In the city of Luanda we implemented a health and nutrition project designed to benefit mothers and children.

About the project

The population of the municipality of Kilamba Kiaxi in the city of Luanda is approaching 2 million, with approximately 240,000 children aged five and under. To help improve the health of mothers and children and reduce the rates of preventable illnesses and conditions caused by malnutrition, the Eni Foundation strengthened the healthcare network and improved access to services. The project lasted three years, from 2009 to 2012, and cost approximately € 6.2 million.


Project Kilamba Kiaxi

Our achievements

We achieved the following results:

Infrastructure: new health centres built

In March 2012, the first new health centre was handed over complete with furniture and all healthcare equipment at the end of a project managed directly by the Eni Foundation. It was immediately added to the municipality’s healthcare network and throughout the year the facility achieved impressive results. 


Healthcare Services: Results - 2012

Paediatrics appointments 18.447
Obstetrics appointments 9.218
Infant care appointments 12.958
Family planning consultations 4.953
Births (both in the centre and at home) 2.141
Gynaecology appointments 556
Routine vaccinations 71.204
Laboratory analyses 21.188

A complex project that achieved tangible results

A second new health centre was completed in December 2012, built by Obra da Divina Providência. Together the centres provide healthcare in densely populated areas, improving access to maternal and child services. In addition, a nutritional therapy centre and nutritional assistance centre within Divina Providência Hospital will provide nutritionist services to the entire municipality.

Training: technical and management skills improved

Instruction delivered as part of the Kilamba Kiaxi project included training courses in gynaecology and obstetrics, paediatrics, nutrition and biology/laboratory work, with sessions on specific aspects of maternal and child health. Two-year specialisation courses in paediatrics for local doctors were organised at the Brazilian Institute and short courses for doctors and paramedics were held in Recife. The director of human resources at the Angolan Ministry of Health declared that the ability of the municipality of Kilamba Kiaxi to offer improved services – both in terms of quality and quantity – was thanks to the work of the Eni Foundation. It is a benchmark for the entire province of Luanda, he said.

Public health surveillance: connecting different health centres

We trained technicians to integrate their systems for the collection and analysis of data in the municipality. All health centres were provided with IT equipment to allow information to be shared between remote healthcare facilities and the project’s coordination centre. In future this will also be extended to second-level hospitals.

Maternal and child medicine: focus on prevention

  • Health centres in the municipality (both publicly run and those managed by Divina Providência) saw approximately 600 children and administered more than 800 vaccinations per day – a total of almost 500,000. The paediatrics department at Divina Providência Hospital was able to increase the number of specialist appointments and spaces on the ward. Overall data for maternal and child services provided between 2009 and 2012 by the municipality’s seven health centres managed directly by the Angolan Ministry of Health shows a continual increase in volume.

Maternity And Infant Care Services: Results - 2009-12

Paediatrics appointments 344.081
Obstetrics appointments 189.302
Infant care appointments 267.117
Family planning consultations 33.584
Births (both in the centre and at home) 30.096
Gynaecology appointments 12.952
Routine vaccinations 498.662
Laboratory analyses 681.278
  • Between 2010 and 2012, more than 1,100 clinical analyses were carried out by the municipality’s diagnostic facilities every day – a total of over 680,000. The central laboratory at Divina Providência Hospital was expanded both in size and staff numbers with the addition of a biologist. Suburban diagnostic facilities were strengthened by the provision of equipment to the existing health centre laboratories and opening new labs.
  • We identified approximately 4,600 children with malnutrition issues, of which 1,250 were admitted to specialist centres for treatment. Around 200,000 people, mostly women, took part in training sessions on preventive medicine, basic hygiene, best practice during pregnancy and nutrition education.

Aims of the project

The Kilamba Kiaxi project aimed to make a difference in four key sectors: infrastructure, training, public health surveillance and maternal and child health.

  • Infrastructure: improving the network of healthcare services by
    • building new health centres and supporting existing facilities
    • building a nutritional therapy centre and nutritional assistance centre at Divina Providência Hospital and improving existing facilities
    • creating an emergency transportation system for patients in the municipality’s six districts.
  • Training: improving the technical and management skills of healthcare staff by training doctors and paramedics.
  • Public health surveillance: improving the system by training healthcare workers on how to collect, analyse and interpret data.
  • Maternal and child health: strengthening and expanding medical services for mothers and children (paediatric and prenatal appointments, vaccinations, diagnostic work and raising awareness in families about prevention and nutrition).

Our partners

To realise the project, costing around €6.2 million, the Eni Foundation signed a partnership agreement with the Angolan Ministry of Health and a collaboration agreement with local NGO Obra da Divina Providência, whose Paediatric Hospital is the primary point of reference for the municipality’s population. The network of clinical and scientific partnerships set up in maternal-infant care also includes two highly prestigious institutions, the Instituto de Medicina Integral Prof. Fernando

Figueira (IMIP) of Recife, Brazil, and the Burlo Garofolo Paediatric Institute of the University of Trieste. This collaboration has allowed for operational synergies with the University of Luanda’s Faculty of Medicine, which uses the Divina Providencia hospital (assisted by the Project) as a reference point for undergraduate theoretical-practical training.

The Angolan Ministry of Health (MINSA) sees the project as a viable reference model on which to base similar activities in other health districts in the capital in the future.

Country Data: Angola

Population (millions) 18.498
- aged under 18 (millions)
- aged under 5 (millions)
Life expectancy at birth (years) 51
Infant mortality rate (per 1,000 live births)  
- 0-5 years
- 0-12 months
- neonatal
% born underweight (2005-09) 12
% children aged 0-5 underweight (moderate or severe, 2003-09) 16
% children aged 0-5 with stunted growth (moderate or severe, 2003-09) 29
Maternal mortality rate (per 100,000 live births, 2008) 610
Lifetime risk of maternal death (2008) 1 in 29
Gross National Income per capita (US $) 3.490
Healthcare spending  
- as % of state expenditure (1998-2008) 6
  Source: UNICEF 2010