Health and nutrition for every last child

We are committed to ensuring that every child, regardless of their origin, gender or needs, has access to primary health care. Our goal is that by 2030, no child under the age of five should die from preventable causes.

Every five seconds a child dies somewhere in the world. They die from preventable causes such as diarrhoea, pneumonia, malaria, premature births, complications during pregnancy or childbirth. In many countries of the world there is neither clean water nor sufficient food nor functioning health systems.

For this reason, Save the Children is committed at national and international level to implementing political and financial measures to improve health systems in developing countries. We work with governments and partners to develop poverty reduction strategies and improve basic health services such as mother-child care, vaccination programmes and prenatal care. In addition, we are committed to improving nutrition for children to save lives and enable them to develop healthily.

122 Mio.

children we have helped to survive in the last ten years.

Our Vision

By 2030 no child under the age of five dies of preventable causes.

Help for the youngest

We promote and support the nutrition of infants in order to guarantee their survival and enable healthy physical and cognitive development.

Malnutrition is the cause of almost half of all child deaths. Malnourished children are more susceptible to disease and are usually less educated and in poorer health. Hunger weakens children and they cannot fight diseases such as diarrhoea or pneumonia. For those who survive, malnutrition also has a major impact in the first years of life. Many suffer from physical and mental impairments throughout their lives.

Our nutrition programmes for mothers, infants and newborns focus on the “first 1000 days” – the time between pregnancy and a child’s second birthday. They aim to ensure adequate food and nutritional intake for pregnant women and infants, effective feeding and care practices for infants and young children, and protection against infectious diseases. This way, we start where a big difference can be made for children.

5.3 Mio.

children died of malnutrition in 2018.

Our community approach in our health projects

In our health programmes we try to involve whole communities in the project work. In this way, children can be treated at home even in remote areas, which can often prove to be a life-saving factor.

Basic medical care should be a fundamental right for all people. Whether they are poor or rich, living in the countryside or in the city. Together with health care institutions, governments, non-governmental organisations, those responsible in towns and villages and children, we work to provide affordable and good medical care for all people. To improve the quality of existing health services, we also support the health authorities by training medical staff, providing equipment and transport and setting up health stations.

Preventable diseases - often fatal diseases for disadvantaged children

In the first years of life, children are particularly vulnerable and need special care. Save the Children has set itself the goal that no child under the age of five should suffer from preventable but often fatal diseases for the youngest.

Millions of children around the world die of preventable diseases. Pneumonia, diarrhoea and malaria account for 28% of all deaths among children under five, despite the established, cost-effective measures to prevent and treat these and other infectious diseases. Save the Children’s health programs focus on empowering health workers and others to use these proven interventions to reach children who need them. In our efforts, we focus on the three major child killers: pneumonia, diarrhoea and malaria.

It is primarily the most disadvantaged children who face the most serious threats. They are rarely vaccinated and are most likely to face increased background risks associated with poverty, malnutrition and air pollution. By supporting vaccination campaigns for the most vulnerable groups, we know that we can save more children’s lives from pneumonia. In 2018, we supported more than 530,000 vaccinations against pneumonia in at least 17 countries.

Icon Medikament

Pneumonia In 2018, we supported more than 530,000 vaccinations against pneumonia in at least 17 countries.