Health and Medical Interventions Fact Sheet

U.S. Media Contacts:

Tim Glenn (719) 272-5377 and Allison Wilburn (219) 384-8177

For all non-media related inquiries, please call (800) 336-7676, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. MT.

What is it?

In the developing countries where Compassion works, life-threatening illnesses and emergencies have the potential to thwart or completely derail a child’s healthy development and chances for a bright future.

A medical professional providing a health exam to an infant in the mother's arms

Compassion’s health and medical interventions were designed to address imminent health crises to ensure that children continue to progress along Compassion’s holistic child development path.

Key Statistics

  • 5.9 million children under age five died in 2015 from mostly preventable causes. The leading causes of under-five child deaths are attributable to pre-term birth complications, pneumonia, birth asphyxia, diarrhea and malaria. Malnutrition is linked to 45 percent of all child deaths.1 These deaths are concentrated in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and lower income countries.2
  • By the end of 2015, 19.4 million children under one year of age worldwide had not received the recommended third dose of the diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP) containing vaccine, and 20.3 million children under age one did not receive a single dose of the measles vaccine.3
  • Pneumonia and diarrhea remain the leading causes of death in children under five, killing 3,900 children a day in 2015. Deaths from these two are strongly linked to poverty-related factors such as under-nutrition, lack of safe water and sanitation, indoor air pollution and inadequate access to health care, with the he poorest children in the poorest countries in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia the least likely to receive treatment when ill.4,5
  • Since 2000, under-five child deaths caused by malaria have fallen by 65 percent. Still, malaria continues to be an urgent public health concern. In 2015, it led to 438,000 deaths, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa, of which 80 percent were children under five years of age.6
  • In 2015, the number of children under age 15 living with HIV/AIDS was 1.8 million, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa. The majority acquired HIV from their infected mothers during pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding. Of the estimated 1.1 million people who died of AIDS-related illnesses in 2015, 110,000 were children under 15.7

Our Strategy

A child’s welfare is directly related to his or her family’s condition. Therefore, Compassion’s health and medical interventions serve children registered in Compassion programs as well as their families.

From help with severe medical issues like cancer, heart disease and traumatic injury, to immunizations and nutrition that help ward off disease and infection, Compassion’s health and medical services are timely, targeted and life saving.

Boys in Burkina Faso receiving vaccinations from medical professionals

Compassion’s health and medical interventions provide:

  • HIV/AIDS education, prevention, treatment, nutrition and support
  • Malaria education and prevention, including distribution of mosquito nets
  • Medical assistance for emergency medical needs or a procedure a family cannot afford
  • Immunizations
  • Trauma counseling in cases of abuse and violence

1 WHO, Children: Reducing Mortality Fact Sheet, 2016
2 UNICEF, Child Survival: Under-Five Mortality Current Status + Progress, 2016
3 UNICEF, Child Health: Immunization Current Status + Progress, 2016
4 UNICEF, Child Health: Pneumonia Current Status +Progress, 2017
5 UNICEF, Child Health: Diarrhoeal Disease: Current Status +Progress, 2017
6 UNICEF, Child Health: Malaria Current Progress + Report, 2017
7 UNICEF, HIV/AIDS: Current Status + Progress, 2016