Zambia, formerly known as Northern Rhodesia, is a large, sparsely populated country in southeastern Africa. Its population is young, with 66 percent aged 24 years or younger.
Life expectancy there is less than 40 years, and the under-5 mortality rate is 168 per 1,000 live births. Out of every 10,000 women, 64 die during pregnancy or childbirth. More than 14 percent of Zambian adults (15-49) are infected with HIV, and more than 800,000 children have been orphaned or have lost a parent due to HIV and AIDS.
ChildFund has served children in Zambia since 1983.
Regular prenatal care and access to health care facilities as well as trained midwives and birth attendants help both mother and child get a healthy start.
Malaria, another huge risk to young children and pregnant mothers, is the leading cause of death for Zambian children under 5. Transmitted by mosquitoes, the disease is completely preventable. Education and treated bed net distribution are just two ways ChildFund helps keep children alive.
ChildFund’s immunization programs help protect children from early childhood diseases such as tuberculosis, polio, tetanus and measles. We also work to prevent the spread of other communicable diseases including pneumonia and diarrhea.
One way we do this is to promote access to safe water and sanitation. ChildFund supports communities in building and maintaining safe water points and sanitation facilities. Community volunteers also educate children and youth about good hygiene.
Children and young adults yearn to be educated but are often unable to attend school because of distance or lack of adequate facilities and materials. In Zambia, ChildFund focuses on access to education through high school and has constructed classrooms and provided teaching materials as well as classroom furniture. We improve education through promoting child-centered learning environments and relevant curriculum and learning materials. We also work with parents and local administrators to encourage student involvement in activities to stimulate and foster learning opportunities.
Living With HIV/AIDS
Because HIV and AIDS are part of life in Zambia, ChildFund’s prevention programs include testing and counseling services and youth-centered, mother-to-child and gender-sensitive education. Home-based care and support is provided to orphans, caregivers and their families. People living with the disease have access to food and nutritional support, legal aid and health care.