Health

Improving child health is a critical part of our work. Nearly 18,000 children under five are still dying each year from illnesses that would be so easy to prevent: pneumonia, malaria – even diarrhea. We’re working to nourish children and mothers, educate communities, and help protect the most vulnerable from everyday illness.

We improved maternal and child health by vaccinating more than 164,000 children and pregnant women against preventable illness.
Read the report >

Learn how we’re helping fight “the white plague” in drought-ridden Somaliland.
Read more >

What are the 10 worst places in the world to get pneumonia? 
Find out >


Our Approach
We focus on the health of both children and mothers, as the two are inextricably linked. Caring for a woman before she conceives, throughout pregnancy, during birth, and in the years after birth has a direct impact on the well-being of her child. We work with families to improve maternal and child health all along the continuum.

Here are some of the things we provide:
  • prenatal care, so more babies are born strong and healthy
  • delivery support (including the training of community volunteers) so mothers and babies are safe during childbirth
  • post-natal care for mothers and babies, especially during the vulnerable first months and years
  • breastfeeding support, so more babies are well-nourished and develop stronger immune systems
  • immunizations, to reduce the likelihood of childhood illnesses
  • education for parents on protecting children from potentially deadly childhood illnesses – like malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea
  • medical care, throughout children’s lives

Nutrition is a critical part of healthcare. When mothers are well-nourished, newborns are stronger. When children enjoy a balanced diet, they're more physically and mentally active. They can stay in school longer and do better. This opens the door for brighter futures.
A girl is not physically prepared to carry and deliver a baby, as her body is still growing and developing. Early pregnancy is among the most frequent causes of infant and maternal mortality in developing countries. Further, pregnancies too close together are another major factor.

We teach families and communities about the importance of delaying pregnancy until at least age 18. We educate mothers on the importance of leaving at least two years between pregnancies. This way, her body has a chance to recover from pregnancy and childbirth. She can continue breastfeeding her baby and focus on caring for her newborn.

Safe timing and spacing of pregnancies can have a lasting impact on a family. If a mother is alive and well, she can care for her other children, allowing them to continue in school. Babies who come into the world strong and healthy have a much better chance of thriving throughout their lives.
The first five years of a child’s life are critical. Every year, 5.9 million children die before their fifth birthday, mostly from causes that are preventable or treatable.

Here are some of the ways we respond: 
  • We teach communities to protect children from simple but deadly illnesses like diarrhea, pneumonia and malaria
  • We equip parents to identify and respond to symptoms
  • We help ensure children have access to essential health services, both for checkups and in an emergency

Malnutrition contributes to about half of children’s deaths before age five. It greatly reduces a child’s ability to fight off even the simplest illnesses. And malnutrition can stunt the development of a child’s body and brain. It can interfere with their lifelong ability to learn, work and support their families. 

We also train and equip volunteer networks to care for those who are sick, and to look after children who are orphaned or vulnerable because of HIV and AIDS.
We consider the toll that the illness takes on the world’s most vulnerable children. Our response includes things like:
  • prevention education
  • prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV
  • caring for those infected with the disease or affected by it
  • working with local faith leaders overseas, harnessing their influence in reducing stigma around HIV and AIDS

We train and empower volunteer networks to care for those who are sick. We’re especially concerned about the well-being of children who are orphaned and vulnerable because of HIV and AIDS. We partner with communities to create networks, to ensure these children are comforted and cared for.
Malaria is a strong example of the ways that our integrated community model can save children’s lives. To start, we install clean water points within communities. This means babies and children are less likely to spend time near stagnant water sources – breeding grounds for the mosquitos which carry malaria.

Here are other ways we prevent and respond to malaria:
  • We distribute mosquito nets village-by-village, covering whole communities to reduce the spread of the mosquito-transmitted disease
  • We teach villagers to install the bed nets and use them properly and consistently
  • We educated communities about malaria, its mode of transmission through mosquitoes, and malaria prevention strategies
  • We teach parents about symptoms of malaria, preparing them to respond quickly when a baby or child is ill
  • We train health workers to care for children who are dangerously ill
  • We collaborate with local ministries of health to improve community access to healthcare, expanding to reach more children
Despite the challenges of poverty, there are some families who are able to raise well-nourished children. Together, the community discovers what these families do differently.  Sometimes, it’s a matter of combining different foods together, or adding new foods to the children’s diet.

We are always on the look-out for families whose children are healthy, even when others in the community are struggling.  What are they doing differently from the rest?  Which recipes are they using, and what foods are they sourcing?  We work with these families to teach others in the community about improving child health.
 
Resources
Thanks to our partnerships with communities in Tanzania, one region won several national awards for improvements to its maternal, newborn and child health services.
 
Despite the challenges of poverty, some families are able to raise well-nourished children. Together, the community discovers what they do differently.
 
Read the World Health Organization’s overview of malaria, its symptoms and the best ways to prevent it.
 

Ways to give to Health

Provide Health Care: $25+

Provide health care to vulnerable children.

You’ll help parents recognize the signs and symptoms of disease and help provide access to life-saving health services. Your support will also provide health care to vulnerable children who have lost their parents to HIV/Aids and other deadly diseases.

$

Stock a Medical Clinic: $100+

Multiplies 9x in Value!

In poor countries, clinic shelves are often empty. Fill them with life-saving supplies like antibiotics, antimalarials, de-worming drugs, bed nets and more. Thanks to donations from partner companies, your gift multiplies 9X in value to purchase, ship and distribute the needed supplies.

 Give Now

Discover where we work

 

Where We Work


Together with your support, we are bringing about real change for children, families and communities in more than 50 countries.
From Canada to the world. With love.


children walking through brush