Providing healthcare is part of the holistic support we give to vulnerable children and families across the world. Our medical centres are usually situated near SOS Children’s Villages, ensuring basic healthcare for all children, SOS mothers and other SOS staff.
Today SOS Medical Centres actively serve communities where there is no other medical provision, reaching thousands of children and families each year.
There are 79 SOS Medical Centres across the world, mostly in Africa and the Middle East, with a few in Asia.
When children arrive at an SOS Children’s Village, many have had a tough start in life and are in poor health. They may have been neglected, lived on the streets, or not had the right nutrition. That’s why as soon as a child joins an SOS family, we assess their health needs and work to fulfil them. Those who are malnourished are given a special diet until they are fit and strong, while children who are HIV-positive are given appropriate treatment. Whatever their needs, we make sure they become and stay healthy. Our aim is that children grow up healthy in all ways – physically, mentally and emotionally.
All children living in SOS Children’s Villages are vaccinated against disease, as well as receiving swift treatment from our medical centres if they fall ill. SOS mothers are trained in nutrition, and always serve food that is good for their children’s development. When an SOS family is living in an area where malaria is prevalent, everyone sleeps under treated bed nets at night.
SOS Medical Centres serve the local community, with a focus on child and maternal healthcare. Providing health care to children and their care givers is tackling the problem of parental loss. The services provided by SOS Medical Centres help us to reach more children at risk of losing parental care or who have lost parental care. SOS Medical Centres are focusing on the most prevalent pathologies and develop health prevention and treatment programmes at locations where there is the greatest need and in areas where we can have the greatest impact.
We believe that AIDS is a preventable disease and thus commit ourselves with the participation of children and young people, to create and maintain a supportive environment that reduces the vulnerability of children and their care-givers to HIV infection. We develop health prevention and treatment programmes for the most common diseases in a region, for example, malaria or HIV/AIDS. For many families living in remote areas, our medical centres are the only form of healthcare available.
When a family can access healthcare services, both children and their parents are more likely to survive and thrive. In this way, our medical centres help to prevent children from losing their parents and keep families together and strong.
What health services do SOS Medical Centres offer?
We offer medical care by skilled professionals to the surrounding communities free of charge. Each medical centre is tailored to the needs of the local population. Therefore the services we offer vary between medical centres, and offer both preventative and curative medicine. In one area there could be a need for HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness, while in another the greatest threat to children may be malnourishment.
Generally, our smaller medical centres focus on first-aid and primary care consultations. Bigger SOS Medical Centres include outpatient, inpatient, maternity and surgery units. Our focus on maternal health includes providing prenatal, postnatal and neonatal care, as well as a safe childbirth with trained birth attendants. We offer vaccinations, health advice for parents, and psychosocial support for traumatised children.
Our healthcare services are often part of our family strengthening programmes, ensuring every child grows up in a nurturing environment.
In remote communities with no access to a clinic, SOS Children’s Villages helps to train local people to become medical helpers, so they can give first-aid, do basic procedures and give advice.
We also run health awareness campaigns in schools and social centres. These workshops give children and caregivers tools and knowledge about nutrition, family planning, STD prevention, and general healthcare. Knowing how to keep healthy means parents can provide nurturing care for their children.
Working in partnership with local organisations and authorities, we strive for every child around the world to have a flourishing childhood. The health of future generations depends upon it.