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Every child living in an SOS Children's Village has access to quality healthcare, ensuring they grow up strong and healthy. Families living in the surrounding communities also benefit from our medical facilities.

A baby lying in a hospital bed
A new-born baby is looked after in the intensive care unit at
SOS Medical Centre Kaolack in Senegal

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 76 SOS Medical Centres across the world, mostly in Africa and the Middle East, with a few in Asia.

Healthy childhoods at SOS Children's Villages

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.

A little girl having a blood sample taken by a doctor
This little girl in Ethiopia is getting a blood test at SOS Medical
Centre Gode

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.

Child and maternal healthcare in the community

SOS Medical Centres serve the local community, with a focus on child and maternal healthcare. We also 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?

A girl carrying a baby on her back
Our Medical Centre in Nairobi specialises in care for
people affected by HIV & AIDS

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.

Improving health in remote areas

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. 

Inspired to help more children have healthy and happy childhoods? Learn about sponsoring a child.


Did you know? In Pakistan, after the Kashmir earthquake, SOS Children was invited by the government to care for all unaccompanied children from the disaster.