What is health like around the world?
With a global population of almost 8 billion people now, healthcare is more important than ever.
From the swine flu outbreak in 2009 to the Ebola outbreak - which is still ongoing in several African countries such as in Guinea - to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, the past decade alone has demonstrated to us the importance of proper health facilities. But if we are experiencing health concerns in the developed parts of the globe, what does this mean for the developing world?
April 7th is World Health Day. Like many others, it is a day set by the United Nations to recognise that work has to be done before we all achieve basic human living conditions worldwide.
The Good Neighbors international network - including Good Neighbors Australia, of course - is dedicated to providing adequate health services and facilities for those without access. In many developing countries, including Nepal, Niger, Uganda and more (where Good Neighbors also work in!) a large majority of communities often lack even the most basic of health resources.
How does this affect the communities?
Well, a poor health infrastructure means that diseases are more rampant in the area. Malaria for example, is a significant disease that has swept throughout many parts of Africa and Asia. It has had a long history stemming from the late 18th century, where the first wave of malaria was officially recorded. According to Africa News, in Uganda alone there were approximately 1.4 million cases of malaria since June 2020 - showing that the population health in countries such as these desperately needs attention.
To counter this, Good Neighbors has the Uganda Kamuli Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Improvement Project in Uganda, which aims to help affected malaria patients cope with the disease by providing kits. Each malaria kit costs $12 AUD, while medicine and mosquito nets cost $1.5 and $5 AUD respectively. We also have the Fukayosi community development project (CDP) in Tanzania. Here, the goal is to improve the access to quality health services through the provision of health facilities at Kidomole facility. Air conditioners in medical clinics are installed at the price of $655 AUD.
But not everything can be solved simply by improving health facilities. Preventing people from falling ill is also another key factor. Research has proven countless times that the lack of access isn't the only factor leading to poor population health in many communities. Poor nutrition is also another significant factor, since the World Health Organisation reveals that 45% of deaths among children under the age of 5 years being attributed to malnutrition. This not only detrimentally affects their physical growth, but their mental stimulation as well. That's why the United Nations' sustainable development goals (SDGs) prioritise this.
The Good Neighbors international network also seeks to resolve this, since our overarching mission is to eradicate poverty, after all. The Good Feeding Project, otherwise known as the Niger Hamdallaye Feeding Program for Children's Health Promotion in Kossey Primary School Project in Niger aims to alleviate the poor nutrition in the area. In this program, a mere $1.3 AUD can provide two meals per school day for students. There's also the community-based nutrition project for children in Bangladesh. Every $3 AUD will provide a standard health check-up for a student, while $1.25 AUD will buy them a hot lunch at school.
World Health Day is just a reminder of just how important health is. That's why Good Neighbors Australia, along with the rest of the Good Neighbors international community, endeavours to eradicate hunger and continue implementing better health facilities and resources for all people around the globe.