Child Health in Africa

I have previously worked within the health sector in Zambia. I managed a malaria program promoting private sector engagement in public health under CHAMP ( Comprehensive HIV/AIDs management programme). The programme was initiated by First Quantum Minerals Ltd.

The new health report released by UNICEF and its partners is welcoming showing a remarkable decline in child deaths worldwide.

 An estimated 6.9 million children died before the age of five in 2011, down from 12 million in 1990 and 8.2 million in 2005.  Although lagging behind Sub Saharan African also showed a reduction in child mortality by 39% in the same period. 

Interventions such as routine immunisation, distribution of mosquito nets to prevent malaria, malaria testing and treatment, antirtrovirals to prevent mother to child infection, better nutrition and improved water and sanitation have all contributed to the decline.

The burden still remains however. Almost 19,000 children under 5 still die each day,amounting to roughly 1.2 million under-five deaths from mostly preventable causes every two months.

Temporary malaria testing station, kalumbila

Temporary malaria testing station, Kalumbila

Further Reading:

http://www.one.org/international/blog/new-report-highlights-striking-progress-on-child-mortality-but-lingering-inequalities/#

The informal sector in Africa

Elina Eriksson in her blog highlights the issues of street vending in Zambia.

I Zambia är gatuförsäljning för många en fråga om överlevnad. Eftersom arbetslösheten är skyhög är det det enda alternativet för att arbetslösa ska kunna få en inkomst och försörja sina familjer. Vår regering kom till makten förra året med löftet om “mer pengar i fickan”, så när gatuförsäljning förbjöds för en tid sedan och det blev folkstorm drogs förbudet snart tillbaka (regeringen insåg också att detta är deras främsta anhängare , bäst att hålla dem nöjda). Men  därefter har det bara gått utför………

The full article :Business in the street.

Klicka för att besöka det ursprungliga inlägget

Street vending in Zambia

An article by Babs Iwalewa  on talkafrique.com describes the informal sector as being the numerous petty or small scale businesses operated by artisans, peasants and other micro entrepreneurs, within the economy. He describes this sector as an often neglected sector. Experts have argued  that this sector is often the driving force of the economy in many African countries.

The prominence of the informal sector in most African economies cannot really be underemphasized as almost all persons who cannot find placements within the formal sector of the economy finds solace in the informal sector of the economy.

Development, poverty alleviation, microlending programmes need to include this sector in their planning programmes.

FACTS ON THE INFORMAL SECTOR

  • The average size of the informal sector in developing countries is 41%
  • 60% percent of female workers in developing countries are employed by the informal sector.
  • Informal employment in sub Saharan Africa makes up 72%
  • Tax collection from the informal sector is problematic.
  • Aveage incomes in this sector are lower than in the formal sector
  • This is a growing sector

More reading:

http://www.talkafrique.com/issues/the-role-of-the-informal-sector-in-african-economy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Informal_sector