Zambia

Zimbabwe

Country Profile

 
           
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General

Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in Southeastern Africa.  It shares borders with Mozambique, Botswana, South Africa, and Zambia.  In 1980, Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) gained its independence from the United Kingdom.   The population is approximately 12 million, with a population growth rate of 2.1%.  With increasing AIDS related deaths, Zimbabwe will soon begin to see negative population growth rates.   

The dominant ethnic groups are the Shona (82%) and the Ndebele (14%).  Religions practiced include Christianity, indigenous beliefs, and Syncreticism (50%).  Syncretics combine elements from both Christianity and indigenous beliefs.  Languages spoken are Shona, and English, which is the official language.   

Zimbabwe is a parliamentary democracy, with executive, legislative, and judicial branches.  Presidents are elected by popular vote. Robert Mugabe has been the only president since Zimbabwe gained its independence.   The president nominates the co-vice presidents and his cabinet.  The House of Assembly, part of the legislative branch, has 120 members elected by popular vote and 30 elected by the president.  The judicial branch consists of the high court, court of appeals, and local courts.   

Zimbabwe is currently experiencing a GNP annual growth rate of zero, and it is predicted that it will soon be negative.  Zimbabwe’s participation in war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, political turmoil, rampant inflation, and the HIV/AIDS epidemic are responsible for the stagnant economy.  Manufacturing (25%) and agriculture (20%) are the major contributors to the GDP.  The GNP per capita at PPP is 2,460, with extremely unequal income distribution.

Education

Zimbabwe has two separate education ministries: the Ministry of Education, Sport, and Culture and the Ministry of Higher Education and Technology.  The Ministry of Education, Sport, and Culture is responsible for primary and secondary levels of education.  Post secondary education, including university level and vocational schools, are coordinated by the Ministry of Higher Education and Technology.  Both ministries give priority to eliminating all educational inequalities that once characterized the Zimbabwean educational system.    In 1991, the Education Act abolished tuition fees and made primary education compulsory.   Primary education includes instruction in both Shona and English.  Recently, an HIV/AIDS education component was added to all primary school curriculums.   

Twenty-four percent of the GDP is allotted for education.    Although attendance is mandatory for the primary level, only 32% of females and 64% of males attend.  Secondary school enrollment is much lower, only 11% of females and 32% of males attend.  Enrollment for females has gradually increased, while male enrollment has been unstable.  Literacy rates for the population over 15 are 85% for females and 93% for males.

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Health

The AIDS epidemic has inhibited improvements in health standards.  Zimbabwe has the third highest prevalence of HIV in the world.  As of 2000, an overwhelming 25% of the Zimbabwean population is living with HIV/AIDS.  The devastating impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic has affected all aspects of society in Zimbabwe and will continue to do so.  Although 60% of the health budget is spent on HIV/AIDS programs, only 8% of the national budget is allocated for health services.

In 1980, the under-five mortality rate was 280/1000 and in 2000, the rate was 279/1000.  Infant mortality rates have not improved much either: 177/1000 for 1980, and 163/1000 for 2000.  Maternal mortality ratios are high, with 610 deaths/100,000 live births.  Immunization rates for measles and DPT are 79% and 81%, respectively.  There are approximately 14 doctors for every 100,000 people, but their patients tend to be the urban, upper class population.

Poor sanitation and lack of vector control programs allow for the spread of many diseases that are transmitted by insects.  These include: malaria, dengue, filariasis, and leishmaniasis.  Other endemic diseases are schistosomiasis, meningitis, and cholera.  Zimbabwe has begun to experience a new trend of diseases that typically affect developed nations.  Recent surveys by DHS show a sharp increase in obesity among women in urban areas.  Twenty percent of non-pregnant women living in urban areas are overweight and obese.  As a result, Zimbabwe is beginning to see an increase in non-communicable diseases. Cardiovascular diseases and diabetes are two of the more prevalent diseases.

