Malnutrition among young women and children under five, exacerbated by diarrheal disease and other infections caused by unsafe water, is a major cause of both maternal and child mortality and morbidity in Ethiopia. This project supports Canada’s commitment to improve maternal and child health announced at the G8 Leaders Summit in Muskoka in June 2010. With CIDA’s support, UNICEF will improve the nutrition and health of 3 million pregnant and lactating women, adolescent girls, and children under-five in 100 food-insecure districts in Ethiopia. Project activities include training government health workers to provide community-based nutrition services such as regular screening and treatment of malnutrition in all children under five; breastfeeding and complimentary feeding promotion, and nutrition counseling for caregivers; and regular provision of Vitamin A, iron supplements, and de-worming tablets. The project will also improve water and sanitation services including clean water sources, separate toilets for men and women, and hand-washing facilities in 40 districts.
Results achieved by UNICEF with the support of the Government of Canada in 2015-2016 include:
(1) 10, 659,332 children received vitamin A supplements; (2) 1,659,470 children received treatment for severe acute malnutrition, with a full recovery rate of 90.8% (up from 87% in 2014-2015) and 0,1% mortality (down from 0.3% in 2014-2015); (3) 1,921,304 pregnant women received Iron Folic-Acid, representing 70% coverage; (4) 6,236,275 school-age children and adolescents received de-worming treatments; (5) training of 315 health workers on community based maternal and neonatal health, and 6,282 agriculture development agents on nutrition-agriculture linkages; and (6) 153 women’s groups started to process and distribute complementary food benefiting 46,311 children. (7) 247 health facilities which already had access to water were provided with latrine facilities, benefiting 1,295,000 people; (8) 52,437 people benefited from the construction of 77 water systems; (9) more than 396,596 households constructed their own latrines; and (10) 6,579 villages were declared open defecation free and are practicing hand-washing at critical stages.
These results have contributed to improving the health status of women and children in targeted areas by increased access to health services, clean water and sanitation.