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March 2015, Nigeria: Onuchukwu Okoye has just given birth; seen here with staff nurse and midwife Dorothy Ukowfu.

Improving access to healthcare

Hundreds of thousands of people accessed better healthcare services in the year. We implemented health programmes in Myanmar, nine countries in Africa and a cross-country programme in Central America, covering themes such as maternal and child health, malaria prevention, HIV prevention, testing and treatment, and sexual and reproductive health.

Malaria in Nigeria

In our Christmas Appeal, we told you about Ngyuk, in Nigeria, who lost two babies due to malaria. She was unaware of the need to take malaria prevention drugs during her pregnancy. With your support we raised more than £3m to help people like her. Almost all of this income was matched by the UK Government’s department for international development (DFID) to fund malaria health projects in Nigeria.

During her recent pregnancy, Ngyuk accessed antenatal care and received malaria prevention drugs. In August, she gave birth to a healthy baby girl named Geovita.

With support from the Christmas Appeal 2015, we aim to reach around 200,000 children under five and 400,000 women of child-bearing age in Nigeria, contributing to a reduction in child mortality and morbidity rates.

Our work has an excellent track record. For instance, we have seen a 60% increase in reported use of mosquito bed nets and preventive medicine in the past five years. We also know that malaria can’t be tackled by mosquito nets alone and so we’ve trained community health workers to provide essential malaria education in the region.

During her recent pregnancy, Ngyuk accessed antenatal care and received malaria prevention drugs. In August, she gave birth to a healthy baby girl named Geovita.

An integrated approach to health

We take a rounded approach to solving health issues, integrating nutrition, maternal and child health, sexual health and family planning services. This approach enables communities not only to be healthy, but also to thrive and be resilient.

A key part of our health work is also to develop stronger relationships between citizens and government, so the communities with which we work are able to hold the government to account.

We've also helped introduce digital technology such as SMS reminders for clinic visits, as a way of improving uptake of health services.

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