When tasked with writing a blog post that would be published in the middle of November, my first thought was, “Perfect, easy – everyone loves a post that is comforting, moving and inspiring during the season of giving thanks!” When I learned the blog post topic was global health, well … after the last 18 months we’ve had, all I could think was, “How am I supposed to put a positive spin on global health at a time like this?”
While the state of global health these days may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of silver linings, there are in fact many advancements to be thankful for. Despite setbacks from the pandemic or challenges brought on by natural disasters, we have seen incredible progress in improving the health of people and communities around the world! Embracing technology has allowed organizations to innovate, leading to stronger data and more efficient operations and systems – all of which make us better prepared for the next emergency. People have embraced out-of-the-box solutions to connect patients and doctors, ensuring health is maintained through virtual doctor appointments and opening the door for new channels to access hard-to-reach communities. We are also increasingly cognizant of the inequities faced by different populations, revealing the areas of greatest need and helping us determine where to focus our efforts to achieve improved health for all.
This November, Global Impact is focusing on global health and child survival as our cause of the month. We are featuring six organizations who are at the forefront of global health and development around the world. These organizations are working to ensure that all people have the essentials they need to lead happy and healthy lives. Read on to learn how our charity partners are providing inspiration and hope for a healthier world.
CARE works around the globe to save lives, defeat poverty and achieve social justice. The charity is dedicated to providing hope, dignity and security to all people. CARE has been on the front lines of the pandemic and continues to play a central role in combatting COVID-19. During the pandemic they have responded to needs in 69 countries where they have achieved:
- Clean water supplies for 4.9 million people.
- Hygiene kits for 4.8 million people.
- Food for 4.3 million people who face the threat of malnutrition due to lockdowns or loss of income.
- Cash vouchers for 890,000 people
- COVID-19 prevention and services information to nearly 262.8 million people.
- Community outreach offering prevention education for nearly 20.6 million people, answering questions and dispelling rumors.
- Gender-based violence prevention and response reaching 5.1 million people.
Now that vaccines are available, CARE has taken its more than 20 years in vaccine programming working with governments to support their vaccine distribution campaigns. CARE is lending logistical support, mobilizing their extensive networks of trusted local staff and leveraging their decades-long community partnerships to ensure vaccines are distributed efficiently and equitably to people most at risk, especially women and front-line health workers, like Gabriela Portillo.
Gabriela Portillo is a surgeon and a postgraduate degree candidate on health management. Read how she and her colleagues have adapted during the pandemic to address the needs and deliver necessary supplies and information to communities in Honduras.
Compassion International is dedicated to supporting children living in extreme poverty through a holistic approach to child development focused on their physical, social and economic needs. They begin working with children in their early stages of life, sometimes even while still in the womb, and continue to support them through young adulthood adapting their support as the child’s needs change.
Compassion International’s Survival initiative meets critical needs of babies and mothers around the world. Compassion Survival protects vulnerable babies and supports mothers or primary caregivers through four key service areas:
- Home-based Care: Mothers are visited monthly by a Survival specialist offering prenatal and child-rearing education and biblical mentoring.
- Group-based Learning Activities: Compassion works with a supportive community of parents on basic education and income-generation training to help combat long-term poverty.
- Advocacy for Moms: The charity provides and secures funding for medical treatments, ensures mothers are treated fairly by local services and arranges for birth attendants to assist mothers during childbirth.
- Survival Centers: Compassion provides safe places for new mothers to learn, grow and receive care, while also monitoring their child’s development.
See the impact Compassion Survival has had through one community’s experience: A Journey to Survival.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought on many increased risks and challenges for vulnerable mothers around the world who lack access to vital resources like health care and food. Compassion Survival stepped in to ensure these mothers continued to receive the support they needed. Over the past six months Compassion Survival has been able to:
- Reach 32,484 babies through their services.
- Support 4,165 births (93% of which had healthy birthweights).
- Partner with 1,672 churches to provide survival services.
- Provide prenatal care to 5,491 currently pregnant mothers.
Global Partners in Care
Through partnerships, research and education, and global collaboration Global Partners in Care provides access to care and raises awareness of the need for access to essential hospice and palliative care services around the world.
- Partnerships: Through strategic partnerships across multiple sectors, GPIC enhances access to palliative care and produces better outcomes. GPIC is committed to building mutually beneficial and inclusive partnerships that are collaborative, long-term, trusted and impactful.
- Research and Education: To increase access to palliative care worldwide, GPIC is committed to advancing research and supporting opportunities for learning in the field. They provide education scholarships for African nurses and social workers to further their knowledge in providing palliative care. They are increasing awareness and advocacy for increased palliative care programs through internship opportunities. And, they conduct continuous research to determine needs, evaluate policies and programs and monitor progress in palliative care.
- Global Collaboration: Alongside their strategic partnerships, GPIC seeks to amplify their work with collaborative partnerships with other leaders in global palliative care. Through these partnerships Global Partners in Care and their partners can ensure they are multiplying, not duplicating, their efforts to increase access to quality hospice and palliative care around the globe.
