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Child Health

Every child should get medicine

Our movement's child health and nutrition programmes reached 33 million children in 2023.

More children are surviving their early years than ever before. Yet our job is far from done - more than five million under-fives still die each year.

Now rising inequality, pandemics and the climate crisis are set to make it worse. 

We're determined to change this. We're pressuring governments and working with global partners to improve health for millions.

And every day, our doctors, nurses and health teams are saving lives in hard-to-reach communities around the world.

We have to make sure all children get the care they need for the best possible start in life.


 Fatima's first day back home after returning from the Stabilisation Centre.

When drought hit Amina’s home in Somalia, she lost her livestock and her means of providing food for her children. Just like that, life changed. At just nine months old, severe malnutrition left her baby Fatima too weak to stand. 

That’s when Amina found our treatment centre. Fatima was given nutritional milk, therapeutic food and antibiotics. After 10 days of treatment, Fatima had started to recover and had visibly put on weight.

Five months on, Fatima is thriving and enjoying playing with her big sister Fatun.

“When Fatima got sick, I cried. When I see my sister happy and healthy, I am happy for her. I carried her and gave her a kiss”, says Fatun.

  • 16,000 under-5s die each day, many from preventable diseases
  • Each year, nearly 3m babies die in their 1st month alive
  • 50% of under-5 deaths are caused by infectious diseases
  • 1 child in 5 misses routine immunisations, exposing them to deadly illnesses.

Here's a few of the things we're doing;

Female Genital Mutilation: Raising awareness of the harmful effects of FGM and training health workers to help affected girls.

Emergencies: Our Emergency Health Unit means we have supplies, logistics experts and skilled surgeons, doctors and nurses ready to send anywhere in the world in the event of a major disaster or conflict.

Pneumonia: The biggest infectious killer of children. Find out more and work with us to end preventable child deaths from pneumonia.

Read our latest report for World Pneumonia Day here

Vaccines: Securing a £1bn govt. pledge to immunisation in poorer countries through our No Child Born to Die campaign. More donations followed, enough to vaccinate 300m more children.

Democratic Republic of Congo: Renovation, training and improving medical supplies in partnership with GSK. Over 5 years, we aim to bring essential healthcare to 700k children.

South Sudan: Offering vital healthcare to a 270k population at Nimule Hospital. With 10 trained midwives, it's one of South Sudan’s leading maternal care facilities, delivering six babies a day.

The journey of a vaccine

Related reports and blogs


Primary health care first: Strengthening the foundation of universal healthcare coverage
While strengthening primary health care has long been a core component of the health agenda, research into primary health care expenditure has been limited. Primary Health Care First seeks to understand and address that gap, an urgent priority for saving lives and a critical first step toward achieving universal health coverage by 2030 under the Sustainable Development Goals.

Fighting for Breath: A call for action on childhood pneumonia
Turns a spotlight on the inequalities, policy failures and indifference holding back progress on tackling childhood pneumonia, the number one infectious killer of children, and proposes a way forward. Read the Country Briefings to accompany this report. 

Further, Faster, Fairer: Reaching every last child with immunisation
Explores which groups of children are missing out on immunisation and the barriers they face.

Within Our Means: Why countries can afford Universal Health Coverage
Why all developing countries can afford to increase spending on health, through different policy decisions and public spending.

Read our blog: Making health budgets work for children

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