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In focus

Our goals for health

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Poor health can undermine people’s potential to improve their lives. The International Rescue Committee helps those who are experiencing or recovering from conflict and disaster reduce their risk of falling ill and receive treatment when they do get sick. 

Patricia Goanue puts on protective equipment before giving a baby with a high fever a blood test at the IRC-supported Konia Health Center in Lofa, a county in Liberia that was hit hard by an Ebola outbreak.

Photo: Tommy Trenchard/Panos/IRC

Learn more about our health goals and how we are working to meet them:

Ensure that children are treated for and protected from the leading causes of death

How we get there:

  • Empowering community health workers to deliver treatment for pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria, malnutrition and other leading causes of child death;
  • Developing transformative strategies for treating malnourished children, particularly in the most remote areas;
  • Creating new approaches, including the use of mobile technology, to ensure that underserved children have access to immunization.

Ensure that people receive the wide-ranging support they need

How we get there:

  • Helping people advocate for themselves, access insurance, find doctors and receive the right care;
  • Ensuring that people can manage long-term health conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes;
  • Ensuring that they can access affordable, high-quality food and that they can live and work in safe and healthy environments.

Ensure that women and girls have access to reproductive health services

How we get there:

  • Supporting skilled health workers who keep women and babies safe during pregnancy and childbirth;
  • Increasing access to family planning for women in crisis zones, including long-acting methods;
  • Enabling doctors to provide medical and psychological care to survivors of sexual assault.

A boy collects water at an IRC-installed water point in Arbat camp in Iraq.

Photo: Peter Biro/IRC

Ensure that people are emotionally and mentally healthy

How we get there:

  • Helping people understand how stress can negatively impact their physical and mental health;
  • Making sure they have places to go for mental health and emotional support where they can feel comfortable and safe;
  • Educating people about ways they can support their own emotional and mental wellbeing and cope with stress.

Ensure that people have access to clean water and sanitation

How we get there:

  • Providing them with access to safe water and improved sanitation;
  • Working with communities, community health clubs and schools to promote the widespread adoption of healthy hygiene practices;
  • Equipping communities with the skills and contacts they need to manage their water supplies.

Ensure that people are well-served by health institutions

How we get there:

  • Making sure hospitals and clinics are safe and prevent the spread of disease;
  • Improving health system administration, such as developing ways to ensure health workers are paid regularly;
  • Helping rebuild information systems and supporting mobile solutions to improve the collection of health data.

Explore our work in Health.

Outcomes and evidence

The IRC's Outcomes and Evidence Framework supports people working in development and humanitarian aid to design effective programs. It delivers key information on outcomes related to health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power through theories of change that demonstrate how to achieve these outcomes, evidence for which interventions work or don’t work to achieve the outcomes, and guidance on how to measure progress against the outcomes.