Every day 16,000 children under 5 die, often because of preventable and curable diseases. Most of them live in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia.
Since the nineties, we have carried out a wide program against malaria in south east Asia, and we are still active in the fight against this disease in the areas most affected: Southern Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Since 2001, Cesvi has also set up the “Fermiamo l’Aids sul nascere” (Stop Aids at birth) project, by introducing for the first time a treatment protocol mother-child in a rural area of Zimbabwe; the challenge against this pandemic is ongoing in other African countries too.
The objective of our work in the health sector is to curb mortality, suffering and problems related to the health of entire communities assuring as wide an access as possible for everybody to basic services. To reach this end we also act on other more general aspects: improvement of quality of life, the fight against poverty, access to food, water and education, advocacy of gender parity.
Our approach aims to reinforce the health system and the continuity of treatment, paying attention to social aspects, sharing mutual objectives with local communities. For more than 30 years we have tried to enhance self-sufficiency in the countries where we operate, recognizing the importance of training, which is necessary for the local health system to be able to take on the main problem areas once we leave.
The actions that we carry out in the field go from prevention through diagnosis to cure, and result in:
- development of infrastructures (building and restoring of health centers, water supply systems);
- training and professional development of personnel
- purchasing of equipment, sanitary materials and medicines
- screening and diagnostics
- providing nursing and medical services
- awareness and information campaigns even in the most remote villages
In all these cases, women are the “starting point” for bringing benefits to the whole family. In fact, a decisive improvement of health conditions in a country can be obtained by investing in women and their role in prevention and family care.