Kenya has made incredible progress in reducing child deaths, with a 30 percent decline in child and infant mortality recorded between the last two Demographic and Health Surveys conducted in 2003 and 2008. Improvements in antenatal care, vaccinations, and malaria control have helped to drive these trends. At the same time, mothers and babies still face high risks during and around childbirth. The leading killers of children (pneumonia, diarrhea, AIDS, and malaria) are preventable and treatable, but the needed interventions often do not reach the poorest and most vulnerable.
USAID invests in population and health programs to improve the survival, well-being and productivity of the Kenyan population—especially for poor, marginalized and underserved communities. USAID partners with the Government of Kenya at the national and county levels to reduce the burden of major infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, and address the main causes of maternal and child deaths.
The Wellness and Agriculture for Life Advancement (WALA) program is a Title II USAID Food For Peace funded five-year $80.7 million integrated food security program. The program started in July 2009 and will end in June 2014. This initiative aims to reduce food insecurity of 215,000 vulnerable households in 39 traditional authorities in eight most food insecure districts in Southern Malawi.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a major public health problem in Malawi. In 2013, 20,335 new and relapse cases and 1,400 deaths were reported in Malawi. The World Health Organization estimates that only 78% of TB cases are diagnosed in Malawi. Six in ten people with TB are also infected with HIV. The number of TB cases in Malawi increased steadily from 1995 until 2003, when it reached its peak (28,000 cases). Since 2003, there has been a downward trend to just over 20,000 cases recorded in 2013. This promising news is largely due to the efforts of the National TB Control Program (NTP) and its partners.
USAID partners with the Government of Malawi (GOM) to increase the country’s capacity to undertake and sustain uninterrupted supply of life-saving health commodities at the facility and community levels. This includes direct procurement of commodities for voluntary medical male circumcision, malaria, and reproductive health; and secured storage and monthly distribution of anti-malaria and family planning commodities to 600 public health facilities in Malawi. USAID also builds the institutional capacity of the Ministry of Health (MOH) for procurement and supply chain management through seconded advisors at the MOH and training of district health facility staff.
Malaria is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in children under five in Malawi. There are approximately five million episodes of malaria per year. It is endemic in 95% of the country, with 98% of infections due to Plasmodium falciparum, the most severe form of the four human malarial species. The Ministry of Health (MOH) estimates that malaria accounts for 34% of all outpatient visits and 40% of all hospital admissions among children under five. Four out of ten hospital deaths are reported to be due to malaria.
Nutrition remains a serious health and development problem in Malawi. While stunting and underweight rates decreased markedly from 2004 to 2010 (from 53% to 47% and 17% to 14% respectively), the rates remain high and are a reflection of chronic shortages in food quantity and quality. USAID’s programs therefore focus on preventing chronic under-nutrition. As a lynchpin across various U.S. Government initiatives, nutrition programs are funded through multiple sources.
USAID’s global Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health (MNCH) goal is ending preventable child and maternal deaths in a generation. USAID integrates evidence-based MNCH practices into activities in households, communities, and health facilities, and works with the Ministry of Health (MOH) to incorporate an MNCH focus into district and central level health activities.
The Integrating Nutrition in Value Chains (INVC) project is designed to implement USAID’s Feed the Future (FTF) and Global Health Initiative (GHI) strategies with the aim to sustainably reduce rural poverty and improve nutritional outcomes. INVC, which is USAID/Malawi’s flagship FTF project, runs from April 2012-April 2015.
Last updated: July 25, 2014