A united call to action
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A united call to action

Zambia's Child Health Weeks - delivering vitamin A supplementation through the health system

Mother and child receive medical care at a during a Child Health Week in Zambia.  US Fund for UNICEF/Casey Marsh

Child Health Weeks (CHW) provide an effective opportunity to deliver a core set of services for child survival through the existing health system. Since 2000 the Government of Zambia, with the financial and technical support of UNICEF, has been organizing semi-annual CHWs.

During five-day periods in June and in December, parents are encouraged to bring their children to local health facilities, which provide vitamin A supplements, routine immunizations, deworming, growth monitoring and promotion, and malaria control services.

An impact assessment conducted in 2003 showed that 95% of mothers had heard of CHWs and 89% of mothers had taken their child to the last CHW. According to the assessment, 77% of children received vitamin A and 71% were also dewormed. The assessment also showed that severe vitamin A deficiency was halved compared to the level found before the CHWs, and that anaemia in children under five was reduced from 65% to 53%.