Saving the lives of children


The death of a child is something a parent should never have to experience. Yet in 2012, 6.6 million children died before their fifth birthday, mainly from preventable and treatable illnesses.

Millions of children become sick or die because they don’t have access to basic health services or proper nutrition. Treatable diseases like pneumonia, diarrhoea, measles and malaria, as well as HIV/AIDS and neo-natal conditions that occur during or after childbirth are the biggest causes of child deaths.

The health and survival of mothers is critical. A child whose mother dies in childbirth is much more likely to die than a child whose mother survives. Read our latest State of the World’s Mothers report to learn how different countries are tracking in maternal and child health services.

We know that children shouldn’t die from preventable illnesses, especially when there are simple and low-cost solutions that can help.

Improving children’s health

As a global leader in improving children’s health, ensuring children grow up healthy is one of our highest priorities. From training village health workers to deliver life-saving care for newborns, to reproductive health and nutrition programs for children at school, we work in the Asia-Pacific region and in Australia  to strengthen the health care systems. We also provide emergency healthcare for children and families who have been affected by conflict, political instability or natural disasters.

We work in countries like Afghanistan – where 282 children still die every day – where health standards are among the worst in the world. Last year, we established five mobile health teams and treated more than 2395 children for acute malnutrition in our Children of Uruzgan program in Uruzgan - a province where one-third of the population doesn’t have access to any health services.

In Laos, we work with local authorities to strengthen their health systems and capacity of staff, so more children and mothers can access life-saving care. Thanks to our partnership with local, district and provincial health departments, infant, child and maternal mortality rates in the provinces that we work in through our Primary Health Care program are the lowest in the country.

To reduce the transmission of AIDS and HIV to newborns and the infection of young people, we raise awareness on how to stay safe and support families. In 2013, we provided more than 1850 education sessions, and peer-educator sessions which reached more than 4600 male and female sex workers through our HIV and AIDS program in Papua New Guinea

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Help give children a better future