Our Areas of Focus

Health

Poverty and ill-health are inextricably linked. In many poor communities, women and children spend hours each day collecting contaminated drinking water for their families. In fact, 1.6 million people die every year from diarrhoeal diseases due to lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitation, and 90% of these are children under 5, mostly in developing countries1Read more.

Access to basic health care in poor communities is extremely limited, especially in rural and remote areas. The proportion of births attended by skilled birth attendants remains below 50% in low-income countries,2 and every day 800 women die due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth, predominantly in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia.3

TEAR partners work with people living in poverty to address health issues in a number of ways:

  • Basic health promotion and education (e.g. food and nutrition; maternal and child health; reproductive health; hygiene and sanitation; prevention of HIV, malaria and other diseases)
  • Training of community health workers and birth attendants
  • Provision of subsidised mosquito nets
  • Nutritional supplements for malnourished children
  • Home-based care and support groups for people living with HIV
  • Access to clean water and sanitation
  • Community-based rehabilitation and empowerment of people living with a disability
  • Community-based mental health awareness and care
  • Strengthening government health services delivery and community advocacy around those services
  1. World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/mdg1/en/index.html Accessed August 9, 2012.
  2. World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/gho/maternal_health/en/index.html Accessed August 9, 2012.
  3. World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/gho/maternal_health/mortality/maternal_mortality_text/en/index.html Accessed August 9, 2012.

Related Projects:

Shaping Government Policy for Mental Health, Nepal

Shaping Government Policy for Mental Health

While most advocacy undertaken through TEAR’s partners is on a local community level, some of our partners are involved in influencing national government policies and funding.

In Nepal, TEAR’s partner CMC (the Centre for Mental Health and Counselling) works in remote regions to improve the lives of people affected by mental illness, particularly through community awareness-raising and non-clinical psycho-social support, such as Self-Help Groups. To complement this, CMC engages with Nepal’s Department of Health to influence and shape national…

Read more

Shaping Government Policy for Mental Health, Nepal

Supporting women throughout pregnancy and childbirth, Laos

Pensamay is a mother of two boys who, with her training as a traditional birth attendant, is now also helping other mothers in her village in Laos to give birth safely.

Traditionally, most women in rural Laos give birth alone and unassisted, dramatically increasing the risks of complication and even death. Trained traditional birth attendants (TBAs) help mothers deliver their babies safely. These birth attendants are equipped with life-saving tools and clean supplies to keep mothers and babies safe and healthy during delivery. They are also trained to refer women with difficult labours to…

Read more

Supporting women throughout pregnancy and childbirth, Laos

Household toilets improve quality of life in Cambodia

Jop Yoeung is proud of her new toilet, which she built with her family after receiving training and support from TEAR’s partner the Cambodian Hope Organisation (CHO).

Household toilets, like the one built by Yoeung’s family, have brought about a significant change in the quality of life for the people of her village, on the Cambodia-Thai border. Not only do they help prevent the spread of disease, they also provide privacy and security – something the women in Yoeung’s family greatly appreciate.

Before her family built the toilet, Yoeung and the other women of her family would need to walk…

Read more

Household toilets improve quality of life in Cambodia

Cheaper, healthier stoves make a difference to daily life in Pakistan

Can a stove be beautiful? We think Langar’s is. With support from our partner SSEWA-Pak in Pakistan, Langar and her husband Mana Ram have constructed a fuel-efficient stove, which has made a helpful difference to their daily life. Not only is the stove cheaper to run and better for the environment, but less smoke in the house makes for healthier lungs too.

With four sons to feed, Langar does a lot of cooking. She says this stove is twice as efficient as her previous one, enabling her to cook both bread and tea in the morning before everyone goes off to work – saving time!

Langar says: “We…

Read more

Cheaper, healthier stoves make a difference to daily life in Pakistan

Zimbabwean mother volunteers to support the hearing-impaired community

It’s a tough job raising a child with a disability. For Petronella Muchidza, finding a way to communicate with her son, who was born deaf, has also proved to be an opportunity to improve the lives of other families with hearing-impaired members.

