Global public health indicators continue to show significant improvements on average in the health and wellbeing of our communities. People are living longer than ever before; the development of new vaccines continue to save countless lives and maternal and child mortality rates show vast improvements when compared to previous decades. Yet progress remains uneven - key global health trends, including changing demographics and disease patterns, urbanisation, emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, climate change and the unprecedented number of people on the move are all exacerbating global health risks and adversely impacting on the well-being of individuals, families and communities.
As a result, underlying vulnerabilities, stigma and inequalities within and across communities are pushing already vulnerable and marginalised people into even more precarious states of poverty and ill-health.
These groups are ‘last mile’ communities – the millions that can’t access essential health services, and the 100 million people that are pushed into extreme poverty every year because of catastrophic health expenditures. They are also the 780 million people without access to safe water and the 2.5 billion without adequate sanitation. It is these sobering statistics that provide the context to this IFRC Health and Care Framework and which drive our collective work to ensure quality health and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services for all.