At the Intersection Between Health and Social Welfare
“Let us work in partnerships between rich and poor to improve the opportunities of all human beings to build better lives.”- Kofi Annan
Social welfare refers to the well-being of society as a whole. As such, social welfare is concerned with quality of life; it looks at the conditions in the surrounding environment and the degree of availability of resources in that environment. It considers the quality of life as it relates to factors that include equality, human rights, and access to healthcare and education; factors that inextricably intersect. At a global level, the notion of social welfare is embodied through the Millennium Development Goals. For example, an important aspect to improved social welfare is extreme poverty reduction. This is addressed by the first goal, MDG 1, which aims to eradicate extreme poverty by reducing the proportion of people whose income is less than $1.25 a day.
Health outcomes are inextricably linked to poverty, regardless of whether poverty is experienced in the Global South or Global North. Children in their early years living in less developed and less affluent areas continue to die from preventable conditions such as pneumonia, malaria, and diarrhea. Several of the Millennium Development Goals involved in addressing the link between health and social welfare include MDG 4 targeting the reduction of under-five child mortality, MDG 5 aimed at improving maternal health, and MDG 6 that seeks to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases. Health and social welfare suffer significantly when populations face poverty within the larger framework of their society.
As part of World NGO Day, we would like to recognize the work of NGOs that operate in the interstitial space between health and social welfare. We salute the work and effort of all the individuals and organizations whose mission effectively improves the quality of life for those around them.
“DADREG is an acronym stand for Dandora Dumpsite Rehabilitation Group. Its a reformed dumpsite youth group project operating in the slums known as Gitare Marigu opposite Dandora Dumpsite located at Njiru District in Nairobi County-Kenya. The Organization was formed in the year 2006 and Registered under the Ministry of Gender, Social and Sports as a Community Based Organization (CBO). The Organization aimed to rehabilitate young people who are facing hardship situations in the Dumpsite. As the Ex-Dumpsite veteran experienced flashback what can be done to improve their life.”
“The Morgan Smart Development Foundation (MSDF) is a Non-Governmental Organization dedicated to the empowerment of rural and urban poor women and youths in Nigeria for poverty reduction, employment generation and sustainable socio-economic development. Over the last ten years of its establishment, the Foundation has recorded series of achievement in areas of empowerment programs for women such as provision of small-grants, micro-credits, donation of income generating equipments like fishing boats and other fishing accessories; skill acquisition for youths like computer training, welding fabrication etc. and the implementation of micro-projects in rural communities that impact directly in the lives of rural women and youths.”
“The main goal is to provide to children with congenital heart disease with prompt and specialized medical attention, helping in the full recovery. Support with the medication and treatments that they require, in order to preserve their quality of life and integrity.”
“Terre des Hommes Netherlands (TdH-NL) is a development organization dedicated to children. Its mission is that the rights of vulnerable children and their families are respected, so that these children can properly develop their potential in a safe environment. TdH-NL works along two main programs which complement each other: One programme against child exploitation; One programme for maternal and child health (MCH) care. We believe the improvement of accessing quality MCH care is a crucial.”
Anita Zaidi – Recipient of the 2013 Caplow Children’s Prize
A physician and professor, Dr. Anita Zaidi will provide a comprehensive package of proven interventions in maternal, newborn and child health to an impoverished fishing village in Karachi, Pakistan. With malnutrition rates at 70% for this indigenous community, the life-saving package includes increasing newborn deliveries through assistance of skilled professionals, providing pre- and post-birth home visits by trained Community Health Workers, supplying vitamins and nutritional supplements to pregnant women and children, and administering appropriate maternal and child vaccinations.
“The University of Malawi College of Medicine was established in 1991, it is the only medical school in Malawi. This project will roll out a recently developed low cost, easy to use but effective bubble CPAP (bCPAP) devices to 27 Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM) Hospitals, to help reduce newborn deaths from severe respiratory distress. CHAM hospitals are owned by Christian institutions and provide over 40% of health service in Malawi.”
“RISE focused on bringing the opportunity for education to children in remote, nearly inaccessible regions of the country. Since 2003, RISE has built 151 schools and over 98,000 students are educated annually in those schools. Our model works – it is collaborative, scalable and has a proven track record of success.”
“World Medical Fund’s focus is on Africa’s orphans and most vulnerable children. Every day we save young lives and ease suffering by making medical care available for the first time to village children; our practical and cost-effective programme is treating over 30,000 every year. We are also successfully treating children suffering from AIDS, reducing the incidence of mother to child transmission of the HIV virus and ensuring that history does not repeat itself by giving HIV/AIDS education.”