The challenge: Globally, at least 400 million people lack access to essential health services. Every year, more than five million children die globally before their fifth birthday largely due to preventable or treatable illness, and this risk is twice as high for children born into poverty. Risks are also high for women: the proportion of women who do not survive childbirth is 14 times higher in the developing world than it is in developed countries like Canada.
Moreover, global nutrition statistics indicate that almost half of deaths in children under five are linked to poor nutrition, and 790 million people worldwide do not have the calories they need to reach their full potential. Access to and uptake of health and nutrition services are also often hindered by gender, social, cultural, and financial barriers, which have implications for lifelong well-being and productivity.
Our solution: We harness the longstanding work of the AKDN with communities and village organizations to enable people – particularly those living in geographically remote areas – to optimize their health and well-being and reach their full potential.
Our programs help people make healthy choices and get quality care when an issue arises – even in remote areas. We promote public and community health awareness, teach and train health professionals of all kinds, and improve health facilities, ranging from basic rural clinics to specialized centres for treatment and research on a global scale. We work with communities to encourage positive health and nutrition behaviours, improve access to nutritious crops, and integrate nutrition into health systems. We aim to build efficient, appropriate, and sustainable health systems, and improve the health and nutritional status, especially for vulnerable groups like women and children.
Building strong foundations for children is key to the future of our world. To help children reach their full potential, families need nutritious food, sanitary living conditions, and quality healthcare – right from the start.
In his rural home in the Kyrgyz Republic, Kurbanaliev Abutalip crouches in front of a makeshift work bench and spreads out his materials: scraps of wood, empty plastic bottles, nails, hammers, screwdrivers, and a saw.
March 22 marks World Water Day. Most Canadians use water every day without thinking twice: to quench thirst, prepare meals, and bathe. But in the developing world – where clean, safe water can be scarce – these simple daily routines put lives at risk.