Better care for childrenEvery year, countless children around the world die from causes that could be prevented or easily cured through simple measures. Their lives could be saved if all people had access to basic healthcare. Save the Children is working to make affordable, quality health care available to all, improve the quality of health services, and build a medical care network in times of crisis.
Here we provide tips and advice on the Corona virus and what Save the Children is doing to support the people who need our help most right now.
Building and improving health systems
Basic health care should be a fundamental right for everyone. Whether they are rich or poor, live in the country or in the city. Save the Children calls on national and international policymakers to invest more money in the health sector. Together with health institutions, governments, non-governmental organizations, leaders in towns and villages, and children, we work to provide affordable and quality health care for everyone. To improve the quality of existing health services, we also support health authorities by training medical staff, providing equipment and transportation, and establishing health clinics.
Our goal: basic medical care for every child!
Medical care in crises and conflicts
In wars, natural disasters and other emergency situations, rapid medical assistance is often required. But a country's healthcare system often threatens to collapse in such crises and is unable to cope with the increasing demand. Together with local partner organizations, we care for people in mobile clinics, distribute medicines and equip hospitals with missing equipment. In addition, we help to restore destroyed medical infrastructure in the long term.
Child and infant mortality
Every day, an average of 15.000 children before their fifth birthday (source: WHO, 2019). They die from preventable causes, such as diarrheal diseases, pneumonia, malaria, premature birth, or complications during pregnancy or childbirth.
In Germany, where there is almost complete medical care and almost every birth is attended by doctors, nurses and midwives, infant mortality is virtually zero. Many of the world's poorest countries, on the other hand, do not have functioning health systems.
Save the Children fights child and infant mortality worldwide. Our goal: No child anywhere in the world should die any more from preventable diseases.
© Sebastian Rich / Save the Children
Save the Children is working to improve the nutritional situation of children in order to save lives and enable girls and boys to develop healthily.
In disaster situations, we focus on preventing acute malnutrition in children. Using a methodology we developed to control famine (Household Economy Approach), we can calculate food needs during a disaster and assess the impact z.B. assess the impact of drought on families' self-sufficiency. We can draw on our many years of experience in organizing and monitoring food aid and distributing supplementary food.
Our extensive practice in the field enables us to advance appropriate, sustainable solutions to the problem of malnutrition. Save the Children creates better livelihood opportunities for poor families, supports health systems in treating malnourished children, provides clean water, improves sanitary conditions and educates young mothers about the benefits of breastfeeding.
The health systems of most of the world's poor countries are in crisis. About half of the world's population lacks adequate access to essential healthcare, according to the World Health Organization. Many families do not use public medical facilities because they are too expensive and often too far away. In addition, the care provided in these facilities is often inadequate due to a lack of medical staff, nurses and essential medicines. Children in particular suffer from this situation: they do not receive adequate medical care. Among other things, this also leads to high infant mortality in these countries.
We are committed to implementing political and financial measures at national and international level to improve health systems in developing countries. That's why Save the Children works with governments and local organizations to develop strategies to fight poverty and improve basic medical services such as mother-to-child care, immunization programs and reproductive health care. In disaster situations, when the need for medical assistance is particularly great, we restore interrupted supply networks and create interim solutions. To ensure the quality of health care as widely as possible, Save the Children is working with local organizations to provide training, improve care, and involve children and communities in health care planning and monitoring.
Water and sanitation
In cooperation with the communities, Save the Children builds suitable sustainable water systems and sanitation facilities. Children learn hygiene. Health care.
It is necessary to take stock of the situation in the respective villages, create awareness of the need for improvement, find cost-effective solutions and promote the protection of springs and wells or the construction of latrines. Save the Children also helps villagers maintain and clean water systems and sanitation facilities.
The provision of such systems goes hand in hand with appropriate health education. This is the only way to ensure that the facilities also contribute to better health for the residents. Children are given special consideration in this awareness effort.
HIV | AIDS: prevention and treatment
Many millions of children are directly or indirectly affected by HIV/AIDS, d.h. they are sick themselves or have lost one or both parents to the disease. In 2018, 320 children died of AIDS every day and another 980 infants were infected with the virus through mother-to-child transmission (UNICEF, 2019). More than 30% of all new HIV diagnoses involve young people between the ages of 15 and 25 (WHO, 2019).
The goal of our work is to prevent girls and boys from becoming infected with the HIV virus and to help children affected by HIV/AIDS. We involve children and youth in outreach and education programs, promote programs to care for orphans in their familiar environment, and measures to protect them from violence and exploitation.
Children have a right to information, education and care in order to avoid infection with HIV/AIDS.
Because younger and younger people are becoming infected with HIV, it is important to educate children and young people about the dangers at an early age. They should also be involved in the planning and implementation of prevention activities so that they are tailored to children's conditions and needs, making them effective.
Save the Children supports HIV/AIDS prevention in schools and community facilities. One focus of our work is the training of children and young people as "multipliers" who pass on their knowledge to others. Children affected by HIV/AIDS. Families are often confronted with prejudice. To counteract this development, Save the Children seeks contact with those responsible in towns and villages.
Together with local organizations and municipal authorities, Save the Children fights prejudice and discrimination, provides counseling and promotes the social integration of those affected. We help children plan their future and facilitate outpatient and inpatient medical treatment for those suffering from the disease.
Save the Children supports efforts to increase the importation and production of low-cost medicines to treat HIV/AIDS in poorer countries. At the same time, we advocate for national health systems to be more staffed and resourced to ensure that existing medications are dispensed and administered in a skilled manner.
orphans and vulnerable children
14.9 million girls and boys under 18 have lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS. Children living with HIV/AIDS or who have lost their parents to the disease need special protection and support. Save the Children therefore supports counseling programs for the girls and boys affected.
Save the Children provides z.B. Ensure that children receive elementary basic health and education services and are educated about HIV/AIDS. In addition, we strengthen the rights of girls and boys, z.B. When children are deprived of their rightful property or inheritance after the death of their parents.
Sexual and reproductive health
© Heidi Anicete / Save the Children
Together with national health authorities and local organizations, Save the Children advocates for the right of adolescents to sexual and reproductive health information and care.
Save the Children is funding studies on what teens know about reproductive health and what medical services they need. Based on such studies, we then work with young people, health facilities and health care providers to provide the appropriate care. This may involve making existing facilities more attractive to young people or creating new, discrete facilities, such as special consultation hours or specialist clinical services.
Another of our program priorities is the training of medical personnel on the subject of reproductive health. We also want to use education to effectively counter discrimination against girls and boys.
You might also be interested in this:
100 years of Save the Children
In 2019, we celebrated 100 years of full commitment to children in need! Join us in standing up for the rights of children worldwide.