Preventing illness is often as simple as soap, clean water and hygienic sanitation facilities, and perhaps a piece of netting to protect children from malaria-transmitting mosquito bites. When these basic items are provided, the number of illnesses drops drastically. These are still unattainable luxuries in some regions of the world.
But preventing illness is not the only challenge. Once an individual becomes ill, access to health care varies widely: Poor populations tend to have less access to health care. Poor children live much shorter lives than children from wealthy families, in part due to inadequate health care. A boy who was born in 2012 in a high-income country can expect to live 75.8 years—more than 15 years longer than a boy born in a low-income country.
For those less fortunate, even small interventions—from improved hygiene to vaccinations—can make a big difference.
When crisis hits a country, Islamic Relief provides humanitarian aid that often includes emergency health care and distribution of clean water to prevent illness. Our teams often stay to implement long-term development projects, such as rebuilding destroyed water and sanitation facilities, or constructing new facilities for populations lacking them. Projects like these reduce illness rates and save lives.