A group of children pretended to take power to build the country of their dreams on Universal Children's Day this November. While the children were in character, they realized that they needed tools and data to achieve the task at hand. The play was performed during the announcement of the MICS in Paraguay by children theater students of the cast "Jakairá".
The MICS survey was conducted in 2016 by the General Directorate of Statistics, Surveys and Censuses of the Technical Secretariat of Economic and Social Development Planning of the Presidency of the Republic with technical and financial support from the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare, the Regulatory Entity of Sanitary Services, the United Nations Children's Fund and the Inter-American Development Bank. It is a programme developed by UNICEF and implemented in several countries of the world.
Put people at the center of public policy
Regina Castillo, UNICEF representative in Paraguay, expressed the importance of releasing data on children, adolescents and women on Universal Children's Day, to allow for the formation of evidence-based public policies focused on people.
“The MICS survey is carried out in more than 100 countries around the world and its value has been proven,” she said. She also added that it offers a baseline for the fulfillment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Elizabeth Barrios, head of the General Directorate of Statistics, Surveys and Censuses, explained that the survey covers topics such as literacy and education, health, early childhood development, nutrition, HIV/AIDS, maternal and neonatal mortality, breastfeeding, water and sanitation, reproductive health and child protection, among others.
Data that will facilitate decision making to improve living conditions
The Minister of Health, Antonio Barrios, pointed out that the MICS survey represents great value for the different ministries and secretariats of the State. "It will facilitate decision-making, design and implementation of public policies based on concrete data, to work together for better living conditions for the children, adolescents and women of Paraguay," he said. He emphasized that this study will allow monitoring compliance with international commitments assumed by the current government, such as the Sustainable Development Goals.
Barrios said that the data collected specifically in terms of health reflect that the country is on track in terms of efforts to reduce maternal and newborn mortality, malnutrition, through the Comprehensive Nutritional Food Program, among others topics. However, he indicated that there are important aspects that should be taken into account such as childhood obesity, vaccines-preventable diseases or the transmission of HIV/AIDS and acceptance attitudes towards people living with this disease.
The data collected allow us to update the information on reproductive health and to have information about children and adolescents’ well-being in Paraguay, with the objective of measuring the results of actions at the national and international levels.
About the survey
Data was collected June to September 2016, when the interviewers visited 8,000 households throughout the country.
The sample is representative at the national level and includes rural and urban areas of the eastern and western regions of Paraguay.
Women aged 15 to 49 were interviewed, which provided data on the state of health, wellbeing and development of children under 5 years of age and women of childbearing age.