Child health

Nyaluak Puk with her 12-month-old son in South Sudan

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Every child deserves the chance to live a healthy and secure life

  • 19,000 children younger than age 5 die every day
  • more than 7 million children will die before their 5th birthday this year
  • more than 70% of under-5 deaths occur within the first year of life
  • a child dies from malaria every 60 seconds

Nearly all of these deaths occur in poor countries and almost every one of them can be prevented.

The good news is that low-cost interventions, such as adequate nutrition, bed nets and skilled health workers, keep children alive. In fact, in the world as a whole, child mortality rates have dropped 70% during the past 50 years.

But there is much more to be done. Children in poor communities are many times more likely to suffer ill-health, to have their development stunted by malnutrition, or to die from preventable illnesses, than children in richer communities and countries.

We focus on helping children in the poorest communities and the most vulnerable circumstances, including:

  • nutritional support and vaccinations for children affected by conflict and disasters
  • nutritional screening and programmes to improve nutrition for growing children
  • treatment and prevention programmes for diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and polio
  • training of community-based child health workers
  • initiatives to lessen the impact of HIV and AIDS on orphans and vulnerable children
  • training and advice for mothers on nutrition and health care for their children