SOS Children's Villages provides medical care free of charge by skilled staff in SOS Medical Centers all over the world. In many cases, the conditions and diseases that are treated could have been prevented by expert advice and simple preventive measures.
By working closely together with local authorities, communities and other NGOs, SOS Children’s Villages strives to spread basic knowledge and offer expertise on the prevention and treatment of diseases and conditions often closely related to poverty.
Worldwide, around 20 million children under five are severely malnourished and are therefore particularly at risk of dying in childhood. In many cases, the root of the problem is not the lack of food, but a lack of knowledge about balanced, age-appropriate diets. Through community centers and social centers around the world, SOS Children’s Villages builds awareness about the causes and consequences of malnutrition, offers prevention methods that are within easy reach of families, and develop nutrition programmes based on food staples that are readily available in the region.
Over 14 million children worldwide have lost one or both of their parents to AIDS. The spread of the disease and its impact on those already infected is often made worse by the fact that the subject is taboo, particularly in those regions where it is spreading most rapidly. SOS Children’s Villages providing age-appropriate information to children, young people and adults, both promoting behaviour that prevents infection as well as destigmatising those already infected. This also means that more parents with HIV are willing to accept their situation and undergo treatment so they can keep providing a stable home for their children.
Maternal and perinatal health
Half a million mothers die every year of causes related to pregnancy; the mortality rate of children is at its highest during the first five months after birth. Educating women and girls on perinatal health, i.e. the time three months before, during and one year following childbirth, is widely recognized as central to minimizing infant and maternal mortality. In SOS Medical Centers, mothers receive perinatal health care from skilled staff, while information and care are offered to families and communities through community centres and social centres around the world.