Pan American Health and Education FoundationThe Pan American Health and Education Foundation


Preventing Childhood Death & Illness

Save children's lives from preventable diseases

Every child deserves a safe, happy childhood. Yet each year in this hemisphere, 330,000 children die before they reach their fifth birthday. Tragically, many of those deaths are the result of preventable diseases like acute respiratory infections, diarrheal diseases, malnutrition, malaria, meningitis, and vaccine-preventable diseases. Children that do survive often experience severe malnutrition, deficient school performance, and retarded physical growth and psychological development, depriving them of the opportunity for a positive future.

The problem of preventable deaths in children in Latin America and the Caribbean can be attributed to main factors. First, many parents are not aware of what they can do to prevent these illnesses, nor are they aware of the early warning signs that indicate that their child needs to see a doctor. Second, if the child does visit a doctor, the doctor often focuses only on the immediate symptoms, missing the opportunity to make a more comprehensive examination, to vaccinate the child, and to educate the parents about good health practices. A more holistic approach is the goal.

The Foundation is supporting the work of our partner, the Pan American Health Organization, in implementing a strategy that has proven effective in saving children's lives throughout the world. This integrated approach to managing childhood illnesses:

  • Trains health workers to assess a child's overall health status rather than a single symptom, ensuring the combined treatment of major childhood illnesses;
  • Educates parents about prevention of disease through immunization, improved nutrition and exclusive breast-feeding;
  • Encourages families to have their children examined by a doctor by offering free de-worming programs, which are very popular in rural communities; and
  • Speeds up urgent treatment of seriously ill children

The Pan American Health and Education Foundation offers an opportunity for your involvement in improving children's health in the Americas through its Child Survival Campaign.

Prevention  of many childhood diseases can be achieved with your help.


Developed by Ludwood Interactive
© 2009 Pan American Health & Education Foundation. All rights reserved.