Healthcare as a human right

NPH’s healthcare programmes are built around the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and international standards set by recognised healthcare organisations. Our healthcare focuses on the following UN goals:

Healthcare in Latin America

The mortality rate among newly born children in Latin America is high, at 16 per 1,000, compared to 4 per 1,000 in the UK (World Bank). Children routinely die of diseases that can be treated. Children coming to NPH often have serious medical problems. The majority of them are malnourished and have not received the necessary vaccinations. Some of them need immediate treatment and special care.

Infectious diseases arising from lack of access to healthcare services, notably among pregnant women, are widespread. Poor sanitation of food and water is a common cause of disease, as is poverty in general, which denies people access to treatment and medication.

“Thousands of vulnerable children in Latin America have no health care. Access to a clinic at NPH changes everything.”

Dr Edwin Vallecillo, Director of Medical Services, NPH

Our network of 11 primary care clinics in 9 countries offer essential healthcare services to children in NPH programmes.

Healthcare at NPH

Children in the care of NPH receive first-class healthcare. All NPH centres have onsite clinics and access to off-site facilities. Should they need specialist care, children are accompanied by staff to local hospitals.

Child receiving health check
Health check on a child at NPH Nicaragua

In many countries where NPH works, we have expanded our basic healthcare services to include specialised programmes such as speech therapy and physiotherapy for children with disabilities.

Dental check-up at NPH Guatemala
A dental check-up at NPH Guatemala

NPH’s health programmes are mainly focused on children in residential care with NPH, as well as those in our One Family reintegration programme. Increasingly centres are also offering healthcare to the local community. Clinics care for people who come to NPH schools, family centres, day care centres and children’s soup kitchens.

Healthcare programmes

NPH operates 4 main healthcare programmes:

  • Healthy family
  • Mental health
  • Food security
  • Disability care

St. Damien Hospital, Haiti

In Haiti, NPH operates the only dedicated children’s hospital in the country, the St. Damien Hospital. It provides very low-cost treatment for a wide range of health problems to around 90,000 patients every year. Those who cannot afford to pay anything receive treatment free of charge.

Child receiving care at NPH St. Damien Hospital
A child receiving care at NPH St. Damien Hospital

The hospital has an A&E unit and treats malnutrition, dehydration, infectious diseases (including TB and HIV) as well as non-infectious illnesses (e.g. cancer and heart disease). St. Damien is the only hospital in Haiti that treats childhood cancer.

The hospital was rebuilt in 2006 and now has 224 beds.

Specialised treatment programmes

Every child receives the care and support that they need. In addition to basic healthcare, NPH also offers a range of specialised care programmes:

Living with disabilities

Care for children with disabilities, such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. At 4 dedicated centres in Haiti, NPH provides residential care, education and therapy to children and adults with physiological and neurological conditions.

Overcoming trauma

To help children overcome trauma and to come to terms with their past, each centre offers a wide range of psychological support, e.g. drama therapy, music therapy and art therapy. This helps the children to process their fears and trauma through play.

Treating child cancer

In Haiti there is no access to radiotherapy for children with cancer. Consequently, in 2010 NPH set up the St. Marie House as a programme at NPH Dominican Republic. Children with cancer from Haiti can live there with a parent or guardian and receive radiotherapy at a nearby hospital in Santo Domingo.

Healthcare at NPH in 2021

In 2021, 13% of those living at NPH centres (children, young people and adults) had disabilities or learning difficulties. All of them received therapy specific to their needs.

Additionally, where NPH works, we performed the following:

19,801medical consultations (with doctors and nurses)
1,973therapy treatments/services (occupational, physio, art, speech)
1,996vaccinations against common childhood diseases

Further information about healthcare in Latin America


Read about our commitment to healthy nutrition