Health Programmes

World Vision Ireland is committed to health and nutrition programmes and we believe that access to basic healthcare is essential to breaking the cycle of poverty. 

Maternal and Child Health

In 2015, about 830 women died due to complications of pregnancy and child birth every day, while about 7,000 newborns died every day. Almost all of these deaths occurred in developing countries and most could have been prevented.

But did you know? 

The number of women dying during pregnancy and the number of children dying before the age of five is decreasing. Since 1990, the number of women dying during pregnancy has decreased by about 44% while the number of children who die before their fifth birthday has decreased by 56%.

What is World Vision Ireland doing?

Since 2011, World Vision has been implementing its maternal and child health programme (AIM Health) in a number of countries across East and West Africa. We are proud to say this programme was funded by Irish Aid. 



The Results

In North Rukiga, Uganda, it was estimated that the number of babies dying in the first month of their lives reduced by 61% between 2012 and 2015

In Guerrou and Mbagne, Mauritania the number of children dying before their 5th birthday fell by 32% over four years.

In Mundemu, Tanzania the number of mothers dying as a result of pregnancy or child birth fell by 23% between 2012 and 2015

You can read the evaluation report here

In October - December 2015, an independent evaluation of the AIM Health Programme was conducted by FARST Africa. The outcome and impact results from the AIM Health Programme End Line Evaluation Report indicate that the programme goal of reducing infant and maternal mortality rates by 20% was achieved to the desired level in most programme sites. Importantly, according to this report, the sustainability of these maternal, neonatal and child health outcomes was “in-built in the AIM Health programme design; as a capacity building partnership with government and communities.” (Pg. 105)

A full copy of this report can be found here.


Our Maternal and Child Health Programme

The programme is now in its second phase and will run until 2021 in Mauritania, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda. This programme is called AIM Health Plus and we are proud to say that it is also funded by Irish Aid. Continue reading below for more details on how this programme works.

Simple, cost effective and life saving

We work with the Ministry of Health in each country to train Community Health Workers who support pregnant women and their babies throughout their pregnancy and for the first two years of their child's life

Equipping Community Health Workers with innovative technology

Community Health Workers are equipped with mobile phones, which help them to deliver messages to the household. Using the mobile phone they can also log the pregnant mother's details, register them immediately with a health clinic and send their information to that clinic.

Empowering communities to assess their health needs

Community Committees have been trained by World Vision to assess their community's health needs and to develop action plans to respond to these needs. Examples include the construction of toilet facilities to improve sanitation in the community. They also bring communities together to raise awareness of issues, such as the importance of exclusive breastfeeding.

Empowering communities to demand better health services

We work with local advocacy groups to discuss local health issues and create solutions for the problems they face. One of the roles that the advocacy groups carry out is to hold duty bearers to account and follow up on promises they made in order to strengthen health services.

Since 2011 over 2,000 Community Health Workers have been trained to:

  • Visit pregnant women and new mothers in their homes and provide them with support, guidance and advice at critical times, using World Vision’s Timed and Targeted Counselling approach.
  • Support pregnant women and new mothers to attend their check-ups.
  • Advise on how to ensure both mother and baby eat nutritious food.
  • Encourage and support immunisation.
  • Get men involved; help husbands and extended family to play their role in ensuring both mother and baby are as safe and healthy as possible.

We are delighted to be partnering with Irish Aid to implement our health programme. We won't stop until zero babies and new mothers die from preventable causes.


Ebola Vaccine Programme – EBOVAC Salone

World Vision Ireland is playing a key role, as part of a consortium, in supporting an Ebola vaccine trial called ‘EBOVAC-Salone’ in Sierra Leone. Our partners in the consortium are Janssen Pharmaceuticals, The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Grameen Foundation. 

As part of this vaccine trial World Vision Ireland has worked closely with consortium partners to develop innovative new communication strategies and tools to support EBOVAC-Salone. Mobile phone technology is being used to provide volunteers in the study with relevant information about the vaccine regimen. Reminders are sent through mobile phones to those receiving the ‘prime- boost’ vaccine to return to get their second ‘boost’ dose. 

