Those of us who have worked in public health in the last 20 years or more still remember what a landmark the World Bank Report 1993 was. For the first time a financial institution like the Bank built the case that the resources put into the health sector were not “expenditures” but “investment”. That was the starting point for a different relationship between public health professionals in ministries of health and economist colleagues in ministries of finances.
Last week Tete Province kick started its planning for 2015. During 5 days, district and provincial officials focused their efforts into producing the basis for the 2015 Economic and Social Plan.
There is not much new in terms of priorities. The main problems of the province coincide with the ones of the country: low vaccination coverage, high percentage of malnourished children, high numbers of malaria cases, low coverage of TARV-paediatric, etc
UNICEF Mozambique, in association with the international awarded Magnum Photos, recently launched a campaign to raise awareness about the rights of children. The challenges faced by children in Mozambique are raised in 6 beautifully produced videos filmed by different Magnum photographers.
The GAVI Team presenting at the Health Partners Group
These last few days a team from GAVI, the Geneva based Global Alliance Vaccine Initiative, visited Mozambique. GAVI is a major contributor to the drop in child mortality in the country. It is doing so by providing important financial support to Mozambique for immunization and introduction of new vaccines: in April 2014 Mozambique introduced the vaccine against pneumococcus to prevent pneumonia. In 2015 the rotavirus vaccine to prevent diarrhoea will also be launched nationwide. Diarrhoea and pneumonia are among the biggest killers of children under 5 in Mozambique, so the impact of these vaccines is enormous.
Just before the Year’s End, I was part of a very inspiring event. One of the authors of the 2013 Lancet Nutrition Series, Prof. Cesar Victora from the University of Pelotas in Brazil, presented a summary of this Series in a webinar. So in one afternoon, from a comfortable conference room in Maputo, a group of 30 Government staff and development partners were updated on the latest evidence in the area of nutrition, via an excellent connection with the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.
The Ministry of Health started this week the distribution of 600 thousand long lasting impregnated bed nets in the Gaza province. This intensified distribution comes as a response to the increased numbers of malaria cases reported in 2013 compared to same period of 2012. This rise in the numbers of cases is attributed to the floods in the beginning of the year when thousands of people were affected.
Luisa’s days in Mozambique are in the count down. We will not tell you how long she has been here but what we will tell you is that it has been long enough for her to get many things done. Worth saying that getting things done is one of the very important things for her!
The BBC has recently published world maps on immunization. In addition to the map, global immunization is featured across all BBC platforms, including their mobile app. See more at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24519949