From a Kunwasi village in Ghana to a Maksoodpur village in India, development aid is saving children’s lives, improving health conditions, reducing poverty and hunger, and increasing economic growth and stability. In this photo gallery, meet some of the people who are helping their countries move closer to meeting the U.N. Millennium Development Goals.
Lomitaa, a health extension worker in Ethiopia, makes a home visit in Mojo village. To reduce suffering from preventable and treatable diseases, the government trained more than 32,000 women as health extension workers, to teach rural families about disease prevention and healthy living. It also created “health outposts” to provide basic medical services and preventive care in rural areas. Since the program’s launch in 2006, there has been a 35 percent increase in immunizations for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis, and a 50 percent reduction in malaria. Health extension workers often walk miles to reach families in the most remote areas.
Nicaraguan horsemen Julio Mesa Zelodon and his son Santos delicately balance a fragile cargo of rotavirus vaccines, which must be transported in an insulated box to preserve the drug’s effectiveness. Rotavirus is a preventable and treatable diarrheal disease that causes 500,000 deaths each year among infants and young children. Since the vaccine’s introduction in 2006, Nicaragua has seen a 77 percent decrease in severe rotavirus cases. The vaccine is often transported by horse, donkey or boat to reach the country’s most remote areas.
Since Ethiopia emerged from 16 years of civil war in 1991, the country has made significant progress in poverty reduction, food security, heath, nutrition, and education. Education reforms aimed at increasing access, especially for girls and the rural poor, increased student enrollment by 500 percent. School fees were abolished and funding was provided for adult literacy programs, school construction, and to train and hire teachers.
Staple crops like cassava and yams as well as cash crops like tomatoes and peppers are on sale at a street side market in Kumasi, Ghana. Through agricultural reforms, farmers are better able to cultivate staples and grow cash crops for additional income, reducing the country’s hunger rate by 75 percent and cutting poverty nearly in half.
Andres Yemetey from the Ghana Infant Nutrition Action Network discusses the benefits and proper techniques of breastfeeding with Estherlyne Larkai as she feeds her daughter at the Osu Maternity Home in Accra.
In the past, many women in Ghana supplemented breast-feeding with water, sugar water, or herbal concoctions that caused diarrhea and other problems. As the result of government education efforts, many women now feed their babies only breast milk, and men are encouraged to provide support to make that possible.
Kevin Kouassi, 36, who is HIV-positive, works at the NDA Health Center in Dimbokro, Cote d'Ivoire. His job is to encourage testing, counsel those who come to the clinic, and educate them about prevention and treatment. Today free testing for HIV/AIDS is readily available in Cote d'Ivoire and can be done in as little as 15 minutes, ensuring that patients will stay to receive their results. Here, he counsels 24-year-old Aya who is six months pregnant with her second child and has come to the clinic for testing.
In the last two decades, Viet Nam has become a major exporter of rice and coffee, and its manufacturing sector has boomed. The government has tapped the country’s economic growth to improve health, education, and water and sanitation services. Incomes have risen and the poverty and infant mortality rates have fallen dramatically.
Until recently, most births in Egypt were at home and unattended by skilled personnel. Through education and outreach efforts, couples like Saad and Madiha have learned about the value of prenatal visits, medically assisted childbirth, post-partum care, and family planning. Targeted villages have seen dramatic improvements in maternal and child health, including a 27 percent drop in underweight babies.
A Bangladeshi mother, Shahinoor, gives her child, Santo, oral rehydration solution. Commonly made of ingredients that poor households can afford, such as salt and unrefined brown sugar, oral rehydration therapy has saved the lives of millions of children from death due to diarrhea. Its widespread use, in combination with immunization campaigns for childhood diseases, has significantly reduced child mortality and malnourishment in Bangladesh and worldwide.
In 1975, the Indian government started the Anganwadi program, one of the largest child health and development efforts in the world. Here, Anganwadi worker Pushpa Kumari vaccinates a child against polio in a house-to-house campaign in Maksoodpur village. Between 1999 and 2007, India’s under-five mortality rate fell from 117 to 72 per 1,000 children.
Read more inspiring stories at: http://www.developmentprogress.org/