Fact Sheets

High fertility rates presents a serious health threat in Mozambique, with the total fertility rate varying from 4 to 8 with an average of 6 children per woman (DHS 2011). According to the National Malaria and HIV Indicator Survey 2015 (IMASIDA), the modern contraceptive prevalence rate (mCPR) is 25% (34% urban and 22% rural) with a high demand for modern methods of 50% and unmet need of 23%.  A total of 46% of adolescent girls are pregnant for the first time or already have one child, and in this group only 14% are using any contraception method. 

The health sector in Mozambique is faced with multiple financing challenges, limited domestic resources, plateauing donor support and increasing absolute level of out-of-pocket expenditures. This contributes to limiting access to care for people in need.  Palladium and its partners support Mozambican partners and stakeholders to improve the enabling environment for HIV, Family Planning and Reproductive Health (FP/RH), and maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) and the Palladium/Health Policy Project (HPP), 2010 –2015 collaborated with USAID and the Mozambican Ministry of Health (MISAU) on a program that supported costing of Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal, Child, and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) programs.

In Mozambique, all Ministry of Health interventions carried out at the provincial level are overseen by the provincial Directorates of Health (DPS). Therefore, in the area of HIV/AIDS response, the DPS implements and supervises all activities related to the care and treatment of the national strategy of HIV/AIDS fight under the guidance of the Ministry of Health.

The high prevalence of early pregnancy and high fertility, combined with the poor quality of obstetric services, increases risks related to prolonged or obstructed labor in Mozambique.  Complications may lead to obstetric fistula, resulting in lifelong disability and social stigma.  An estimated 2,300 women suffer from new cases of fistula each year in Mozambique, yet access to fistula repair services remains limited across the country. 

Mozambique has the eighth highest HIV prevalence in the world, and according to UNAIDS, 12.6% of the adult population is living with HIV. While the country has made strides in testing people for HIV and providing treatment, systemic challenges, such as the need to travel long distances to access care, long wait times in facilities, stigma, poor quality healthcare, and inadequate communication about the importance of staying on treatment have resulted in a high proportion of HIV-positive individuals discontinuing their treatment.

Demand for HIV viral load (VL) testing in Mozambique outweighs current capacity. The increasing demand results in backlogs of VL samples throughout the country- this problem will become more acute as demand continues to grow. Backlogs of VL samples result in long delays in the delivery of VL test results to clinicians and patients, negatively impacting patient care.

Nearly 12 million children in Sub-Saharan Africa have lost one or both parents to AIDS. Many more children have been made vulnerable because of family illness and the widespread impact of HIV/AIDS on their communities. OVCs are more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation and are also more likely to engage in unsafe behaviors, increasing the risk of HIV infection. Targeted OVC interventions, linked with broader development efforts around education, food and nutrition, and livelihood assistance, contribute to reducing the risk and impact of HIV/AIDS on the most vulnerable population in Mozambique.

The government of Mozambique has made progress in its efforts to combat malaria and address issues pertaining to Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH). However, malaria is still endemic throughout Mozambique, and its entire population of 26.4 million (2016) is at risk. Malaria is considered the most important public health problem in Mozambique and accounts for 29% of all deaths. Among children under five years of age, malaria accounts for 42% of deaths. Regarding MNCH, despite substantial improvements, preventable maternal and child deaths continue to be unacceptably high.

Indicators for family planning, HIV/AIDS, orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), malaria, and nutrition demonstrate the urgent need for national multi-channel social and behavior change (SBC) campaigns to promote healthy behavior and use of health products and services across Mozambique. Mozambique currently has one of the lowest modern contraceptive prevalence rates, with rates as low as 17.8% percent in some provinces.

USAID is proud to support Mozambique’s leadership in the global HIV/AIDS response. Through PEPFAR, USAID improves service delivery and provides technical assistance to maximize the quality, coverage, and impact of the national HIV/AIDS response. PEPFAR aligns investments to scale up evidence-based interventions in the geographic areas and populations with the highest burden of HIV/AIDS. USAID also supports improvements in the health workforce, financing, management, information systems, supply chain, and service delivery.

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Last updated: March 29, 2020

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