COVID-19 has exposed the massive health inequalities between rich and poor.
Our Health programs sees communities' health and wellbeing as a prerequisite for long-term development, as ill health only exacerbates poverty and disadvantage.
Health care in developing countries
Lack of access to affordable health care is a major challenge for low-income communities, and COVID-19 has only further exposed the health inequalities between rich and poor.
Our Health initiatives program addresses public health threats, connects communities to health services, trains medical professionals, and addresses gaps in hygiene and nutrition to help communities achieve the wellbeing that underpins their other development goals.
All our Health programs now include COVID-19 awareness and health promotion activities.
Relevance to the SDGs
Our Health program is linked to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
Building healthy communities in Africa
In Africa, we focus on incorporating health outcomes into our food and water security programs. By increasing access to clean water and nutritious foods, and educating households about food preparation, we reduce malnutrition and stunting. With extra income from cash crops, families are also able to pay for doctors’ visits and medication.
Building healthy communities in Asia
In Vietnam, we focus on one of the largest public health threats in the developing world – mosquito-borne disease. In partnership with the World Mosquito Program and Monash University, we are working to reduce the incidence of vector-borne diseases such as dengue, Zika, and chikungunya using a ground-breaking methodology.
Meanwhile, in Bangladesh and Myanmar, we are building the capacity of the existing health service to address clubfoot. By training local health care workers and supporting a network of clinics, we have treated over 28,000 children with clubfoot and established a social enterprise that ensures underprivileged families can access no- or low-cost care.
Building healthy communities in the Pacific
Our work in the Pacific focuses on health promotion with remote island communities, focusing on the importance of hygiene, sanitation, nutrition, and COVID-19 prevention. As in Africa, this work is closely linked with our food security and water security programming, which increases access to fresh water and nutritious foods.
In Timor-Leste, where 50 per cent of children under five are stunted, we support a malnutrition rehabilitation and education centre. We also target people experiencing psychosocial issues, including survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking, with emergency services and counselling.
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