Hear from GPIC Program Coordinator, Denis Kidde about how he was inspired from seeing his mother, the first palliative care nurse in Uganda, work and support patients in need in their community: Denis’ Personal Impact.
Humanity & Inclusion
Humanity and Inclusion supports the some of the most vulnerable communities in 60 countries around the world – countries that are affected by complex challenges like poverty, conflict, exclusion and disaster. They work alongside vulnerable communities and people with disabilities to meet their needs and build a more inclusive world. Humanity and Inclusion’s key areas of work include:
- Rehabilitation: Humanity and Inclusion responds to individual needs supporting their journey to relearn functions and activities that make up daily life.
- Emergency Response: Humanity and Inclusion responds to the world’s most pressing emergencies providing essential resources and health care.
- Protecting Civilians from Explosive Weapons: Humanity and Inclusion educates communities living with explosive remnants of war on safety measures that should be taken, they train teams to clear these weapons, support victims affected by these types of explosions and advocate for an end to bombing civilians.
- Prevention and Health: Humanity and Inclusion is working to ensure every person has a chance at a healthy life through preventing disabling diseases, protecting everyone’s right to health care and providing psychological support.
- Inclusion and Rights: Through their work, planning and advocacy, Humanity and Inclusion promotes respect for every person’s dignity and fundamental rights.
Humanity and Inclusion is dedicated to supporting refugees and internally displaced people affected by conflict. Their teams provide aid and meet the needs of those with disabilities and other vulnerable groups – Like Juma, a 14-year-old Afghan boy, who was injured after an air strike struck his family’s home. Read Juma’s story to learn how Humanity and Inclusion has helped bring back his smile and give hope.
Sightsavers is working toward a world that prevents avoidable blindness and protects the rights of people with disabilities. The charity has helped carry out over 10 million sight-saving eye operations, distribute medication to protect people from blinding diseases and ensure accessible health services to people with disabilities. Along with their sight-saving work, Sightsavers is also dedicated to fighting the five neglected tropical diseases: trachoma, river blindness, lymphatic filariasis, intestinal worms and schistosomiasis. Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) affect over a billion people around the world, mostly in rural or poor urban areas. They are a major cause of preventable blindness or other lifelong impairments, many of which could be prevented, treated and even eliminated.
Sightsavers has distributed millions of donated treatments in over 30 countries, trained and worked with volunteers to check symptoms, and promoted effective hygiene practices that are crucial to preventing the spread and eliminating NTDs. Their work in the distribution of NTD preventative treatments throughout Africa provides invaluable information and experiences that can support COVID-19 vaccine efforts. “Leave no-one behind” has long been their mantra when distributing medications for NTDs, no matter how remote or hard to reach, and has taken on a new weight with the pandemic.
For decades leaders working in NTDs have had to develop strategies in reaching traditionally neglected communities. The campaign to prevent NTDs has provided leaders in the field links to these communities where they are already working, taught them how to effectively treat and prevent the spread of infectious diseases in these regions and how to address the challenge of reaching everyone. Through these experiences, Sightsavers has been able to forge ahead in supporting these communities through the pandemic. They have delivered over 35 million antibiotic treatments and have supported campaigns sharing COVID-19 preventative messaging across Africa.
UNICEF USA is leading efforts in providing the world’s most vulnerable children an equitable chance in life. Through programs focused on providing children the essentials they need to thrive, like health care, safe water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more, UNICEF USA has provided unprecedented support for children.
Many children around the world are faced with extreme levels of distress due to things like poverty, natural disasters or conflict, and the pandemic has only increased these impacts on children and family’s mental health. According to UNICEF, 1 in 7 children lived under a stay-at-home policy for much of last year. The pandemic upset many of the systems and resources families and communities rely on. The fear, anxiety and stress caused during the pandemic heightens risks to the mental health and well-being of children around the world.
This is why mental health interventions have been a key focus area for UNICEF’s humanitarian relief efforts and global response to COVID-19. The charity meets children and families wherever they are in crisis to strengthen and empower them to cope with the challenges they are facing. Alongside their partners, UNICEF provides mental health and psychosocial support through child-friendly spaces that provide safe, nurturing communities to support the healing of children in crisis. They have also developed toolkits to promote and protect adolescent mental health. UNICEF strengthens a child’s network of mental health support by providing their teachers, parents and caregivers coping and mental health advice and peer support groups.
Watch this video to hear how, with the help of UNICEF training, one teacher has been able to continue to support and meaningfully connect with his students in Ecuador throughout the pandemic: UNICEF Won't Stop Supporting Children's Mental Health
Join Global Impact in supporting global health and child survival this month! Health and well-being are central building blocks in fighting poverty and ensuring sustainable development. To ensure everyone can have a healthy future, our charity partners have developed programs for a range of topics, including COVID-19, maternal health, malaria and more.
Share the difference our charities are making by:
- Inviting one of these to join you and your colleagues with a fun lunch and learn event! Email us, and we can take care of the rest.
- Exploring our Global Health and Child Survival Cause Kit to learn more about this cause area and access resources to help get you and your employees more involved!
- Being a global champion! Share about health, survival and other global causes with your friends, family and colleagues.