Reduced Child Mortality
Every year, an estimated 8.8 million children die before their fifth birthday. Healthy children are more likely to attend school and to learn better. Diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria and measles, which are no longer burdens in rich countries, are still the leading cause of child death worldwide. Bishops’ Appeal focuses on projects that care for expectant mothers so they can have a healthy pregnancy, reduce mother to child transmission of HIV, and reduce child mortality through access to soap, hand washing, basic hygiene and sanitation and that support nutrition and access to treatment for children who are aged 5 years and under.
Improved Maternal Health
Every year, an estimated 343,000 mothers die from complications during child birth. The vast majority of maternal and child deaths occur in the world’s poorest countries. Women in sub-Saharan Africa have a one in 22 chance of dying in childbirth, compared to only one in 47,000 for women in Ireland. Weak health systems are one of the biggest reasons behind this enormous gap. A lack of health care workers, clinics and equipment means that many women and children don’t have access to basic health services including immunisations and care for expectant mothers.
Investing in the health of mothers and children could have a lasting impact in the world’s poorest countries. Children who lose their mothers are five times more likely to die in infancy than those who do not.
Bishops’ Appeal supports local and often rural clinics, the training of healthcare workers, and the training of health champions, often local women who can teach others about maternal health and nutrition and encourage parents to access clinics for HIV testing and for post-natal care.
Improved access to healthcare for the world’s poorest people
Malaria, like HIV and Aids, is endemic in some parts of the world. Every 30 seconds a child dies from this easily preventable disease, and it accounts for one-in-fiv childhood deaths globally.
Infection with either malaria or HIV can cause illness or death. But in countries where both infections are common, such as those in sub-Saharan Africa, infection with one can make infection with the other worse, more difficult to treat, and death more likely.
Combined, HIV and malaria account for four million deaths every year.
Bishops’ Appeal has supported education and health projects for the reduction of malaria through the draining of stagnant water and through the use of mosquito nets in some of the worst affected areas in the world.
Water and Sanitation Projects:
Access to safe, clean drinking water is a huge and growing issue for millions of people in the Global South. Having to walk many miles to collect water also takes away from time growing crops and going to school and can be a dangerous trek for women walking alone.
Bishops’ Appeal supports programmes that provide this access to countless communities and schools in a variety of different countries. These include drilling boreholes, harvesting rainwater, constructing latrines (particularly in conflict zones and refugee camps where waterborne diseases are the biggest threat), and providing menstrual hygiene products to girls so they can continue to attend school during their menstrual cycle.
Examples of Bishops’ Appeal funded Health projects include:
- A water purification programme in a regularly flooded community in India.
- Provision of menstrual pads and latrines in a fishing village’s secondary school in Uganda.
- Water and sanitation programmes in Burkina Faso.
- Wheelchairs for people with cerebral palsy in Uganda.
- Mother-child HIV prevention in Malawi.
- HIV/AIDS programmes in Mozambique and India.