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Food & Diet

Daily caloric intake is estimated at 2,117 kcal, with 6% coming from animal sources.  The main staple is maize, which accounts for 50% of Zimbabwean’s diet.   Although malnutrition is less prevalent than it is in neighboring countries, prevalence appears to be increasing.  Thirteen percent of the population is underweight and stunting occurs in 27% of the population under five.   Shortages of food due to droughts and unequal distribution of wealth are responsible for the increasing prevalence of malnutrition.   Inequalities in income and food distributions are clearly demonstrated by the high prevalence of obese women in urban areas. 

Legislation for vitamin A supplementation programs is currently under development.  Meanwhile, 35.8% of the 1-6 year old population shows signs for sub-clinical vitamin A deficiency.  The supply of vitamin A in Zimbabweans diets is extremely low.  On average, daily dietary intake of vitamin A is 211RE/capita/day.  Average intake for neighboring countries is around 400RE/capita/day.  Iron deficient anemia has a prevalence of 34.3% in non-pregnant women and 18.8% in pregnant women.  As of 1995, universal salt iodization is mandatory.  Prior to 1995, the total goiter rate was 42.3%.  Currently, iodine deficiency disorders are not prevalent.

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Indicators
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Population           

         

 

1991

1995

1999

2002

Total (millions)

10,439

11,233

12,021

12,463

< 5 years

16.5%

14.8%

14.3%

14.1%

5-14 years

29.2%

29.3%

27.3%

25.9%

> 14 years

54.3%

55.9%

58.4%

60%

 

 

 

Population Growth Rate

1970-1990

1990-2000

3.4

2.1

TFR (Total Fertility Rate)

1980

1998

7

6.7

Under- five Mortality Rate

1980

1999

280

279

IMR (Infant Mortality Rate)

1980

1998

177

163

MMR (deaths per 100,000 live births)

610

% Pregnant Women Immunized against Tetanus

 

1998

 

58

DPT Immunization (% < 12 mths)

 

2000

 

81

Measles Immunization (% < 12mths)

 

79

 

 

Economic 

 

 

 

GNP (US $ billions)

 

 1999

 

 6.1

GNP per capita at PPP

 

1999

 

2,470

GNP annual growth rate

 

1998-99

 

0

% Below Poverty Line ($1/day)

 

36

Public Expenditure on Health (% of GDP)

 

1992-2000

 

8

Public Expenditure on Education (% of GDP)

 

1992-2000

 

24

 

 

 

 

 

Education          

         

 

1980

1990

1995

2000

Literacy pop. over 15

 

 

 

 

Females

62.5

75

79.9

84.7

Males

77.9

86.6

89.8

92.8

Gross Primary School Enrollment

(% of age group)

 

 

 

 

Females

12

19

32

N/A

Males

54

35

64

N/A

Gross Secondary School Enrollment

(% of age group)

 

 

 

 

Females

4

6

11

N/A

Males

16

12

32

N/A

 

 

Health and Nutrition 

     

 

 

2000

% of Births Attended

 

62

% Pop. Access Adequate Sanitation

 

1990-96

 

62

% Pop. Access Improved Water

 

1990-96

 

83

% Pop. living with HIV/AIDS,

(age 15 -49)

 

1999

 

25.1

Weight/Age (% less than –2 z-score)

 

13

Height/Age (% less than –2 z-score)

 

27

Exclusively Breastfed (0-3 months)%

 

38.9

Food and Dietary Indices

1980

1990

1995

2000

Total Calories Consumed (kcals/day)

2364

2089

1954

2117

Animal Sources of food (kcals/day)

215

185

143

141

 
Sources:

1.  http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/idbpyr.html 

2.  http://www.worldbank.org/poverty/wdrpoverty/report/ 

3.  http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/index.html 

4.  http://apps.fao.org/page/collections?subset=nutrition 

5.  http://genderstats.worldbank.org

6.  http://www.undp.org/hdr2002/indicator/ 

7.  http://www.childinfo.com

8.  http://www.state.gov

9.  http3.who.int/whois/health_personnel/health_personnel.cfm

10. http://hivinsite.ucsf.edu/InSite.jsp?page=cr09-zi-00