Almost four million children under five die in sub-Saharan Africa every year.
For every 1,000 babies born, 172 die (this figure falls to 9 per 1,000 in developed countries). The statistics are worst in countries affected by conflict.
Major causes of death for under-fives in sub-Saharan Africa include malaria, acute respiratory infections, diarrhea, and AIDS-related diseases. Additionally, many babies die in their first month from infections or complications from pregnancy and labor.
Eighty percent 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 stop these unnecessary deaths by preventing and managing common childhood illnesses at home and at the primary care level. These diseases include malaria, respiratory infections, immunizable and acute diarrheal diseases, and child malnutrition.
In Busia, Kenya, AMREF has supplied 9,000 mothers and children with mosquito nets. We are educating 20,000 school children about the importance of using the nets 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 the Makueni and Machakos districts in Kenya, we are raising awareness about mother-to-child HIV transmission during pregnancy, labor, delivery, and breastfeeding. We are also improving the treatment available for HIV-positive mothers and newborns.
AMREF supports children who have been orphaned as a result of HIV/AIDS by helping community and family members generate income to pay for their schooling.
Projects and stories
- Preventing-mother-to-child-transmission of HIV/AIDS in Makueni, Machakos, and Kibera, Kenya
- Homa Bay widows and orphans support, Kenya
- Luwero orphans and vulnerable children, Uganda
- Busia maternal and child survival project, Kenya