Symptoms of Broken Health Systems - Canada's World Health Day Priorities

Ebola crisis a devastating manifestation of broken health systems across the least developed countries; Canada can make meaningful difference in fragile contexts, says World Vision

MISSISSAUGA, ON, April 7, 2015 /CNW/ - On World Health Day today, World Vision is calling on Canada and other global governments to turn their focus towards weak and failing health systems in fragile contexts to help the communities that are the most vulnerable and hardest to reach.

The devastating Ebola epidemic in West Africa is an example of what can happen when primary healthcare systems in the most fragile regions are neglected. Despite some success in the fight against Ebola, the crisis highlights that there are many countries that are unable to guarantee even the most basic health of its population, particularly pregnant women, new mothers and children. World Vision is calling on Canada to leverage its position as a global leader on health to rally the international community to support efforts that reach the most vulnerable and hardest to reach. This includes women who don't receive care during pregnancies or who give birth without assistance from skilled medical professionals, children who don't receive birth certificates or are not recognized by their governments.

World Vision is also asking Canadians to raise awareness by signing the Promise Child Survival petition and by uploading a selfie to show their support for the unreached children and mothers around the world.

"Hospitals are often poorly equipped, lacking health centres, drug and human resources. Every year, millions of women and children die from easily treatable diseases or because basic healthcare supplies are in short supply," says Ryan Mulligan, Policy Advisor at World Vision Canada.

"Babies, children, pregnant or nursing women are the ones who get hit the hardest. Ebola is an example of how weak health systems can create a devastating ripple effect to impact entire communities," says Mulligan.

"Canada's leadership on child and maternal health has been strong, and we've seen tremendous success but globally we are missing the most vulnerable in places where survival is the hardest like South Sudan, Somalia and DRC. It's time to count the uncounted and reach children who are the hardest to reach," says Mulligan.


  • 50%+ of global maternal and child deaths occur in fragile contexts, the majority are preventable.
  • 70% of infant deaths world-wide occur in the most fragile countries.
  • A child born in a fragile context is two times as likely to die before age five as a child born in a more stable, low-income country, and five times more like to die than a child in a middle-income country.


  • 84% of Canadians want Canada to be known as a global leader in finding solutions to poverty and protecting the world's children.
  • 88% of Canadians believe children who live in conflict zones or on the margins of society should be front and centre in aid efforts, even if they are harder to reach.

Promise Child Survival campaign website.
="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Photos of women and children in fragile contexts

World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. Visit our News Centre

SOURCE World Vision Canada

For further information: FOR INTERVIEWS CONTACT Brett Tarver - cell: 647-825-2712,


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