Millions of children die each year, many from causes that could be prevented, such as diarrhea and pneumonia. At Save the Children, we strive to ensure that no child will die from preventable causes before his or her fifth birthday.
*Data from Save the Children UK
1 IN 5 CHILD
Our Work on Pneumonia
Our Impact in 2022
Save the Children Hong Kong supported children’s health and nutrition programmes in Afghanistan and Bangladesh, directly improving the lives of 135,681 children and adults.
Afghanistan: Tackling Child Malnutrition Through Food Security and Nutrition Education
In Afghanistan, malnutrition is a significant challenge due to longstanding conflict and climate related shocks. Our programme aims to address the root causes of malnutrition by providing access to nutritious food, educating mothers on optimal nutrition, and providing regular screening and referrals to health services for pregnant and lactating mothers and children. Majid is a father of seven from the Balkh province of Afghanistan. He and his family face harsh living conditions due to extreme temperatures, with summer highs above 40°C and winter lows as cold as -22°C. The programme supported Majid’s household by providing training in kitchen gardening and vegetable production, enabling them to improve their farming practices and access nutritious food.
“The training on kitchen gardening was extremely useful to enhance my farm’s benefits and beneficial for my family, providing us with nutritious food from the garden, and sometimes I sold some vegetables in the markets which supported my family to meet their other needs,” Majid said.
Women in Afghanistan face significant barriers to accessing health and nutrition resources, exacerbating the issue of malnutrition. Majid’s wife received training on breastfeeding, complementary foods for infants and young children, and how to use kitchen garden produce. As a result, she breastfed their 18-month-old son more often, leading to his healthy growth. Our programme has made a positive impact on the lives of people in Balkh province. Despite the challenging operating environment in Afghanistan, Save the Children will continue to provide training, support, and access to nutritious foods and ensure children in Afghanistan get a healthy start in life.
Indonesia: On-the-ground Assistance for Children Fighting Pneumonia
Pneumonia is the leading cause of death in children under the age of 5, claiming a child’s life every 39 seconds. In solidarity with our global fight against pneumonia, our Patron, Ms. Cathy Chui Lee, generously supported two of the countries hardest-hit by childhood pneumonia – Bangladesh and Indonesia. When baby Sofia was 5 months old, she fell ill with shortness of breath, high body temperature and weight loss. Her parents thought that her condition was nothing to worry about. They assumed Sofia would recover quickly.
However, Sofia’s condition worsened. A village midwife trained by our “STOP Pneumonia Programme” in Indonesia suggested that Sofia should immediately be taken to the community health clinic, where she was diagnosed with severe pneumonia. Sofia was then immediately referred to the district-level hospital, where she spent two weeks in intensive care. After she was released home, health workers from both the village- and community-level made home visits to ensure Sofia was recovering as planned, especially as her parents were sometimes unable to bring her in for check-ups.
STOP Pneumonia saves lives like Sofia’s by ensuring that children receive the care that they need, and ensuring that health workers at each level know how to diagnose, treat, and refer seriously ill children for higher-level medical care when their conditions become urgent. Save the Children provides much-needed on-the-ground assistance to pneumococcal vaccination programmes, trains health workers, and conducts behavioural change and information campaigns, to raise public awareness and promote appropriate health practices within these communities. Thankfully, given these efforts, Sofia is now a healthy and happy 1-year-old.