Health Health

In some of the world’s poorest communities, many people live in areas where health clinics are scarce and access to essential medicine is limited

In some of the world’s poorest communities, many people live in areas where health clinics are scarce and access to essential medicine is limited

For more than a billion people, poverty and poor health are closely connected.

Without decent shelter, clean water, or the tools and knowledge to help prevent the spread of disease, many people are prone to illness, which can be life-threatening.

We’re working hard to improve the health of poor communities, reaching an estimated 10 million people in 2013 through programs that improve access to vital healthcare services, particularly for women and girls. We’re working within local communities with a focus on improving child and maternal healthreducing the impact of HIV/AIDS, and improving health in emergencies.

icons-health-400Fast Facts

  • Preventable diseases are the main causes of children’s deaths under the age of 5.
  • In 2013, worldwide, almost 300,000 women died from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Almost 600 children died every day of AIDS-related causes in 2012.
  • In 2012, there were an estimated 17.8 million children aged under 17 globally who had lost either one parent, or both, to AIDS.

Health in emergencies

During emergencies we’re on the ground, providing vital supplies of food, medicine, and other relief supplies to meet the immediate needs of those affected.

During the ongoing Ebola crisis, our emergency teams are in Sierra Leone and Liberia, helping to stop the spread of disease by distributing hygiene materials such as soap, water buckets, and gloves; showing people proper hand-washing techniques, and promoting hygiene messages through local radio, posters, and leaflet drops. Our continued efforts are vital in helping stop the spread of the epidemic.

In South Sudan, CARE-supported health facilities, including mobile health clinics, are providing life-saving medical services in some of the worst-affected areas of the country. Our medical aid includes nutrition support for malnourished children and pregnant women and vaccinations to prevent the spread of diseases like cholera and malaria.

Child and maternal health

Maternal health is a vital step in helping communities to overcome poverty. A healthy mother is more likely to gain an income, raise healthier children, and be more involved in society.

With an estimated 99 million children under the age of five who are underweight, we’re helping to train mothers in ways that are more likely to see children receive the proper nutrients to help them grow. We’re also helping to educate mothers about proper health and hygiene practices so they can better prevent their children from becoming sick.

Pregnancy is often a vulnerable time for mothers and their babies. Globally, we’re working to train nurses and provide women with better access to antenatal care. As children grow and develop, we support immunisation programs that help prevent them from life-threatening diseases like measles.

Often, women in developing countries have little control over their sexual and reproductive health. When women are free to decide what their family will look like, they are far more likely to lead healthy and productive lives. We’re working to improve access to family planning services and contraception for both women and men so that families can plan ahead for a better future.

CARE is supporting new mothers in Papua New Guinea


In many developing countries, stigma and misinformation surround HIV/AIDS.

Our programs in Papua New Guinea, Malawi, and Myanmar help to reduce the devastating effects of the epidemic by working with people who are most vulnerable to HIV and AIDS infection – migrant workers, intravenous drug users, and sex workers – by providing vital education programs on prevention, testing, and treatment.

We also work with people living with HIV to provide support and medical care and help to change the stigma around the disease.