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Public Health

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Context

Despite significant progress, every day 19,000 children under five die, nearly half of these in the first 28 days of life, and 800 women die from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. Malnutrition is the most important underlying cause of child and maternal deaths, contributing to more than 45% of child deaths and to at least one fifth of all maternal deaths. The majority of these deaths occurs in developing countries and could be prevented or easily treated however basic healthcare and key related services, particularly water and sanitation, still fail to reach the majority of people living in resource-poor countries. The developing world also bears the brunt of the global burden of infectious diseases with over 95% of tuberculosis cases and people living with HIV in developing countries.

Our work

Mercy Corps’ programs aim to support optimal health for people and nations by improving their health, nutrition and water and sanitation conditions. We believe in strengthening local systems, improving peoples’ access to health, nutrition and water and sanitation services, and promoting key behaviors and practices that improve the health and well-being of individuals and communities.

Our approach

With the goal of Improved Health and Well-being of Individuals and Communities, Mercy Corps strengthens the key systems that support improved health and nutrition outcomes in the long term to enable them to address disparities systematically through community-based, health facility-based, and policy level interventions. Our primary strengths are in bringing preventive and first level care closer to home through community health workers, ensuring quality facility care at the first level of referral, advocating for key policy and regulation decisions which benefit the health needs of the most vulnerable, improving quality of care through the private sector, and integrating multiple sectors required for optimal health and nutrition. While Mercy Corps focuses on four technical areas of intervention [maternal, newborn and child health; nutrition; infectious diseases and; water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)] we underscore the importance of integrated programming to achieve optimal health and nutrition for all.

Learn more about our Public Health and Nutrition Approach ▸

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