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Find Out Where and How Relief International is Responding to COVID-19 Pandemic

Refugees, families displaced from their homes, and the people we serve in the world’s most fragile settings will be hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus has officially reached all of the sixteen countries where Relief International works. Our teams are on the frontline every day, responding to outbreaks in the world’s most fragile settings.


Get live updates on our COVID-19 response
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What we do

Health and Nutrition

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Health and Nutrition

Overview

Delivering quality healthcare in fragile settings requires a daily balancing act for both patients and providers. The communities Relief International serves are often surrounded by life-threatening events that result in physical and emotional wounds, and security makes it challenging to seek treatment. These populations are additionally burdened by chronic poverty and shortages of basic necessities such as food, clean water and safe sanitation – leaving them with little resilience to withstand poor health.

Our work ranges from providing life-saving care to people in vulnerable situations to rebuilding health systems so they can sustainably care for themselves. In war-ravaged countries, our mobile medical units provide care to communities completely cut off from services, and our hospitals in besieged cities treat mass injuries and offer trauma counseling. In areas facing drought, our healthcare facilities screen children for malnutrition and treat waterborne disease spread by lack of access to clean water sources.

When we’re not doing, we’re preparing – by building local capacity through vocational training for health workers, providing food and nutritional advice to families to prevent famine, stockpiling medicine to combat an impending disease outbreak, and scouting sites for the next hospital in the event we’re forced to move the existing one.

All of Relief International’s health and nutrition work is underpinned by protection measures. This means we ensure that groups facing highly vulnerable situations or with special needs have access and dignity in attaining the quality care they need to live healthy lives.

Our work helps people in vulnerable situations achieve good health and nutrition by:

  • Delivering primary healthcare and emergency treatment
  • Connecting patients to mental health and trauma counseling services
  • Deploying mobile medical units to hard-to-reach areas
    Providing life-saving maternal care (pre-natal, delivery and post-natal)
  • Treating and preventing malnutrition
  • Launching community-based disease prevention campaigns
  • Equipping health facilities to respond to disease outbreak
  • Educating families about health and nutrition
  • Offering sexual and reproductive health services
  • Training local healthcare workers
  • Teaching veterinarians and medical staff to recognize and prevent diseases spread by livestock
  • Acute malnutrition treatment
Our Impact in 2019

Delivering life-saving support

4.9M
health consultations provided
7.1K
healthcare providers trained
1.1K
number of health facilities supported
Lebanon. Elie Gardner/RI

Health and Nutrition in Fragile Settings

Afghanistan

A Disease Deadlier than War: One Doctor’s Struggle to Contain COVID-19 in Afghanistan

Relief International has been preparing for months for the arrival of coronavirus in Afghanistan, where the disease is spreading rapidly – and largely undetected – throughout the country. The COVID-19 outbreak threatens to overwhelm the country’s existing health services and make an already fragile situation much worse.

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Philippines

“It’s not a normal day at work”: Responding to COVID-19 and Polio in the Philippines

The second largest island in the Philippines, Mindanao is one of the most fragile settings in the world. The site of a decades-long conflict and recurrent earthquakes, the island community is now struggling to contain competing outbreaks of polio and the novel coronavirus, which serve to push families to their limits.

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Yemen

Dangerous Delivery: The Reality of Pregnancy in Yemen

“January 15 was one of the worst days of my life,” recalls Kadija Al-Qadri. After a relatively easy pregnancy, she eagerly awaited the moment when she would hold her youngest child in her arms. But Kadija’s excitement was replaced with fear after she learned that her baby was transverse, or positioned horizontally. In Yemen, it’s a diagnosis that can be deadly.

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South Sudan

Gentil Hospital: A Safe Place for Quality Care in a Tense Border Region

Relief International began providing medical care at Gentil Hospital in 2016. Since then, no mothers’ lives have been lost during childbirth.

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Lebanon

Displaced and Distressed: Delivering Mental Health Support in Arsal, Lebanon

Asmaa, 33, and Mariam, 61, live a five-minute drive away from one another in the small Lebanese border town of Arsal. They have never met, but they have more in common than just the town where they live.

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Syria

The Doctor Who Stayed Behind

A Syrian pediatrician shares the challenges of working in a war zone, what keeps him motivated, and his hopes for the future.

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Sudan

Kitchen Gardens in North Darfur Make Nutrition Sustainable

Meet Medina, a mother of nine from North Darfur and a participant in Relief International’s nutrition program.

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Turkey

Providing Life-Changing Prosthetics for Syrian Refugees

One and a half million people in Syria are currently living with permanent impairments, including over 80,000 who have lost limbs.

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Afghanistan

A Disease Deadlier than War: One Doctor’s Struggle to Contain COVID-19 in Afghanistan

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Philippines

“It’s not a normal day at work”: Responding to COVID-19 and Polio in the Philippines

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Yemen

Dangerous Delivery: The Reality of Pregnancy in Yemen

South Sudan. Elie Gardner/RI

South Sudan

Gentil Hospital: A Safe Place for Quality Care in a Tense Border Region

Relief International Social Worker Fatima Abdul Wahed hosts a one-on-one session with Aasma in her home. Elie Gardner/RI

Lebanon

Displaced and Distressed: Delivering Mental Health Support in Arsal, Lebanon

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Syria

The Doctor Who Stayed Behind

Sudan. Elie Gardner/RI

Sudan

Kitchen Gardens in North Darfur Make Nutrition Sustainable

Rahaf is a technician who makes prosthetic limbs at Relief International's clinic. Rachel Elkind/RI

Turkey

Providing Life-Changing Prosthetics for Syrian Refugees

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philippines-card-covid19_05142020.jpg
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South Sudan. Elie Gardner/RI
Relief International Social Worker Fatima Abdul Wahed hosts a one-on-one session with Aasma in her home. Elie Gardner/RI
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Sudan. Elie Gardner/RI
Rahaf is a technician who makes prosthetic limbs at Relief International's clinic. Rachel Elkind/RI
hekmat-afghanistan.jpg

A Disease Deadlier than War: One Doctor’s Struggle to Contain COVID-19 in Afghanistan

philippines-card-covid19_05142020.jpg

“It’s not a normal day at work”: Responding to COVID-19 and Polio in the Philippines

yemen-maternal-health-01272020-e1580419846331.jpg

Dangerous Delivery: The Reality of Pregnancy in Yemen

South Sudan. Elie Gardner/RI

Gentil Hospital: A Safe Place for Quality Care in a Tense Border Region

Relief International Social Worker Fatima Abdul Wahed hosts a one-on-one session with Aasma in her home. Elie Gardner/RI

Displaced and Distressed: Delivering Mental Health Support in Arsal, Lebanon

syria-story-sarraf-card-image-e1566302844873.jpg

The Doctor Who Stayed Behind

Sudan. Elie Gardner/RI

Kitchen Gardens in North Darfur Make Nutrition Sustainable

Rahaf is a technician who makes prosthetic limbs at Relief International's clinic. Rachel Elkind/RI

Providing Life-Changing Prosthetics for Syrian Refugees

From our staff

As a member of Relief International's Syria team and a Syrian refugee myself, I am proud to provide the much-needed mental healthcare and physical rehabilitation to help restore lives.

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Lebanon. Elie Gardner/RI
Get in touch

Get in touch

For more information on Relief International’s work in health and nutrition, please contact [email protected]