Saving Lives through Tried and Trusted methods: Evaluation the Intervention of the International Committee of the Red Cross

Summary of published paper

A retrospective study on the under five mortality of children was conducted in Meringue, a district of central Mozambique in October 1994. During the civil war in this country, between 1975-91, immunisations stopped in many areas while epidemics, malnutrition and famines struck most of the country. Humanitarian organisations tried to help reorganise the health services even before the signing of the peace agreement. The ICRC implemented one such programme in Maringue district from the end of 1991. The survey conducted in `1994 set out to measure trends in mortality during the war period and to evaluate the effect of the ICRC intervention on child survival.

The ICRC intervention in the district involved reorganising health services, undertaking EPI vaccinations and vitamin A supplementation. The distribution of vitamin A was introduced in 1993. It was given at first EPI contact and then every six months. Children aged 1-4 years received 200,000 international units and children less than 1twelve months of age received 100,000 IU.

During the civil war period (1975-91) mortality increased rapidly reaching a peak of 473 per 1000 in 1986. It declined again afterwards reaching a plateau of 380 in 1991. The ICRC health intervention further reduced mortality to 269 per 1000 in 1994. This was mostly attributable to the vaccinations and vitamin A supplementation. The mortality decline during the intervention period was highly significant and could not be explained by the trends in the preceding three years. It could be confirmed by analysis of changes in mortality by cause of death which showed that 90% of the changes from 1991-4 were attributable to a decline in mortality from measles, tetanus, and malnutrition, the target diseases of the intervention. In contrast, mortality from other causes of death did not change over the same period.

Among the interventions conducted by the ICRC, the EPI programme seems to have been most successful. Together with vitamin A supplementation, it contributed to most of the 28% mortality decline observed during the three years of the project. The authors of the study concluded that this shows the potential of simple interventions to improve child survival in such severe circumstances.

Reference:
Effects of the Civil War in Central Mozambique and Evaluation of the Intervention of the International Committee of the Red Cross: Garenne. M et al (1997), Journal of Tropical Paediatrics, vol. 43, pp 318-323

More like this

FEX: Enhanced Outreach Strategy/ Targeted Supplementary Feeding for Child Survival in Ethiopia (EOS/ TSF)

By Selamawit Negash, Nutrition Specialist, UNICEF Ethiopia Selamawit Negash (MPH) has been working as a Nutrition Specialist with UNICEF Ethiopia since April 2007. From...

FEX: Neonatal vitamin A supplementation to prevent mortality and morbidity in infancy

Summary of published review1 A recently published review set out to evaluate the effect of neonatal vitamin A supplementation on infant mortality, morbidity and early adverse...

FEX: Investing in Nutrition to Reduce Poverty

Summary of published research1 A malnourished child in a therapeutic feeding centre in Kenema Sierra Leone suffers from endemic and pervasive poverty due to long periods of...

FEX: Capacity development of the national health system for CMAM scale up in Sierra Leone

By Ms Aminata Shamit Koroma, Faraja Chiwile, Marian Bangura, Hannah Yankson and Joyce Njoro Aminata Shamit Koroma is National Food and Nutrition Programme Manager, Ministry...

FEX: Scurvy outbreak in Afghanistan: an investigation by Action Contre la Faim (ACF) and WHO

By Philipe Leborgne, Caroline Wilkinson, Sylvie Montembaut, and Mija Tesse Ververs Dr Philippe Leborgne has been Head of the ACF Medical Department since 1994. Before this he...

FEX: Scaling up CMAM in the wake of 2010 floods in Pakistan

By Dr. M. Suleman Qazi Dr. Qazi was engaged by the ENN to capture the lessons from Pakistan on CMAM scale up. Dr Qazi is a medical graduate with a post graduate degree in...

FEX: 2011 famine in South Somalia: the role of the early warning information System

By Abukar Yusuf Nur – Nutrition Analyst, Ahono Busili – Nutrition Team Manager, Elijah Odundo – Nutrition Data Analyst, Joseph Waweru – Nutrition Analyst, Louise Masese –...

FEX: Impact of livestock support on animal milksupply and child nutrition in Ethiopia

Summary by Kate Sadler and Emily Mitchard Dry riverbed in Shinile Kate Sadler is an Assistant Professor of Nutrition at the Feinstein International Centre, Tufts University...

FEX: Effect of short-term RUTF distribution on children in Niger

Summary of published research1 Mothers and children arriving for their monthly surveillance visits, as part of the trial Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health...

FEX: Logistics: more than pizza delivery

The author of this article Geoff Loane spent 15 years involved in humanitarian assistance in east Africa, four of them in Somalia. This article arises from Geoff's experiences...

FEX: Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition (IMAM) scale up: Lessons from Somalia operations

By Leo Anesu Matunga and Anne Bush Leo Matunga is currently the nutrition cluster coordinator for Somalia. He has over 12 years experience working in nutrition in emergencies...

FEX: Konzo Associated with War in Mozambique

Summary of published paper Konzo (also known as cassava poisoning) is a medical condition associated with eating insufficiently processed cassava. This condition affects the...

FEX: Fighting long-term nutritional deprivation among the Sarahawi refugees

Summary of report1 The Saharawi refugee population (approximately 150,000) living in south Algeria have been in crisis since 1975 when conflict over the status of Western...

FEX: Emmanuel International

By Andrew Mellen, Emmanuel International Andrew Mellen has been the relief programme manager with EI Malawi since 2003. With a background in agriculture, he previously worked...

FEX: Starvation and Future Cardiovascular Disease

Summary of published paper1 The Leningrad siege occurred during the Second World War, as German troops prevented supplies reaching the city from 8th of Sep 1941 to January 27th...

FEX: AAH in Tajikistan: a flexible response based on analysing the causes of malnutrition

Frances Mason is Nutrition and Food Security Advisor for AAH-UK. Her past six years with the ACF Network has involved work primarily in the Horn of Africa, Central Asia, South...

FEX: Conflict: a cause and effect of hunger

Summary of draft review1 The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) is currently working on a review of what is known about the linkages between hunger. Some of...

FEX: Vitamin A Supplementation in Treatment for Acute Shigellosis

Summary of published paper Shigellosis is one of the most severe forms of infection to affect the intestine. The infection is associated with malnutrition, growth stunting and...

FEX: Post-drought restocking Can its impact be sustainable?

By Ahmed Alkadir Mohammed Ahmed Alkadir Mohammed is currently a Disaster Risk Management Specialist with the World Bank, Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) Team. Prevously...

FEX: Micronutrient powders v iron-folic acid tablets in controlling anaemia in pregnancy

Summary of research1 The major cause of anaemia in pregnancy is iron deficiency, which is preventable. It is estimated that 56% of pregnant women in developing countries...

Close

Reference this page

Saving Lives through Tried and Trusted methods: Evaluation the Intervention of the International Committee of the Red Cross. Field Exchange 4, June 1998. p27. www.ennonline.net/fex/4/saving