Overview

We believe every mother and child has a right to health care and an opportunity to flourish, no matter where they live. Sadly, even the most basic health information, care, and support are out of reach for millions of people in poverty.

Imagine a world in which one of the most dangerous things a woman can do is get pregnant. That same world is equally dangerous for her young children, who are vulnerable to a host of preventable diseases that can take their lives — provided they survive their birth.

Though progress is being made, children born into poverty are almost twice as likely to die before the age of 5. In fact, every year, more than 5 million children around the world die before they reach their fifth birthday—more than half of them in sub-Saharan Africa*.

Most of these deaths are caused by complications during pregnancy and childbirth, pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria, or malnutrition. The worst part? The vast majority are entirely preventable and treatable. World Vision is determined — with your help — to put a stop to these needless tragedies.

We know what works, and we’ve built a strong foundation for expanding our efforts to provide life-saving health information, training, and care for families in some of the world’s poorest and most remote areas. We train thousands of volunteers as frontline care providers and partner with thousands of faith leaders — right in these villages — to deliver and reinforce the often simple solutions that help mothers and children not just survive, but thrive.

God cares for every last mother, just as He cares for every last child. With your partnership, we are making a significant impact, bringing life and hope to mothers and children in the world’s toughest places.

Why it matters

Despite global progress over the last 30 years, there is still a massive gap in basic health care in poor rural communities, exacerbated by the secondary impacts of COVID-19.

  • In areas where World Vision works, only half the health clinics have clean water, and 84% don't even have basic hand washing facilities.
  • An estimated 830 women die each day from preventable causes associated with pregnancy and childbirth.**
  • Nearly half of all deaths among children under 5 happen in the first month of their lives.*

*UNICEF, Levels and Trends in Child Mortality, September 2020  |  **WHO, Trends in Maternal Mortality: 2000 to 2017, September 2019

We believe that all people deserve accessible, quality healthcare, and we are committed to doing our part to make this happen. … World Vision allows us to live our mission in a way that is aligned with our values.

Dr. Anne Eiting Klamar President and CEO of Midmark

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We have an opportunity to focus global attention on what should be obvious: Every mother, and every child, counts. They count because we value every human life. The evidence is clear that healthy mothers and children are the bedrock of healthy and prosperous communities and nations.

Dr. Lee Jong-wook Director- General, World Health Organization (2003-2006)

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Our Approach

World Vision’s approach is founded on evidence-based, cost-effective practices that address the primary causes of mother and child death and illness.

We invest particularly in pregnant women and the first 1,000 days of her child’s life in 3 critical ways:

  1. Prevention
    Local community health workers empower women with vital health knowledge and support, so they and their children are less likely to fall victim to malnutrition, disease, and sickness in the first place. We also engage faith leaders in the communities to reinforce healthy practices with their congregations.

  2. Treatment
    Community health workers are further trained and equipped to quickly diagnose and provide treatment to children who may be suffering with malaria, pneumonia, or diarrhea. This immediate, in-home care can make the difference between life and death – particularly in rural areas where the closest health clinic is far away.

  3. Upgrading Health Clinics
    Critical gaps are filled at rural health clinics, so they have a better chance of successfully treating their patients. This includes providing clean water and handwashing facilities, medical equipment and supplies, medicines, and staff training.
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Leveraging donated medical supplies
medical.jpgIn 2020, World Vision shipped more than 1,000 pallets of medical supplies worth $4.2 million to 24 countries, thanks to generous corporate partners.

World Vision strengthens existing health systems and advocates for improved services and supplies. But where gaps exist, we use donated medical supplies and equipment to augment our work, ensure delivery of quality health and nutrition services, and build the capacity of community systems to better address and monitor causes of illness.

Too often rural health clinics lack the medical supplies necessary to meet the healthcare needs of children and families. Ensuring community health workers have adequate medicines and supplies is one of the most powerful ways to reduce deaths in young children.

Celebrating Phase 1 Impact

In 2016, World Vision launched Phase 1 of our Mother and Child Health Signature Initiative with projects in Somalia, Uganda, and Zambia.

These projects are now complete, and we are pleased to report that we reached more than 700,000 women and children, exceeding our target by 63%. Together with our partners, we increased capacity in health facilities, trained more than 7,000 community health workers, and delivered double-digit impact on key indicators.

  • 94% of the malnourished children we treated in our Somalia project areas made a full recovery.
  • Infant mortality in our Uganda project areas was reduced by 27%.
  • Exclusive breastfeeding rates in our Zambia project areas increased from 71% to 88%.
  • Assisted births in our Uganda project areas improved from 56% to 89%.

Expanding in Phase 2

Currently we are raising funds for two new projects in even more desperate and hard to reach areas.

zambia_mapNorthern Zambia | Southern Africa Region
Our $3.9 million project in Luwingu aims to reach more than 40,000 women and children under 5 across the entire district with vital health information, treatment, and access to better health care.

 



niger_mapNiger | West Africa Region
Our $10 million project in the Dosso and Maradi regions aims to reach more than 167,000 women and children under 5 across three districts with vital health information, treatment, and access to better health care.

 

With your partnership, we can ease suffering and bring life and hope to 200,000 more women and children. Please join us.

Videos

2016 - 2020 Highlights

917,723

women and children under 5 provided with healthcare and nutrition services

7,629

community health workers trained to provide frontline care

138

rural health clinics upgraded

News and Stories

Our team of experts

Shelby Benson
Vice President, PQI
Seth Marcus
Senior Health Program Manager