Where We Work

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe continues to experience the effects of El Niño-induced drought. Rainfall in late 2016 and early 2017 in most of the country left some districts on flood alert. The destabilizing weather conditions have significantly affected the lives and livelihoods of people, especially in the southern region where food insecurity and malnutrition rates are some of the highest in the country.

More than a decade of economic decline has exacerbated the situation as most communities have experienced a drop in owner-produced stocks and more households which previously engaged in subsistence farming have resorted to market purchases. Poor water and sanitation facilities in both urban and rural areas increase the risk of diseases such as cholera and typhoid. Since International Medical Corps’ operations began in Zimbabwe in 2009, we have delivered quality health services, nutrition and food security programs and reduced the spread of waterborne diseases by increasing access to clean water and improving hygiene practices.

Population

15,603,000 

Mortality Rate under 5

78 deaths 

per 1,000 live births

Life Expectancy

59/62 

male/female

The Challenges

Food Insecurity

Levels of food insecurity increased significantly in all 60 districts, with some districts recording levels as high as 79%

Malnutrition and High Mortality Rates

15 districts report a global acute malnutrition rate of more than 5%, and two districts above 8%

Poor Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

24% of the population does not have access to safe water sources, leaving them vulnerable to outbreaks of diseases

Our Response

Nutrition and Food Security – Ration Distributions

International Medical Corps is implementing health and nutrition activities as part the Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture-led Development Food Assistance Program, known as Amalima. Our teams deliver monthly food rations at more than 75 primary and secondary distribution points to improve household food and nutrition security, targeting homes with pregnant and lactating women and children under two. Our teams are also distributing protective rations aimed at reducing intra-household sharing of the supplemental ration during lean season periods.

Healthy Harvest and other Trainings

Through a program known as Healthy Harvest, International Medical Corps trains community health workers on nutrition assessment, the causes of malnutrition, and the importance of producing healthy foods. These health workers pass on the Heathy Harvest approach and skills to field health officers and community care volunteers and garden groups, creating a cadre of more than 7,000 people, thus far, who have benefited from the training. We are also collaborating with the Ministry of Health to train health workers on integrated management of acute malnutrition.

Community Health Club Activities

As part of the Amalima program, our teams organize community-based facilitator meetings in each district to plan and conduct effective community health club activities aimed at youth engagement.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

Our WASH work focuses on community engagement and training of “pump minders” to improve management of water points and service delivery so people can access safe portable water from community boreholes.

The Power Of Clean Water

The people of the San community from Mtshina village in Tsholotsho district were traditionally hunter gatherers. Recently, they have settled around the Plumtree area of Matabeleland, Zimbabwe. As relatively new arrivals in the region, community members try to earn a living through casual labor in neighboring villages, but they often remain marginalized. Children from the village would frequently suffer from illnesses, including diarrhea, skin infections and bilharzia, which would make them urinate blood. Few in the village understood that these conditions were related to poor water, sanitation and hygiene practices.

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Our Impact

We assisted over 235,000 people in Zimbabwe in 2016
20,000 pregnant or lactating women and caregivers participated in Infant and Young Child Feeding programs in 2016

Resources

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