Almost 4 million children under five die in sub-Saharan Africa every year. For every 1,000 babies born, 172 die – this figure falls to nine per 1,000 in developed regions.
Major causes of death for under-fives in sub-Saharan Africa include malaria, acute respiratory infections, diarrhoea and AIDS-related diseases.
Additionally, many babies die in their first month because of complications during pregnancy and labour, or from infections.
Eighty per cent of these children die at home without seeing a health worker, and most of these deaths could be prevented through basic interventions, clean water and sanitation.
AMREF's work with children
AMREF is helping to stop these needless deaths by preventing and managing common childhood illnesses at home and at primary care level. These include malaria, respiratory infections, immunisable and acute diarrhoeal diseases, and child malnutrition.
In Busia in Kenya, AMREF has supplied 9,000 mothers and children with mosquito nets and is educating 20,000 school children about the importance of using them and seeking treatment if they experience the symptoms of malaria. We have trained hundreds of community health workers who are now able to administer anti-malarial drugs in people’s homes.
AMREF is also preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV and improving care, diagnosis and treatment for children living with HIV/AIDS. In Nairobi and Makueni and Machakos districts in Kenya, we are raising awareness about how HIV can be transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy, labour and delivery and breastfeeding and we are improving the treatment available for HIV-positive mothers and newborns.
AMREF is also supporting children who have been orphaned as a result of HIV/AIDS by supporting community and family members to generate income to be able to pay for their school fees.
Below are some of AMREF's on-going projects in relation to Child Health support :