Our Work

Family & Community Health

Families and communities remain central to the well-being of all who are part of them—from the very young to the very old. The strength and health of these fundamental social building blocks lie at the core of achieving the United Nations-led effort to attain the Sustainable Development Goals for ending poverty and advancing social development and better health for all by 2030.

Family and Community Health programs and other efforts that target the population as a whole are crucial in order to meet public health needs, especially for those living in fragile environments.

International Medical Corps works at the community level to promote health, prevent disease and assure that all family members have the opportunity to survive and thrive. It is a holistic approach that ensures even those living in precarious conditions can benefit from comprehensive quality health care services. At the same time, we develop and promote healthy habits and practices that can last a lifetime and contribute to building resilient communities.

As part of this process, International Medical Corps engages both local government and community leaders as partners to help local residents identify their own health priorities and needs, then explore the available local resources to meet them.

Increases in life expectancy accelerated in most regions of the world from 2000 to 2015 with an overall global jump of 5.0 years
During the first five months of 2017, five new cases of polio were reported globally
Every minute of every day, a child dies from malaria

Areas of Focus


International Medical Corps works within the communities we serve, liaising with both residents and their leaders to promote and support programs and other efforts that improve access to basic health services for all residents and for the community as a whole.

An example of this approach, known as integrated community-based case management, is used to treat common childhood illnesses such as diarrhea, chest infections, malaria and acute malnutrition, relies on the communities’ own people—community health workers and village health committees—to conduct health education, promotion and social behaviour change communication.

Actively seeking out and involving community residents is key to implementing effective community-level programs and International Medical Corps pursues this approach at every stage of the program cycle. We believe community ownership and stewardship are crucial to have sustainable programs that ultimately contribute to better health outcomes for all.


Key Stats

If left untreated, an individual infected with Tuberculosis can spread the disease to 10 to 15 people every year, though not all will become sick. TB is both treatable and curable.
According to WHO, in 2016 there was a global shortage of 7.2 million doctors, nurses and midwives
A study last year linked air pollution to 6 million deaths per year in China


International Medical Corps works to help vulnerable communities worldwide prevent and respond to communicable diseases, including HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, as well as non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and mental disorders.

Over 1 billion people each year are affected by infectious diseases—including neglected tropical illnesses which thrive in impoverished and marginalized communities, in conflict zones and the overcrowded conditions that so often prevail in settlements for refugees and the internally displaced. In such places, poor sanitation, limited access to safe drinking water and often-inadequate health services combine to make conditions ideal for disease outbreaks.

In Africa, infectious diseases remain a leading cause of illness and death but elsewhere, it is non-communicable disease that has become the main causes of illness and death, quietly thriving with none of the drama of attention-getting epidemics and emergency vaccination campaigns.

A significant number of International Medical Corps’ responses have included technical assistance for the treatment and control of epidemic diseases. Our staff of around 7,000 worldwide includes physicians and public health specialists who coordinate health responses worldwide and engage in pandemic preparedness activities.


Key Stats

Non-communicable diseases cause more than two-thirds of all annual deaths, with the two biggest killers, cardiac disorders and strokes
During the first five months of 2017, just five new cases of polio were reported globally
About 1.6 million children die of pneumonia every year, making it the single leading cause of child deaths

Junior Community Health Workers in Iraq

Hear from three kids about their experience working with our Junior Community Health Worker program in Iraq.

“Cholera Excludes No One” #FirstResponder: Nurse Christine Casimir shares her story

The emergency response to Hurricane Matthew is not Christine’s first stint with International Medical Corps. Following the earthquake in 2010, Christine applied ten years of nursing experience to help International Medical Corps mobile medical teams treat earthquake victims and cholera patients. “I was especially shocked at the number of child victims,” she said, describing how she worked tirelessly to keep them healthy.


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