Maputo — The Mozambican Health Ministry has announced that the second phase of “National Health Week”, which ended on Friday, reached the targets set.
The main goal was to vaccinate about four million children aged between six months and five years against measles, and to give them all vitamin A supplements. About 3.5 million children aged between one and five years were to be dewormed with a dose of the anti-parasite drug Mebendazole.
This phase also envisaged providing family planning advice to over 221,000 women of reproductive age.
In addition, birth registration was to be offered for at least 140,000 children whose parents did not register them at the time of their birth.
By Thursday, the Health Ministry brigades had reached 80 per cent of the target groups. According to the National Director of Public Health, Francisco Mbosana, all the Ministry's provincial delegations had guaranteed compliance with the targets.
He admitted there were “specific situations of districts where not every area could be reached because of the rains that are making access difficult, but these cases have not compromised the targets”.
The Ministry's preliminary assessment, he said, was that the work “was undertaken rapidly with the exception of the birth registration, but when we became aware of the long queues, we increased the number of registration staff, and the situation was brought under control”.
This phase involved 26,683 health workers plus volunteers in all the districts, at a total investment equivalent to four million US dollars.
National Health Week is a Ministry of Health initiative, undertaken twice a year, intended to improve the health of women of childbearing age, and children under five years old, in order to reduce infant, child and maternal mortality rates.