Millions of children under age five worldwide live in remote areas where care from trained health professionals is more than a day’s walk away. The severe shortages of health workers — and the relatively inexpensive medications they provide — mean that children are dying from malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia, and other treatable diseases.
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How You Can Help
Deliver life-saving interventions to children living in remote areas by supporting a community case management (CCM) program. These programs use trained and supervised community health workers to provide basic health education, prevention information, and diagnosis and treatment for the most common life-threatening childhood illnesses.
High Impact Opportunity
When the CCM approach was used in Africa and Asia to deliver antibiotics for pneumonia, the biggest killer of children under five, studies showed a 24 percent reduction in overall death rates for young children. In Mali, the nonprofit Save the Children worked with the Ministry of Health to give trained local health workers community drug kits, thus offering families access to oral rehydration therapy for diarrhea, antimalarial medications, and other life-saving therapies. We estimate that when this model is implemented with local and international partners in rural Mali, it saves a child’s life for approximately $1000.
Organizations such as Save the Children, UNICEF, and International Rescue Committee have been supporting this effective approach in communities throughout the world. You can find other organizations through the Core Group, an umbrella organization of nonprofits that work on community-based maternal and child-health interventions.
Look for organizations that have a track record of experience, trust working with the local population, and a process for self-evaluation for continuous improvement. Health workers should have ongoing support and training through an explicit system of supervision.
For more information on the CCM approach and our analysis of this philanthropic opportunity, see our guide Lifting the Burden of Malaria, pages 18-19.