World Vision has worked on health issues globally for more than 50 years, so we know that focusing on maternal and child health can bring lasting change. We want to support learning about nutrition, disease prevention and sanitation while improving access to medical care.
World Vision support healthy timing and spacing of pregnancy to help women and girls control their fertility, and to prevent unplanned and unwanted pregnancies. Research shows that the longer a girl stays in school, the less children she will have, due to her higher awareness of reproductive health issues. Ensuring that women and girls have access to information and knowledge is one important step to reduce maternal deaths.
Traditionally, projects have focused on women alone, however there is now a shift to empowering men with knowledge about the importance of these interventions, so that they can take responsibility and be actively involved in the health of their wives and babies.
Millennium Development Goals
The United Nations put maternal and child health on the agenda with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2000. So far little progress has been made on 2 of the most important goals: MDG 4, which aims to reduce child deaths by two-thirds, and MDG 5, aiming to reduce maternal deaths by 75%.
As a child-focused organisation that has seen the problems children face for more than half a century, World Vision supports these goals. Many of our existing programs – like Child Sponsorship
and Child Rescue
- improve the lives of mothers and children.
However, we’ve seen firsthand how essential child and maternal health is to the future of developing countries. With the right resources, we know that child deaths could be reduced by up to 65% and maternal deaths by 80%.*
To effect this change, World Vision is working toward achieving 3 main goals. That:
1. Mothers and children are well nourished.
2. Mothers and children are protected from infection and disease.
3. Mothers and children have access to essential healthcare.
How will we do it?
To achieve these goals we look at programs that work with families, communities and governments worldwide. Our programs:
1. Focus on health and nutrition education and behaviour change in homes. This is to inspire and assist caregivers and children to keep themselves healthy.
2. Build skills in community groups, so that malnutrition, illnesses and death occuring locally can be both monitored and addressed. We do this while also advocating for healthcare services.
3. Work towards strengthening partnerships with national governments. This can greatly assist in the improvement of health and nutrition services at community levels.
Fundamentally, World Vision knows that there are 5 simple solutions than could save 6 million children every year. These solutions consist of:
- bed nets, to protect against mosquitos and malaria infection;
- oral rehydration, most especially in areas where water quality and sanitation levels are poor;
- promoting exclusive breast-feeding, because babies who are not breastfed are six times more likely to die than those who are not;
- ensuring skilled attendants are present at births; and
- immunisation programs.
It is through supporting communities to introduce these simple solutions that we can make a difference to millions of families around the world who are at risk of losing a child to a preventable cause. You can be part of this difference. Join our Child Health Now campaign today.
*Child Health Now, World Vision