Invest in community-based health and development programs

2012 Update:

For donors interested in child and maternal health, we provide a case study of the Comprehensive Rural Health Project (CRHP) based in Jamkhed, India. For more donor resources, please visit the Child Survival Toolkit

Download the pdf.

Worldwide millions of people suffer and die annually from preventable and treatable diseases because they lack access to health services. Fortunately, there are high impact solutions that can ensure the health of communities by providing essential medical care and prevention.

How You Can Help

Support community-based primary healthcare systems — a proven, cost-effective way of bringing health services to even the poorest, most remote communities. These systems reach people where they live. They provide access to prevention and treatment services, health education, and advanced hospital care and essential surgery in emergencies. In addition, they address the root causes of poor health, such as the need for clean water and nutrition.

High Impact Opportunity

Around the world, these comprehensive systems have decreased sickness and death for the most vulnerable people, particularly children and pregnant women, and at the same time increased the health of the overall population served. For example, compared to the rest of Haiti, risk of death before age five was 58 percent lower in communities served by the Hôpital Albert Schweitzer (HAS) Health System. While costs vary by country, results from Haiti’s HAS Health System translate into an estimated cost of less than $3000 to avert a child’s death.

Take Action

You can support effective communitybased primary healthcare systems throughout the world. The Comprehensive Rural Health Project (CRHP), Jamkhed in the Maharashtra state of India, BRAC in Bangladesh, and programs linked to Partners In Health in countries that include Rwanda, Haiti, and Malawi are among organizations that use this model.


Look for programs in which community health workers, mobile clinics, and health educators reach people where they live; programs that employ local people, which enhances effectiveness and sustainability; and those in which there are linkages to programs in literacy, improved agricultural and food security, clean water and sanitation, and income-generating activities.

For detailed examples and additional tips, see our guide Haiti: How Can I Help?, pages 5-12.

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