Health and care activities in the IFRC include first aid and emergency response as well as epidemic control, programmes in health promotion and prevention, addressing stigma, providing psychosocial care and enabling community empowerment.

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Health and care activities in the IFRC include first aid and emergency response as well as epidemic control, programmes in health promotion and prevention, addressing stigma, providing psychosocial care and enabling community empowerment.

Around the world, hundreds of thousands of volunteers work in communities to promote health, prevent diseases and demonstrate positive values through their actions. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and its National Societies actively support communities through their network of volunteers, their community-based approach, their expertise and experience.

The past decade has seen major gains towards improving global health. Today, less people die of measles or malaria and the number of new HIV-infections has been stabilized in some countries.

At the same time, implementing primary health care at the community level remains a challenge:

  • Worldwide, an estimated 14 million people continue to die each year from infectious diseases. Many more suffer from malnutrition and disruption of livelihood
  • More than 1 billion people don’t have access to safe water
  • 2.6 billion people lack access to basic sanitation.
  • More than 500,000 women die each year in pregnancy or childbirth and still too many children die before their fifth birthday.

This situation will get worse because of global trends such as climate change, population growth and ageing, urbanisation, migration, food and water shortages, poverty, emergent diseases and the lack of access to health services.

Recent additions to the resources library

blood-donation-thumbnail

About 92 million blood donations are collected worldwide each year. Almost half of these are collected in high-income countries, home to 15 per cent of the world’s population. Although the number of countries collecting all their blood supplies from voluntary unpaid donors increased by more than 50 per cent between 2002 and 2008, equitable access to safe blood still does not exist for many of those who need it. There are chronic shortages of safe blood and blood products in many countries, so blood transfusion is not available for many of the world’s most vulnerable populations.

12 June 2017
AP

The Epidemic Control for Volunteers (ECV) Pacific Toolkit is for Red Cross Societies in the Pacific to prepare volunteers for their roles in preparation and response to epidemics and disease outbreaks.

2 May 2017
zika-toolkit-sy-thumb

The Zika, dengue and chikungunya prevention school / youth module is intended for volunteers, educators, and peer educators teaching children from ages 7 – 16 in a school or youth club setting about the transmission, symptoms, treatment and prevention methods to address Zika, dengue and chikungunya (ZDC).

21 April 2017

Health in Action

World First Aid Day

The IFRC is the largest first aid educator and provider in the world. In 2014, over 15 million people were trained, and for more than 150 years, first aid has provided by our volunteers.

In focus: Ebola

During the 2014-15 Ebola outbreak, Red Cross teams worked with community leaders to ensure families knew about how the virus is spread, what the symptoms are, and the importance of early treatment.

World Water Day

Water, sanitation and good hygiene practices are fundamental to healthy life. Our collective aim is to ensure every family has affordable and sustainable access to safe water and adequate sanitation.

Health news

A new study suggests that Red Cross volunteers potentially averted more than 10,000 cases of Ebola during the 2013-2016 West Africa outbreak.

22 June 2017

With over 160,000 suspected cases of cholera since April, and over 1,100 deaths, communities across Yemen are in urgent need of assistance

21 June 2017

More than 300 volunteers and staff from the Portuguese Red Cross are providing first aid, psychological support and emergency supplies to victims of devastating forest fires sweeping parts of the country.

20 June 2017

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