Through TEAR’s partner Nzeve, Petronella learned sign language and unlocked a way to connect with her son. Now, she assists as a volunteer sign language teacher in schools, and with community awareness raising activities for Nzeve. She’s also a volunteer Cluster Facilitator, helping support groups of carers for people with a disability, and a mentor…

Read more

Zimbabwean mother volunteers to support the hearing-impaired community

Making Tippy Taps for Better Health in Mozambique

A 'tippy tap' outside the family toilet is dramatically reducing the incidence of diarrhoea in areas where clean water is scarce. This simple set-up enables families to wash their hands - an effective way of decreasing the spread of disease.

TEAR's Christian partner Oasis Mozambique has been teaching women involved in their Self-Help Groups how to make their own 'tippy taps' from cut-down jerry cans. They have also been sharing important hygiene messages which the women can pass on to their own communities and keep themselves and their children in good health.

Read more

Making Tippy Taps for Better Health in Mozambique

Improving the health and wellbeing of women in Mozambique

TEAR’s partner Oasis in Mozambique is working alongside the local church to improve the health and wellbeing of women in the Manga Loforte area of the port city Beira.

“Care groups” of local women are learning about important health and hygiene messages. They’re becoming health activists in their communities, sharing what they’ve learnt with others and sparking change.

Marquina Rondao (not pictured), a mother of six children, is one of these women. Before she joined the care group, she had many health problems and so did others in the community. Marquina says: “I joined Oasis to create…

Read more

Improving the health and wellbeing of women in Mozambique

Improving Health in Schools, Zambia

In Zambia, poor sanitation and limited access to safe water is common. It’s a key reason for the high prevalence of diarrhoea and other debilitating, and sometimes deadly, illnesses.

TEAR’s partner, Reformed Open Community Schools (ROCS), is working to raise health and hygiene standards in community schools through improving access to safe water and sanitation facilities.

It’s a challenge – many schools have very basic structures, with limited sanitation facilities and few options for safe, clean drinking water. 

With the help of the community, who have contributed materials and labour,…

Read more

Improving Health in Schools, Zambia

How Far Has Cambodia Come?

“Ascend to the realm of the gods, Angkor Wat. Descend into hell at Tuol Sleng Prison. With a history both inspiring and depressing, Cambodia delivers an intoxicating present.” 

So reads the introduction to the Lonely Planet guide to Cambodia. It’s possibly an accurate description of the hyperreal experience of international tourism, but do Cambodians themselves experience an intoxicating present? Just how far has Cambodia come in reconciling its brutal post-colonial history to forge a new future?

I recently visited TEAR’s partners in Cambodia, as they work to build a better tomorrow for the…

Read more

How Far Has Cambodia Come?

Health and Nutrition Education, Nepal

Little Subiraj is only 20 months old and is acutely malnourished. His mother, Animaya, brought him to a health clinic in Dhading, Nepal, where TEAR’s partner United Mission to Nepal (UMN) has established a nutrition program. Here, UMN staff member Rina is feeding Subiraj some therapeutic food, a highly nutritious peanut product designed for emergencies.

After being diagnosed as severely underweight, Subiraj was admitted to a community-based program. Over time, as part of the program, he will hopefully gain weight and begin to thrive.

As well as the health clinics, UMN’s health team have…

Read more

Health and Nutrition Education, Nepal

Nurturing Wellness in Remote Indigenous Communities

Nearly half of all adults in remote Indigenous Australian communities struggle with chronic disease. In the Galiwin’ku community, one woman’s personal transformation has inspired a group of Indigenous women to improve their health. All suffering from a range of different conditions, they are exploring good food and lifestyle as a way to improve their health.

Let me introduce Dianne Biritjalawuy - Yolngu community leader and world-changer! Dianne has recently made the difficult journey back from the brink of serious health issues. In response to an acute health scare that left Dianne…

Read more

Nurturing Wellness in Remote Indigenous Communities

Men and women working together to save lives

Integrated Development Project Sekong

In the Sekong area of Laos, many of the villages are remote and difficult to access. The ethnic minority groups in the project area generally have less awareness of the value of education. Even if they want to send their children to school, they may not live near one or have the resources to send their children. If children are enrolled, they often attend irregularly due to child minding or household activities; this is especially the case for girl children. Here, World Concern is working, compelled by the love of Christ, to transform the lives of poor…

Read more

Men and women working together to save lives

Mozambique - Hopes for Tomorrow

Mozambique is one of the world’s poorest countries. 44% of children under the age of five are malnourished and there are high levels of maternal and child mortality. Only 43% of the population have access to safe water and just over 11% of the adult population is HIV positive. And yet despite these statistics, people have hope. Hope for their children, hope for their families, hope for a day when things will be different. TEAR partners with Oasis and World Relief in Mozambique. Watch this video, hear their “Hopes for Tomorrow”, and stand with them in prayer and solidarity today.

