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Health

We see health in its entirety, as physical, psychological, social and mental wellbeing and not just as a lack of diseases and injuries. It is a basic right of every human being, regardless of ethnicity, religion, political affiliation and economic or social status, to enjoy the best possible state of health. We are campaigning for this human right.

With our health projects, we are advocating for people in need to have universal access to medical care and for the sustainable development of the healthcare systems in our project countries. The objective is to provide adequate, effective and affordable health care in the long-term.

Strengthening healthcare systems sustainably

In particularly poor regions with underdeveloped infrastructure, we are working to improve healthcare systems sustainably so that they can offer appropriate preventative measures, public health promotion initiatives, treatment and rehabilitation programmes. We provide health facilities, for example, with technical and financial resources as well as management support and training courses for staff development.

One important area of focus in our health programmes is maternal and child health, including access to prenatal care and safe birthing opportunities as well as the treatment of malnutrition in children under the age of five.

Another top priority is the preparedness, prevention and response of infectious diseases such as cholera, ebola and tuberculosis. In our projects in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and America, we support health facilities in their efforts to offer patients quality on-site examinations, diagnoses and treatment. We are also active in the prevention of these diseases.

One-Health-Approach

As a significant number of contagious diseases originate in the wildlife and are affected by environmental factors as well as climate change, the holistic approach and the relationship between human and animal health, as well as the environment, plays a decisive role in the prevention and containment of infectious diseases (One-Health-Approach).

Creating necessary conditions for a healthy life

Creating the conditions necessary for a healthy life is also an integral part of our work. We implement projects for improved nutrition and establish access to clean drinking water and sanitary and hygiene facilities. In this way we improve public health at the same time as reducing the risk of disease.

Emergency medical care in acute crisis situations

In acute crisis situations we help existing health facilities to maintain free, quality healthcare for people in need. If the existing systems are destroyed, our healthcare experts and medical professionals from the global Malteser network establish emergency care stations and help to rebuild and run the health facilities. Malteser International has access to a Type 1 Emergency Medical Team (EMT). This team has been certified by the World Health Organisation and consists of trained experts including doctors, care workers, logistics workers and craftspeople. The team can provide medical care anywhere in the world within 48 hours. The EMT also has the equipment necessary to establish a medical station for up to 100 patients.

Psychological and social support

In acute crisis situations, in the wake of natural disasters or in war-torn areas, many people suffer from the psychological consequences of their experiences. Our projects with our partners do not just tend to the physical needs of those affected; our psychosocial care projects support them with their return to a normal routine.

Thinking about health globally

Prevention measures against the spread of COVID-19 are now integrated as standard in all MI health projects. The challenge now is to learn from the experience and improve the health situation of people in our project countries in the long run.

While the initial goal at the beginning of the pandemic was to continue vital relief programs despite lockdowns and restrictions, prevent the spread of the disease by supporting and strengthening health systems and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), and alleviate the economic impact of the pandemic on the poorest and most vulnerable through social programs, the goal today is already a step further.

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EBOLA: EDUCATION, PREVENTION AND MEDICAL CARE

The Ebola virus is one of the most dangerous pathogens in the world. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), an average of 50 percent of people infected with Ebola die. In the past, the mortality rate has fluctuated between 25 and 90 percent, depending on the type of Ebola virus and the medical conditions.

Malteser International was active in the countries that are most at risk of an outbreak of Ebola such as Guinea and Liberia over many years and today supports people in the DR Congo in their fight against the disease with education and prevention measures as well as protective equipment and other supplies. Learn more about the symptoms and treatment of the Ebola virus disease and how we are working to contain the disease.

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ONE HEALTH: INTEGRATED HEALTH FOR HUMANS, ANIMALS AND THE ENVIRONMENT

The One Health approach considers humans, animals and the environment as an interconnected system, which is necessary to improve global health and reduce health risks such as the spread of epidemics and pandemics.

The focus is specifically on diseases of zoonotic origin, i.e. diseases that can be transmitted between animals and humans, and antibiotic-resistant germs. To improve the exchange of knowledge and data, actors from the fields of human medicine, veterinary medicine and the environment are working together across sectors.

Read more about our One Health approach

Coronavirus: Malteser International committed to its mission for the most vulnerable

As the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, continues to spread globally, Malteser International will continue to deliver the lifesaving assistance that vulnerable people around the world need. Displaced families and people living in poverty or without access to healthcare face greater risk from the pandemic.

Malteser International is ramping up its response to the outbreak and adapting its programs to mitigate the spread of the virus.

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A global problem: Maternal and child mortality

Every eleven seconds a pregnant woman or a newborn baby dies. Even though the number of deaths has decreased by half for children and by more than a third for mothers there are still many children and woman dying during birth worldwide. In order to reduce the maternal and infant mortality rate we are actively involved in prenatal care and obstetrics.

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Ebola: education, prevention and medical care

The Ebola virus is one of the most dangerous pathogens in the world. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), an average of 50 percent of people infected with Ebola die. In the past, the mortality rate has fluctuated between 25 and 90 percent, depending on the type of Ebola virus and the medical conditions.

Malteser International was active in the countries that are most at risk of an outbreak of Ebola such as Guinea and Liberia over many years and today supports people in the DR Congo in their fight against the disease with education and prevention measures as well as protective equipment and other supplies. Learn more about the symptoms and treatment of the Ebola virus disease and how we are working to contain the disease.

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What is malaria?

Malaria occurs mainly in the tropics and subtropics and is one of the most dangerous infectious diseases. Worldwide, more than 100 countries on all continents (except Australia) are affected by the disease. In 2020, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), there were approximately 241 million cases of malaria worldwide, 95% of which were in Africa. 627,000 of these cases were fatal. More than two thirds of deaths were among children under the age of 5 living in the African Region. Malteser International has been working to raise awareness, provide medical care and train health workers in malaria-endemic areas through information campaigns and relief programmes since 2003.

Learn more about Malaria

Psychosocial care - what is it?

Strengthening affected people mentally is especially important following conflicts and disasters in order to help them to re-establish control over their lives. Psychosocial care aims to help traumatized people to return to an independent existence. Our experts from emergency humanitarian relief, social work, and psychotherapy offer a range of services to those affected.

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Climate change and health

Tackling climate change and its causes is a challenge that needs a sensitive, coordinated, and holistic approach, but the benefits of doing so will reach far beyond merely averting ecological disaster. However extensive work is also needed to help communities to adapt and prepare for its effects.

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Examples of our health projects

Help to give people in need the chance for a life in health and dignity!
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