Child Health

Child Health

Every year Partners In Health provides free, comprehensive medical care to hundreds of thousands of children. We strive to ensure that children have access to basic rights and services that have virtually eliminated deaths from common childhood ailments in rich countries.

Two children sit together while their mothers cook together at a nutrition event in Kono, Sierra Leone

Two children sit together while their mothers cook at a nutrition event in Kono, Sierra Leone (Photo by Emma Minor and John Ra / Partners In Health)

A group of children sit reading a book together in Haiti
Children share a book at Zanmi Beni, a children’s home founded shortly after the devastating earthquake on January 12, 2010, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. (Photo courtesy of Tranquillin Ricardo for Partners In Health)

Challenges facing children in resource-poor settings.

Each year, nearly 6 million children die before reaching their fifth birthday. More than half of these deaths are caused by conditions that are preventable or treatable, including pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria, measles, and malnutrition. This means that every day 20,000 children are killed by conditions that could be prevented or cured with simple, affordable remedies—vaccinations, bed nets, food, clean drinking water, and antibiotics.

About 600 children are infected with HIV each day, the vast majority of whom reside in poor countries. Most of these infants could be protected from infection through effective testing and treatment—as they are in wealthy countries, where mother-to-child transmission of HIV has been nearly eliminated.

Child malnutrition also has a devastating impact on children in poor countries world-wide, contributing to premature death, stunting and damage to physical and cognitive development.

Our Response

PIH strives to eliminate this unnecessary suffering and death by ensuring all children have access to health care, food and education — all foundations for a healthy, productive life.

In Haiti, PIH Canada has supported the construction and operations of pediatric facilities at hospitals in Mirebalais and St-Marc, enhancing staffing, equipment and quality of care for children and infants. Through the use of mobile malnutrition clinics that reach into the most remote communities, we are providing malnourished children with care and access to Nourimanba, a locally produced peanut-based, high-calorie food. Community health workers serve as a bridge between the mobile clinics and health centers and hospitals, ensuring proper patient follow-up and links to more specialized care for the most severe cases.

In 2018, of the 5,594 patients completing a malnutrition program,

1 %
(4,697) were cured.
Lovenyou Pierre, a 17-month-old malnutrition patient, peeks from behind his mother’s legs outside his home in Boucan Carré, Haiti. Photo by Cecille Joan Avila / PIH

When he was 17 months old, and extremely ill, Lovenyou Pierre’s mother, Jodanie Louis, rushed him from their home in Boucan Carré, Haiti, to PIH’s University Hospital in Mirebalais.

After eight days in the hospital suffering from a fever and diarrhea, he received his diagnosis: severe malnutrition—a typical case in Haiti, where 1 in 5 children are

starving and 1 in 3 are stunted because they don’t have enough to eat.

PIH doctors and nurses immediately enrolled Lovenyou in our malnutrition program. Every week, his family took him to the PIH-operated malnutrition clinic in Boucan Carré for a check-up.

With each visit, nurses weighed and measured Lovenyou and supplied

Jodanie with Nourimanba, the nutrient-enriched peanut paste PIH manufactures for malnourished children. Jodanie religiously fed Nourimanba to Lovenyou three times a day.

Within four months, he had gained weight and grown taller, and was well enough to run around with the other kids in his neighborhood.

Please donate to help us eliminate child deaths due to malnutrition everywhere we work.

Related Stories

No Small Thing: Improved Care for Newborns in Sierra Leone

A new neonatal ward allowed Naphtal to survive—and give others hope Posted on January 19, 2020 Fourteen weeks ahead of his due date, Naphtal was unexpectedly delivered on a rural farm on the edge of Kono District, Sierra Leone, miles away from any health facility. He and his mother, who

Read More »

A Look Inside Our Future Maternal Health Center In Sierra Leone

Explore the patient-centred, innovative design of the future MCOE Posted on January 19, 2020 In 2017, facing Sierra Leone’s long-standing maternal health crisis, Partners In Health leaders sat in a conference room in Kono District—statistically one of the most dangerous places to give birth in the world—and dreamed big: What

Read More »

Keep up to date

Sign up to receive email updates about the important work of Partners In Health Canada.