A quick update on the progress of Angola, Zambia, and Zimbabwe in regards to fulfilling various MDGs.
"UNICEF Angola Representative, Koen Vanormelingen, says malnutrition rates have gone down, more Angolan children are enrolled in primary school than ever before and almost as many girls as boys are going to school...child survival has improved by almost 20 percent and the proportion of child deaths due to malaria has gone down from 35 to 23 percent." Now to continue this efforts and and to address the MDGs not described here, like maternal mortality, the government needs to continue to invest at least 30 percent in the social sector. "And," he says, "more investments must be made in social protection to reduce poverty. He adds investing in improving the skills of young people will guarantee a bright future." - Dr. Vanormelingen
Based partly on a UN report from 2009, Zambia has implemented a ten-year program that works to circumcise more that 2.5 million mens in an effort to minimize the spread of HIV/AIDs. Now, more than 200 nurses and doctors have been trained in the procedure and are depending on role models, like school teachers to spread the word. Only time will tell if this program will make the impact it was designed to.
September 8th marked the end of a national conference on HIV/AIDs that was held in Zimbabwe. One of the most important fruits of this conference was the launching of the Zimbabwe Communications Strategy 2011-2015 which increases partnerships between the governnment and the private sector. This increased partenrship will hopefully result in a more focused response to the HIV/AIDs pandemic. Participants placed emphasis on the increased involvement of men in decreasing the transmission of the diesease. Also, the youth both made their views on their lack of involvement known and are now part of the group that is going to be held responsible for increased involvment in the fight against HIV/AIDs. From this, hopefully more specific plans and community changes will occur with the political backing to make significant and permanent changes in Zimbabwe.