The relationship between poverty and access to health care is part of a larger cycle, where poverty leads to ill health, and ill health maintains poverty. Those trapped in poverty within developing countries often do not have access to health services.
Good health is often taken for granted but is essential for a productive society. A healthy population is a necessary catalyst for economic and social development. Every community needs a healthy workforce upon which to build its economy, and healthier students are more equipped to learn and be successful academically.
OUR MAIN HEALTH FOCUS AREAS:
WATER & SANITATION
Access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation is essential to human health and survival. But for many people living in low-resource settings, these vital services remain out of reach. More than 700 million people lack access to an improved water source; approximately one in nine people.* Lack of basic sanitation can lead to diarrhea, which is the second leading cause of death among children under five worldwide. It kills more children than malaria, AIDS and the measles combined. It is estimated that improved sanitation facilities can result in an average reduction in cases of diarrhea of more than one-third. Washing hands with soap reduces diarrhea by more than 40%.
MORE THAN 700 MILLION
people still rely on unimproved
drinking water sources
people still lack access to
improved sanitation facilities
Every $1 spent on water and sanitation generates
at least $4 in increased economic opportunity.
The HIV/AIDS pandemic has shown signs of slowing in recent years. However, in many regions the perpetual growth of HIV is largely due to inadequate education regarding the disease and sexual choices. We are fighting for a zero infection rate by shepherding young people through biblical purity and sound medical information. But AIDS isn’t the only killer. Infectious diseases claim thousands of lives – particularly of young children – every year, and yet most of these diseases are readily treatable and easily preventable with the right resources. Nearly half of deaths due to infectious diseases globally, occur in sub- Saharan Africa. Particularly, in sub-Saharan Africa, 89% of those infected with malaria, 77% of HIV/AIDS patients and 31% of tuberculosis patients, die as a result of the disease.
HIV / AIDS
Since the beginning of the epidemic, almost 78 million people have been infected with the HIV virus and about 39 million people have died of HIV. Currently,over 35 million people live with HIV globally. Over 1.5 million people died of AIDS-related illnesses worldwide in 2013 alone. Sub-Saharan Africa remains the most severely affected, with nearly 1 in every 20 adults living with HIV and accounting for nearly 71% of the people living with HIV worldwide.
Tuberculosis (TB) is second only to HIV/AIDS as the greatest killer worldwide due to a single infectious agent. HIV and TB form a lethal combination, each speeding the others progress. People who are infected with HIV are 26 to 31 times more likely to become sick with TB. Approximately 25% of deaths among HIV-positive people are due to TB. In 2013, there were an estimated 1.1 million new cases of TB among people who were HIV-positive, 78% of whom were living in Africa.
Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease caused by a parasite. People with malaria often experience fever, chills and flu-like illness. Left untreated, they may develop severe complications and die. In 2012, an estimated 207 million cases of malaria occurred worldwide and 627,000 people died, mostly young children in sub-Saharan Africa. It contributes to poverty; in Africa alone, the cost of illness, treatment, and premature death from malaria is at least $12 billion per year.
“Monday though Friday I visit my neighbors
in their homes and I bring them medication
that they need to be well. Every day they
have someone that comes to see them,
someone to talk with them who understands
their struggles and their pain. Every day I
choose to live my life, and every day I help
others do the same.”
COMMUNITY HEALTH VOLUNTEER
MANY OF THE COUNTRIES WE WORK IN
HAVE VERY HIGH HIV/AIDS ADULT PREVALENCE RATES
“If by 2025 millions of African people are still becoming infected with HIV each year…it will not be because there was no choice. It will not be because there was no understanding of the consequences of the decisions and actions taken now… it will be because there was no will to make the hard choices and the courage to adopt the required behaviors now. It will be because there was insufficient will collectively to change the forces driving the epidemic now. What we do today will change the future.”
STORIES OF TRANSFORMATION