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Mothers and their babies

Health & Nutrition

Reducing under-five mortality rates with a focus on neonatal mortality

Zambia has made improvements in child survival in recent years. However, many children are still struggling to survive and thrive. Progress still needs to be made to decrease neonatal, infant and child mortality rates across the country.

Our health and nutrition work will:

  • Support government and health care providers to increase the use of high impact evidence based life savings interventions.
  • Enhance communities' and children's demand for inclusive and gender-sensitive child health care services.
  • Support the government, communities, and children to increase access to maternal and child nutrition services especially during the first 1,000 critical days of life.
  • Advocate for increased human and technical resource allocation for maternal, neonatal and child health care services in selected rural parts of Zambia.
Mother learns about breastfeeding

Our Focus

Our health and nutrition work focuses on rural children and adolescents, especially girls. We will work with stakeholders to identify the most vulnerable target populations especially those in hard to reach areas. We are targeting the most marginalised and deprived children in Western, Muchinga, Copperbelt, Eastern and Luapula provinces.

Girls play with water tap

Our Approach

Be the voice:

  • Advocate for increased resource allocation for inclusive and gender-sensitive child health care services at national level taking advantage of various platforms to engage policy makers and parliamentarians.
  • Document best practices and success stories arising from implementation of innovations and lobby government to implement them at scale.


  • Implement cost-effective, high impact and evidence-based lifesaving interventions such as Kangaroo Mother Care for low birth weight babies and Helping Babies Breathe.
  • Support the government and health care providers implement Newborn Essential Care guidelines.
  • Integrate early childhood development for children aged three and younger, which supports early stimulation, health, nutrition and protection of young children at health centres.

Achieve results at scale:

  • Support the government to scale up high impact and evidence-based lifesaving interventions such as integrated Community Case Management, Cash Plus for Nutrition, Saving Newborn Lives and Early Childhood Development and implement them at scale in selected rural parts of Zambia.
  • Partner with Ministry of Health and nutrition stakeholders to scale up the First 1,000 Most Critical Days interventions

Build partnerships:

  • Strengthen the Newborn, Child Health and Nutrition technical working groups, conduct joint field visits and provide mentorships to government.
  • Conduct joint review meetings with the government, the community groups and local civil society organisations to assess performance and coordinate health interventions.
  • Work through public-private partnerships to create synergies with corporate initiatives, create linkages with like-minded institutions on the technical area of health, and build coalitions for competitive bids to access resources.
Positive parenting

Thematic Leadership

Save the Children has collaborated with the Ministry of Health to scale up our evidence-based approaches and pioneer high impact and low cost interventions in Zambia, such as:

  • Integrated community-based new-born care
  • Integrated community case management package
  • The essential new-born care guidelines, including Kangaroo Mother Care
  • 'Cash Plus' for nutrition

These approaches have been delivered through enhanced district-wide community health programmes linked to health facilities and Neighbourhood Health Committees. Our programming is implemented in line with the Ministry of Health plans and policies to ensure continuity and ownership by duty bearers.

Child with his mother in Kaoma district of western province in Zambia