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Health | World Vision

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Our impact on global health

Today, nearly 18,000 children under age 5 will die of mostly preventable causes, such as diarrhea, malaria, and pneumonia. We focus on child and maternal health, using basic medicines, supplies, and interventions to prevent and treat illnesses at the community level. These accomplishments represent some of our 2014 impact:

Over 20 million

people protected from malaria by distributions of long-lasting insecticidal nets

Thanks to the support of World Vision donors worldwide, as well as USAID and Global Fund grants, between 2010 and 2014.


children reached with health and/or nutrition programs

Thanks to the support of World Vision donors in the United States.


community health workers trained to support maternal and child health

Thanks to the support of World Vision donors in the United States.

Evaluations and Evidence

Health System in South Sudan strengthened through World Vision and USAID project, results published in journal

World Vision implemented the community-based Maternal and Child Health Transformation (MaCHT) project from 2010 to 2014 in fragile-state South Sudan, funded by USAID. This program supported health system strengthening, mainly in the areas of service delivery, health workforce, and medical products, vaccines, and technologies. The project also informed policy at district and national levels and repositioned the maternal, neonatal, and child health (MNCH) agenda to further scale up these activities. An evaluation of the project showed progress and challenges in health system strengthening for maternal health practices and community case management of diarrhea, pneumonia, and malaria in children under five. Coverage of essential maternal and child healthcare (MCH) increased in all single interventions, ranging from a minimum of 5% points to a maximum of 49% points during the implementation period. Read the full article and results of the evaluation in the peer reviewed African Evaluation Journal

Family planning services can be integrated with nutrition-sensitive interventions that address the underlying and systemic causes of malnutrition. The USAID-funded Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance Project (FANTA) conducted an extensive desk review to identify and synthesize programmatic experiences, including integration models, platforms, contact points, and providers used for integrated nutrition and family planning service delivery. One of three case studies they developed highlights World Vision’s USAID-funded Sak Plen REP program in Haiti to illustrate one way programs can successfully integrate family planning in a large-scale food security project. Read the case study here (.pdf).


Our Approach

+ What does World Vision do to improve children’s health?

We’ve centered our health strategy on mothers and young children through a continuum of care and life cycle approach to promote health and nutrition practices and prevent major causes of disease. World Vision uses the WHO and UNICEF integrated approach in its health programming for the well-being of children and management of childhood illnesses through immunizations, community case management of diarrhea and acute respiratory diseases, and promotion of bed nets for use against malaria.

This strategy is in alignment with our goal to help meet the health-related U.N. Millennium Development Goals to reduce deaths of children under 5 years of age; reduce maternal deaths; and combat HIV and AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, neglected tropical diseases, pneumonia, diarrheal diseases, and other infectious diseases.

Our approach focuses on improving the availability and accessibility of seven proven and affordable interventions for pregnant women and 11 interventions (7-11 strategy) for children under 24 months of age, a critical time to establish healthy physical and developmental growth.

These interventions include:

  • Basic medicines and products used to prevent and treat illnesses at the community level
  • Working with local health workers, in-country partners, and communities
  • Providing products, training, supervision, and financial support
  • Addressing under-nutrition, which contributes to 45 percent of deaths of children under 5

+ How does healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies contribute to health?

Early marriage with early first pregnancy and closely spaced subsequent pregnancies and births are among the most frequent causes of infant and maternal mortality and abortion in developing countries. 

It has been demonstrated that culturally appropriate programs promoting the healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies (HTSP) save millions of infant, child, and maternal lives and prevent abortion.  HTSP could prevent as many as one-third of maternal deaths by enabling women to delay their first pregnancy to at least age 18, space pregnancies by two to five years, protect women from unplanned pregnancy, and limit childbearing to a mother’s healthiest years.

World Vision’s experience with HTSP programs has demonstrated that holistic community and family-based approaches that stress the health, livelihood, and educational outcomes of better birth spacing are highly effective and can improve access by women and girls to education and income-generating activities, reduce birth-related physical impairment and stigma (such as fistula), and improve infant and child nutrition—the cornerstone of lifetime health.

+ What do you do about HIV and AIDS?

Our integrated approach considers the global scope of the problem, down to the toll the disease takes on the most vulnerable children. World Vision’s interventions include prevention education; prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV; and caring for those infected with the disease or affected by it.

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.

+ What about malaria? Do you distribute bed nets?

World Vision works in 63 of the 106 countries where malaria is endemic, and in 14 of the 19 countries targeted by the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative. World Vision supports the Roll Back Malaria Partnership targets of reducing malaria deaths by the end of 2015 to near zero and reducing global malaria cases by 75 percent from the 2000 level.

To achieve these targets, we provide technical support to train local ministry of health, clinic, and government staff in pharmaceutical management and malaria case management among pregnant women and children.

We also distribute long-lasting, insecticidal bed nets (LLINs) in communities where malaria is prevalent. Bed nets are a proven and effective part of the World Health Organization’s recommended strategy to prevent infections and deaths from malaria. World Vision distribution of LLINs consists of the following core activities:

  • Distribution of nets village by village, covering whole communities to reduce the spread of the mosquito-transmitted disease
  • Providing volunteer caregivers to help villagers install the bed nets and use them properly and consistently
  • Educating communities about malaria, its mode of transmission through mosquitoes, and malaria prevention strategies
  • Supporting indoor residual spraying (IRS) of mosquito-infested areas when necessary
  • Advocating with the international community to increase funding for malaria control and eradication efforts

+ What about other infectious diseases? What are you doing to address those?

World Vision is committed to the goal of reaching zero tuberculosis (TB) deaths among children worldwide by partnering with governments to raise awareness, addressing co-infections of TB and HIV, strengthening community systems, and increasing diagnosis and Directly Observed Treatment Short-course (DOTS) enrollment. We implement TB projects all over the world, including many funded by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.

World Vision also has over 25 years of global experience fighting neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), a group of infections that are especially endemic among low-income populations in developing regions of Africa, Asia, and the Americas. The World Health Organization includes 17 diseases in this category, and in sub-Saharan Africa, the impact of these diseases as a group is comparable to malaria and tuberculosis. These neglected diseases can also make HIV and AIDS more deadly.

We collaborate with local ministries of health, other aid organizations, and private companies to address NTDs through mass distribution of food products, drugs (primarily Albendazole, Mebendazole, and vitamin A), medical supplies, and water and sanitation.

Our Areas of Impact

Our Impact: Clean Water | World Vision

Clean Water

The foundation of life, health, and freedom from poverty

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Our Impact: Child Protection | World Vision

Child Protection

Preventing child trafficking, child labor, exploitation, abuse, and neglect

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Our Impact: Disaster Relief | World Vision

Disaster Relief

Life-saving emergency relief and long-term response

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Our Impact: Economic Development | World Vision

Economic Development

Financial empowerment for communities

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Our Impact: Education | World Vision


Equipping children for a future of opportunity

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Our Impact: Food & Agriculture | World Vision

Food & Agriculture

Building food security; fighting hunger and malnutrition

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Our Impact: Health | World Vision


Promoting well-being for children, families, and communities

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Our Impact: U.S. Work | World Vision

U.S. Work

Assisting and empowering our American neighbors

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Our Impact: Our Faith | World Vision

Our Faith

Following Jesus’ example through our global work

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Our Impact: Gender | World Vision


Promoting gender equality to bring fullness of life for all

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