Read more

Mozambique - Hopes for Tomorrow

Improving health and nutrition for Somalia’s displaced people

In Somalia, decades of civil war have caused the almost total collapse of public infrastructure and social services, leading to one of the largest and most complex humanitarian crises in the world. According to recent UN statistics, Somalia’s maternal mortality, child malnutrition and under-five mortality rates are among the worst in the world. One in seven children under the age of five, or 203,000 children, are estimated to be acutely or severely malnourished, and one in every ten Somali children die before their first birthday (UNOCHA, Jan 2014).

TEAR has recently begun funding a health…

Read more

Improving health and nutrition for Somalia’s displaced people

Hope and Opportunity in Laos

It’s not enough to just live; everyone deserves to have the opportunity to live to their full potential.

Keo Chan, her husband and three children were only just getting by.

With little money, they moved in with Keo’s family and shared a small house with two other families. There was not enough rice to go around, and Keo and her husband had to travel to another village to work to feed their family. There was no extra income for daily expenses, like school fees or medicine. If emergencies came up, there was no safety net.

Since TEAR’s partner, World Concern Laos, has been working with…

Read more

Hope and Opportunity in Laos

Improving Mental Health in Nepal

Mental health is something we often think of as a “western” issue, but in countries like Nepal, where suicide is the leading cause of death for women of child-bearing age, it’s also a serious concern. TEAR’s Paul Hansen recently visited one of TEAR’s partners in Nepal, the Centre for Mental Health and Counselling (CMC), who is taking an innovative approach to working with those struggling with mental health.

There are some things I expected when travelling in Nepal, like creative approaches to electrical wiring in hotel rooms and having your vehicle equipped with a red and green flashing…

Read more

Improving Mental Health in Nepal

Rewriting the story of maternal and child health in Afghanistan

The birth of a baby is meant to be a time of joy and excitement, but for many women living in Afghanistan it’s a time of great uncertainty and risk. Here, one in eight mothers die while giving birth, usually in their homes and often in remote areas. In the lead up to the birth, only 16% of women have access to a trained health care practitioner.

The Birth Life Saving Skills (BLiSS) program, developed by TEAR’s partner Operation Mercy, is helping to improve these statistics, and make a real difference in the lives of mothers and babies in Afghanistan. BLiSS is a health education program that…

Read more

Rewriting the story of maternal and child health in Afghanistan

Educating children at school, kitchen garden techniques and skills.

Kitchen gardens in schools have sprouted in popularity in recent years, helping to teach a generation of kids how to grow fresh vegies. But the trend is not limited to Australia – children in a school in Phonhom village, Laos, have been building their own kitchen garden as part of a project run by TEAR’s partner World Renew (formerly CRWRC) Laos. Not only are they tending their patch and growing their own produce with pride, they are also helping to share what they’ve learnt with their families and grow food at home.

See (pictured, centre) and her schoolmates spent one afternoon a week in…

Read more

Educating children at school, kitchen garden techniques and skills.

Discover more

Our monthly email news 'TEAR Update' includes development insights from our partners, advocacy ideas, and events.

Thanks for subscribing!


About TEAR

TEAR Australia is a Christian development, relief and advocacy organisation responding to global poverty and injustice. More >

Join the conversation…

Good conversations today with @TEARAustralia v impressed with their ethos, approach and work1463504570

Listen to Reg. Nurse Hannah's msg to @ScottMorrisonMP to #StopTheClock #budget2016 soundcloud.com/australianaid/… cc: @TEARAustralia1462256174

Chrissy Ellis, a Bwgcolman woman from Palm Island, has recently joined our friends at @TEARAustralia: fortomorrow.org.au/stories/story/…1455857137