Health held several meetings with Government officials, health stakeholders, including UNICEF, and donors to understand the health situation in the country, acknowledge the progress made in the sector and discuss the remaining challenges impacting the health of children, adolescents and women.
UNICEF noted the significant progress made by Zimbabwe in reducing maternal mortality, though the neonatal mortality rate is still high. It said:
Zimbabwe’s indicators have shown some progress. According to the 2022 Population Census, maternal mortality dropped from 462 per 100,000 live births in 2019 to 363 per 100,000 live births in 2022.
Under-five mortality declined from 65 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2019 to 40 in 2022.
Since 2010, the number of children suffering from chronic malnutrition was reduced from nearly one child out of three to less than one child out of four.
But neonatal mortality rate remains a challenge. It stands at 32 deaths per 1,000 live births, above the 12 per 1,000 live births set forward for the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals target.
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