10 Nonprofits Improving Global Health


DECATUR, Georgia — There are thousands of nonprofits working to improve world issues, but here are several nonprofits improving global health.

1. Aga Khan Foundation – Focusing on resource-poor and rural communities in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, the Aga Khan Foundation has made great strides in global health as it generally works to improve the quality of life of individuals in those regions.  The foundation promotes sustainable healthcare policy and access to basic health services, but also offers preventative education options according to the belief that “health is more than health care.”

2. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – The Gates Foundation, one of the largest nonprofits in the world, has been improving the health of individuals around the world since 1999. By working to bring the tools necessary to “prevent and treat deadly diseases” to people in developing countries, The Gates Foundation has for a decade and a half leading the way for other nonprofits by investing in high-risk global health strategies. Taking a critical look at which strategies succeed (and many of them do) and which fail allows this enormous foundation to shine an enormous light on what will really work to make health a reality for all individuals.

3. The Carter Center – The nonprofit founded by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is based in Atlanta, but affects individuals across the world as it strives to eliminate six diseases: Guinea worm disease, lymphatic filiarisis, malaria, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis and trachoma. By brining health education and low-cost treatment and prevention interventions to communities that need them, The Carter Center has seen impressive success in making several preventable diseases a thing of the past.

4. CONRAD – Promoting reproductive health in developing countries and preventing the transmission of HIV/AIDS are the overarching goals of this non-profit, founded in 1986. By running clinical trials, conducting groundbreaking research and partnering with leaders in the medical field, CONRAD develops the drugs and technology necessary to optimize reproductive health everywhere.

5. GAVI Alliance – The GAVI Alliance operates according to a simple mission: saving the lives of children and improving the health of individuals by bringing immunization to poor countries. Every year, nearly 23 million children go unimmunized, threatening their own health and the health of those around them. GAVI is working to bring that number to zero.

6. Global Health Corps – By empowering a generation of young people to act on behalf of global health equity, Global Health Corps is educating the next class of leaders in the global health sector. Founded on the belief that health is a human right, this nonprofit pairs innovative thinkers with organizations that already work to make important changes in healthcare in the U.S. and in Africa. By building the partnerships that will improve the impact of other nonprofits, Global Health Corps itself makes access to health a priority for all individuals.

7. MedShare International – Established in 1998 to bring discarded medical supplies from the U.S. to health centers in developing countries, MedShare International has, in the last 15 years, sent $2.5 million in medical supplies to over 95 countries. Many of the communities MedShare serves already have the trained medical professionals and existing space necessary to care for their ill, but lack the tools to do it. Giving the medical supplies we cannot use in the U.S. to people who can use them, MedShare saves lives every day.

8. Micronutrient Initiative – This Canada-based non-profit tackles malnutrition as a global health issue by providing vitamin capsules to malnourished individuals –  especially children – and working with local governments to supply vital nutrients to their people in the future. MI is based in the belief that “children deserve a healthy start to life,” and accordingly, works to improve health in every corner of the globe.

9. Partners in Health – Partners in Health brings the best in modern healthcare to the people who need it most: the poor. By providing access to medical professionals, supplies and knowledge, Partners in Health acts as an “antidote to despair,” allowing impoverished people across the globe to not only recover from a handful of chronic conditions (including cancers, cholera and tuberculosis) but also thrive afterward.

10. PATH – Driven by the spirit of innovation, PATH (Program for Approproate Technology in Health) brings drugs, medical technology and vaccines to over 70 countries around the world. With a unique focus on women and children, this nonprofit works to ensure that no children die of preventable diseases and that all mothers enjoy optimal health.

Elise Riley

Sources: Aga Khan Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Carter Center, CONRAD, GAVI Alliance, Global Health Corps, MedShare International, Micronutrient Initiative, Partners in Health, PATH

Photo: PM Solutions


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