Your health shouldn’t depend on where you are born.
In the last 15 years, thanks to amazing partnerships across the world, 500 million children have been immunised against disease, preventing 6 million deaths and we are on the brink of eradicating polio. Good nutrition for more mothers and babies is helping children to thrive at school. And trained health workers and better medical facilities are helping to diagnose and treat millions of people for diseases like tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, before it’s too late.
Yet despite progress, in many countries health services are still weak – or worse, non-existent. 1.8 million people needlessly die of TB, 5.9 million children die from diseases like pneumonia and diarrhoea because they didn’t have access to basic immunisations and 3.1 million die from undernutrition, the largest single largest killer of children under 5. Far too often, it is the poorest and most vulnerable that are being left behind.
TB kills around 1.8 million people each year, despite being preventable, detectable, and curable. People from the poorest parts of the world are acutely vulnerable to TB, but the disease has a foothold in nearly every country, including the UK and across the EU, where rates are rising dramatically.
In many areas with high TB rates, people often have poor access to health services, meaning they go undiagnosed and continue to spread, suffer and die from the disease. Due to a lack of investment in TB, the current drugs, diagnostics (tests for finding the disease) and vaccine are all completely outdated. Most were invented decades ago and are not a product of modern medicine. Treatment for TB still takes six months and leaves patients struggling with side effects, making them more likely to interrupt treatment and develop drug resistance.
5.9 million children under the age of five die every year from a range of mainly preventable diseases. Our work on child health is about bringing this number down to zero.
Globally, child deaths have fallen substantially over the last two decades, with under five deaths decreasing by over 50% between 1990 and 2014. However, more than 16,000 children under 5 still die everyday. The majority of these deaths can be prevented using simple, proven, and cost-effective interventions such as cheap, easy to administer vaccines. Yet these are not reaching the poorest and most vulnerable children who need them the most.
Every year, 3.1 million children die from undernutrition - making it the single largest killer of children under five worldwide. More broadly, undernutrition negatively impacts almost every aspect of a child’s early development, from making them more susceptible to deadly illnesses, to stunting their growth, to reducing their ability to learn at school.
Excellent progress has been made to reduce extreme poverty and hunger, and the availability of basic foods has increased, but for millions of children, a narrow diet makes it impossible to get the vitamins and minerals they need to lead healthy, happy lives.
We’re working to….
- Political Will: We’re working to raise the profile of these issues with UK and international policy makers and parliamentarians, helping them to understand the need for investment in health, and the type of policies and interventions that achieve results.
- Policy change: We’re working to ensure evidence based health policies and programmes, in both donor and developing countries, are designed and implemented to reach the poorest and marginalised individuals, families and communities.
- Resource Mobilisation: We’re working across the world to advocate for governments to increase financing for health. We call on donors to ensure that vital organisations like the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, and The Global Polio Eradication Initiative have the financing they need to carry out their life-saving work.