EBOVAC-Salone also uses a unique biometric kit that scans the eyes of volunteers and takes their finger prints, so that all participants can be easily identified throughout the trial period  - World Vision is playing a key role in the deployment and use of this important technology. 

As part of the consortium, World Vision is working with the local communities,  helping to address the stigma surrounding Ebola, coupled with a suspicion of vaccines in general that may deter people from getting vaccinated. 

Our staff are also working closely with the  Ministryof Health to assist in the implementation of EBOVAC-Salone and, if successful, the subsequent deployment of the vaccine. 

To find out more about EBOVAC- Salone go to

World Vision International’s Impact on Health

World Vision Ireland is proud to be part of World Vision International; together our organisation is one of the world’s leading NGOs in improving the health of millions of people around the world.

Did you know that World Vision is the largest NGO provider of clean water in the world, reaching a new person with water every 30 seconds?

We intend to go further and expand our water, sanitation and hygiene programmes towards an ambitious goal: reaching every child in all of our programme areas with clean water, dignified sanitation and appropriate hygiene before 2030.

Our Global Health & Nutrition strategy - "7-11" focuses on evidence-based, cost-effective preventive practices that address the primary causes of maternal and child mortality and illness. Our core emphasis is on pregnant women, newborns and children under the age of two because the greatest burden of mortality, illness and undernutrition lies in these groups. 
Maternal and Child Health: Our Maternal and Child Health interventions focus on improving postnatal outcomes in communities and in clinics.  Our community work includes the support of more than 240,000 Community Health Workers and supporting Health Systems Strengthening through Medical Service Volunteers.  
Nutrition: The first 1,000 days—from conception to age 2—determine the course of a child’s life. The right food and nutrients in this critical period are essential to good brain function, muscle and organ growth, and a strong immune system.  We focus on a handful of nutrition-related interventions for both mothers and children to help save millions of lives.
Water, sanitation and hygiene: Unsafe water and sanitation is a major cause of  diarrhoea, the second biggest killer of children around the world. Safe water and sanitation can mean the difference between life and death for millions of children every year. Our work provides access, increases awareness and coordinates with local governments to supply essential services.
Community Health Workers: These local health care staff and volunteers are critical to achieving good health and nutrition for mothers and their children, especially in rural households and communities where the majority of the world’s poorest children live and die.  We are committed to supporting 240,000 Community Health Workers across the world.

HIV and AIDS: More than just a health crisis, HIV and AIDS affect every dimension of social and economic life, robbing children of parents, contributing to maternal and child mortality, devastating workforces and undermining economies.  Our work focuses on the children left most vulnerable by the pandemic and on preventing transmission from mothers to babies.

Infectious disease: Pneumonia and diarrhoea are the two biggest killers of children under 5, while malaria remains a major killer in sub-Saharan Africa. Preventing and swiftly treating these diseases is the best way to eradicate them— and we work to help achieve this.

Speaking out: Encouraging and enabling families and communities to identify the barriers to good health where they live, and to hold their local leaders and government accountable to deliver their part.

Child Health Now: Through our global advocacy campaign, we seek to encourage and equip families and communities to identify the barriers to good health where they live and to hold their local leaders and government accountable to deliver their part.  World Vision also actively advocates for greater commitment to and improved policies and programmes for maternal and child health and nutrition.


One Goal Campaign: World Vision's Innovative new campaign in Partnership with the Asia Football Confederation.  We will reach the goal: Nutrition for Every Child by Leveraging the power of over 1.4 billion Asian Football Fans in Asia through igniting a movement driven by a robust football platform, in support of improved child nutrition based on World Vision’s programing and advocacy expertise.

Partnership and Engagements: No one government or organisation can solve issues that contribute to child mortality.  It takes partnership to achieve lasting results.  We partner with communities, local and international organisations, governments and donors to help reduce maternal and child mortality.