Good health is the foundation of a child’s life. World Vision aims to ensure mothers and children are well nourished, protected from infection and disease, and have access to essential health services.
When moms are well nourished, newborns are stronger; when children enjoy a balanced diet, they are healthier, more physically and mentally active and their immune systems can fight off diseases. That’s why nutrition is so important to us! Yet, too many children living in areas where we work are malnourished.
- The main cause of one-third of all deaths among children under five.
- An underlying cause of death for 2.6 million children each year.
- The most significant risk factor for disease and disability throughout children’s lives.
The key to reducing malnutrition is prevention. Some of the root causes of malnutrition are poverty and lack of access to healthcare. The great news is that there are food and health interventions that reduce malnutrition rates in the short term, while we continue to work on the longer-term underlying issues.
The first thousand days of a child’s life are the most important. To make sure that babies have a great start in life, we focus on ensuring:
- Moms and their children are well nourished.
- Children are protected from infections and disease.
- There is access to essential healthcare.
We use practices that are evidence-based and cost-effective to address the primary causes of maternal and child deaths and illnesses.
HIV and AIDs Prevention
HIV and AIDS have devastated families around the world. According to a 2011 UNICEF report, about 17.3 million children have lost one or both parents to AIDS.
We have made significant progress in helping prevent new infections and caring for people who have been affected by the disease, but the epidemic continues to have a major impact on maternal and child mortality. That's why prevention, care and advocacy programs will continue to be a top priority in the countries where we work. That includes:
- Health interventions for mothers and children.
- Community-led care for orphans and vulnerable children.
- HIV-prevention education for youth.
- Partnering with faith communities and community-based organizations.
In 2011, nearly 1.5 million people were killed by tuberculosis and another 8.7 million people contracted the disease. People who are living with HIV are even more vulnerable to TB.
To make our work on TB and HIV more effective, we’re following the World Health Organization’s recommendations to collaborate the two responses – a partnership credited with saving 1.3 million lives between 2005 and 2012.