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:
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.
Successful integration of family planning, nutrition, and food security
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).
Fighting polio around the world
World Vision leads the Core Group Polio Project consortium, funded by USAID and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which works to eliminate polio by strengthening host country efforts at vaccination and social mobilization. An estimated 10,000 volunteers have ensured that 7 million children were vaccinated for polio in our project areas in India, Angola, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Sudan, Kenya, and Somalia. An innovative community-based approach to surveillance is strengthening the detection and reporting of cases of polio. Technical articles on that approach as well as the social mobilization aspect, cross-border initiative, house-to-house visits, and other lessons from the project can be found on the project website.
Essential newborn care in South Sudan
World Vision conducted a research study through a USAID-funded maternal, newborn, and child health project in Warrap State, South Sudan. The study tested how best to supervise illiterate frontline health workers (80 percent of the population is illiterate) to deliver integrated community case management services, which is critical to strengthening health systems. The 13-month study saw accreditation levels rise from 60 percent post-training to 87 percent after a period of supervision. Read the results here.
Another study conducted by World Vision of children living in rural areas of Warrap State, South Sudan, confirmed low coverage of systematic application of essential newborn care and highlighted the need for effective and efficient measures to increase newborn care coverage. It was published in the peer reviewed African Evaluation Journal. Read it here.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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