Zimbabwe

We support our partner organisations in Zimbabwe with training, technical expertise and funding.

Location

Zimbabwe is based in Southern Africa, and is bordered by Mozambique to the east, South Africa to the south, Botswana to the west and Zambia to the north. The name Zimbabwe means ‘houses of stone’ and is based on a Shona term for Great Zimbabwe, an ancient ruined city in the country's southeast whose remains is now a protected site. The country is divided into 8 administrative provinces and 59 districts. The capital city is Harare and other major cities include Bulawayo, Gweru, Kadoma, Kwekwe, Masvingo and Mutare.

Population

The population of Zimbabwe is estimated to be 13.1 million (2012 Census) with 52% being female. Roughly two thirds of the population is below the age of 25. The major ethnic groups are Shona and Ndebele.

Disability Prevalence in Zimbabwe

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) approximately 15% of the world’s population lives with a disability [1]. Roughly 52 million children with disabilities reside in Africa. In Zimbabwe, there are no reliable figures about disability. The latest population census in 2012 shows a population of 13.1 million but does not make reference to the prevalence of disability. The ‘Living Conditions Among Persons with Disability Survey’ [2] however refers to the National Survey on Disability and Health (NSDH) from 2013 which suggests a disability prevalence of 7%. There are various reasons why the NSDH provides a prevalence estimate which is half of the guidelines provided by WHO.

Due to the fact there are only estimates available, which vary between studies and reports, most organisations, rely on their own experiences and mapping studies. The WHO guidelines (using a 15% prevalence rate) indicate that there could be 2 million people in Zimbabwe living with a disability. Whilst using the NSDG estimate this number would be 1 million people.
When looking at the Manicaland Province there are almost 1 million children (0-19 years) [3]. When using the WHO 15% estimate, this would mean that there are 150,000 children (0-19 years) with a disability. When using the NSDH estimate this number would be 70,000. But it is difficult to assess, with any degree of certainty, how many children with disabilities are living in Zimbabwe, whilst an unknown number of people are increasingly becoming disabled through HIV/AIDS [4].

[1] http://www.who.int/disabilities
[2] Living Conditions Among Persons with Disability Survey – Key Findings Report – Unicef 2013 – March 2015
[3] Census 2012 – Manicaland Province Report - ZIMSTAT
[4] The forgotten tribe, People with disabilities in Zimbabwe – Tsitsi Choruma – Progressio - 2007

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