Malnutrition on increase in Malawi


The 2004 Malawian Demographic Health Survey (MDHS) data indicate that despite an impressive 43 percent decline in mortality rates among children under 5 since the 2000 MDHS (from 234 per 1,000 to 133 per 1,000), malnutrition has remained widespread and immunization coverage has continued to fall.

Half of children under 5 are stunted, or too short for their age, one of the world’s highest levels. Between 1992 and 2004, the percentage of children 12-23 months who have received all of the recommended vaccines (BCG, measles and 3 doses for Polio and DPT) has declined from 82 percent to 64 percent.

During that same period, fertility has declined slowly from an average of 6.7 to 6.0 children per woman. Meanwhile, the rapid increase in contraceptive use among married women from 7 percent in 1992 to 26 percent in 2000 has stalled. It is estimated to be 28 percent in 2004.

The survey indicated that 12 percent of adults are HIV-positive, with women more likely than men to be infected.

Urban residents are also more likely to be infected with HIV than their rural counterparts (17 and 11 percent, respectively). Prevalence is highest among women (18 percent) and men (20 percent) age 30-34.

The survey also explored domestic violence issues for the first time in Malawi at the national level. Three in 10 women have ever experienced emotional, physical or sexual violence from their husbands. Spousal violence is directly related to use of alcohol.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Support UNICEF: Help malnourished children in the Horn of Africa

This morning, UNICEF launched a Child Alert briefing on the Horn of Africa, documenting the current situation of children affected by the drought across Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea and Djibouti:

Rain is falling in East Africa, but too late to halt much of the devastation of six months of severe drought. Millions of pastoralists have seen their livelihoods wrecked. Tens of thousands of children are so weakened as to be at serious risk of dying.

You can help by posting a link to Child Alert: Horn of Africa on your blog, writing about it or telling us what you think at We'll send you a gif banner if you'd like to link to the multimedia site.

Thanks for helping,


Child Alert Team
Division of Communication
UNICEF, 3 UN Plaza
New York, NY 10017

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