Health

Health and survival are the right of every child.

We work to ensure that governments make the right decisions to guarantee the right to health and survival, and reduce inequalities.

The Sustainable Development Goals committed governments to ending preventable child deaths and building Universal Health Coverage so that no one is left behind.

Our team focuses on the essential maternal and child health services and on the policies that determine whether these are accessible to the poorest and most excluded communities.

The services we focus on include immunisation, child healthcare, such as for pneumonia, sexual and reproductive health and rights, skilled birth attendance and newborn care.

Our priorities

  1. To ensure public financing for healthcare.
  2. The promotion of Universal Health Coverage, primary healthcare and the right to health.
  3. To support colleagues in countries to influence their governments and hold them accountable.
  4. To work to influence donors to give sufficient support, in the right way.
  5. To participate in global processes such as the World Health Assembly, the Partnership for Maternal Newborn & Child Health, Every Woman Every Child, the World Bank, Gavi and the UHC2030.

Our Key Reports

Fighting for Breath: A call to action on childhood pneumonia

The Global Financing Facility: An opportunity to get it right

Further, Faster, Fairer: Reaching every last child with immunisation

Primary Health Care First: Strengthening the foundation for Universal Health Coverage

Within Our Means: Why countries can afford Universal Health Coverage

Read the latest blogs on health

Our Experts

Kirsten Mathieson

Kirsten Mathieson

Head of Health Advocacy & Policy
k.mathieson@savethechildren.org.uk
@kirstmath

Kirsten leads Save the Children’s immunisation policy and advocacy work, delivering strategies, strengthening partnerships and engaging in policy debates to drive progress towards universal immunisation. Kirsten previously worked at the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN and UNDP in Kenya, working on gender, social equity, and health.

She has an MA in development studies from the University of Rome and a BA in Political Science from the University of Western Ontario, Canada. Her recent publications include Further, Faster, Fairer: Reaching Every Last Child with Immunisation.

Tara Brace-John

Tara Brace-John

Health Advocacy Adviser
t.brace-john@savethechildren.org.uk

Tara's main role is supporting country offices to develop their health advocacy strategies, including health budget advocacy plans.

Prior to joining Save the Children she worked in the policy and advocacy sector in the UK for five years, with One World Action and Dalit Solidarity Network UK. She earlier worked in southern India for 12 years on gender issues, social and political exclusion and the impact in the lives of Dalit women, youth and children. A large part of her work was on grassroots health issues of women and children.

Delou Gonsan-Zeo

Delou Gonsan-Zeo

Health Policy and Advocacy Adviser
D.GonsanZeo@savethechildren.org.uk

Delou leads the development of global and national policy and advocacy initiatives/strategies for access to the continuum of care for reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH), to end preventable deaths of children and women globally. She also provides technical support to country offices to ensure appropriate and effective advocacy grant delivery and national influencing.

She was previously at the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) where she provided technical oversight and led on the coordination of activities to strengthen the integration of Family Planning, Maternal and Newborn Health, Cervical Cancer prevention, HIV and Gender services in Health System strengthening in IPPF’s countries across Africa, Asia and the Middle East. She has also worked in a number of research, policy and advocacy roles in the UK, including at the RNLI and LSHTM, as well as with the Ministry of Health in post-conflict Liberia to strengthen the country’s Health System. 

She has a clinical background in Nursing and an MPH (concentration on Sexual and Reproductive Health) from the University of Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.

Lenio Capsaskis

Lenio Capsaskis

Health Advocacy Adviser - Global and National
L.Capsaskis@savethechildren.org.uk

Lenio leads on the team’s global work on Primary Health Care for Universal Health Coverage and works with several SCUK supported country offices on their health advocacy planning and implementation. Lenio also works on the Save the Children-GSK partnership advocacy and policy theme.

Lenio has worked in various roles in sub-Saharan Africa and Europe and has a background in public health advocacy and policy, programme delivery and management, most recently as part of the Global Policy team at the Wellcome Trust. She has a particular interest in health systems strengthening and improving access to equitable health care. She holds an MSc in Public Health in Developing Countries from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Claire Leigh

Claire Leigh

Director of International Development Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns (Job Share) 
c.leigh@savethechildren.org.uk
@ClaireLeighDev

Claire has been Director of Save the Children UK’s International Development Department since 2016, and she currently manages Save the Children’s Education, and Inclusive Development teams.

Prior to that she worked on policy and research in a variety of international settings, including for the United Nations Development Programme and UNICEF in New York, the Overseas Development Institute in London, and the governments of Rwanda and Liberia.

She has a particular interest in aid effectiveness, fragile states, state-building and governance. Between 2007 and 2009 Claire was a senior policy adviser in the British Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, and in the Policy Planning Staff of the UK Foreign Office. 

She hold a first class degree in History from the University of Cambridge and an MPhil in International Relations from the University of Oxford.

Simon Wright

Simon Wright

Director of International Development Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns (Job Share)
s.wright@savethechildren.org.uk
@simoniswright

Simon Wright leads Save the Children UK's International Development Department, managing Save the Children's Health, and Nutrition teams.

He has worked in public health and service commissioning in the UK National Health Service and as an adviser to the UK parliament on HIV and health. While working for ActionAid he led its HIV campaigning and later established the European Advocacy network, Action for Global Health.

He is currently a Steering Committee member of UHC2030 and works with many organisations including the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health.

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