Zambia

Situation Report

Sector Status

Nutrition

60,783
severely acute malnourished children
1.7M
people targeted

Needs

  • Need for continued provision of PPEs for health workers (HWs) and community health volunteers (CHVs) for service delivery at facility level and to strengthen community outreach services.

  • Nationally, the severe acute malnutrition (SAM) programme coverage remains low, at 43 per cent compared to 70 per cent national target, cure rate still at 65 per cent compared to the 75 per cent national target.

  • National estimated SAM prevalence is 1.5 per cent SAM with an estimated SAM burden of 133,902 children under age 5. Estimated SAM cases are 60,783 and 131,962 expected moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) cases. SAM patients are nine times more likely to die than well-nourished children.

  • There is need to increase health worker and volunteers capacity to provide SAM management and infant and young child feeding (IYCF) counselling on prevention and treatment interventions at facility and community levels. Currently, less than 50 per cent are trained against a target of 80 per cent.

  • There is need to scale up promotion and protection of the key recommendations for infant feeding and protecting breastfeeding in the context of COVID-19.

Response

  • Together with WASH sector, conducted facility level needs assessment with the aim of providing infection prevention and control supplies in Outpatient Therapeutic Programme (OTPs) and to ensure continuity of services targeting 100 ITPs/OTPs.

  • Sector partners developed tools on gap analysis tool to be used in identifying the gaps in human resource, capacity building and equipment at facility level. Findings from the completed tools will ensure targeted and efficient nutritional response.

  • Preparations and roll out of trainings targeting CHVs and HWs in coordination with Provincial Health Officers (PHO) and District Health Officers (DHOs) ongoing. The trainings will cover management of SAM and IYCF and targeting the 58 districts.

Gaps

  • Only 58 districts have consistent stocks of RUTF with the rest of the country without RUTF to manage SAM children and more than 50 per cent of facilities are without therapeutic feeds due to funding gaps.

  • In the context of COVID-19, inaccessibility due to bad terrain and roads and low community outreach services, not all beneficiaries can be reached. There is need to consider programme adaptations, for example family MUAC for early identification and self-referrals of wasted children if funds are availed.

  • Most of the 58 drought-prone districts have poor network and accessibility to some facilities affecting efficient distribution of supplies and timeliness of report submission.

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