PHOTOS: When empty shelves threaten lives

Here in the United States, when our little ones come down with common childhood illnesses, we have relatively easy access to over-the-counter medicines and supplies that can treat them and ease their suffering. Rarely, if ever, do such ailments become life-threatening.

Tragically, the opposite is often true in developing countries. Children who become ill with treatable conditions -- such as worms, diarrhea, pneumonia, and malaria -- seek treatment at local clinics, but the shelves there are frequently empty. Poverty renders basic medicines and supplies unaffordable or inaccessible, and children's lives are needlessly placed at risk.

World Vision works with pharmaceutical companies and other corporate partners, who donate medications and medical supplies that we can ship and distribute to clinics around the world where they're needed most. The images below depict the problem -- and what we're doing to help solve it.

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Ezera, 4, awaits treatment at a health center in Uganda with his father, John. Ezera is suffering from a case of intestinal worms. (Photo: Simon Peter Esaku/World Vision)

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Another child in Uganda grimaces as a nurse examines his bloated belly. He, too, is suffering from intestinal worms. (Photo: Simon Peter Esaku/World Vision)

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A worker surveys the nearly depleted supply of medicines at a health clinic in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Many in the area are suffering from malaria, but one of the two nurses on staff at the clinic says they have no malaria medication. (Photo: Jon Warren/World Vision)

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This 11-month-old child is suffering from diarrhea, but he and his mother will benefit from a World Vision distribution of medicine to their community health center in Ghana. (Photo: Justin Douglass/World Vision)

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Baby Dorcas cries in her mother's arms before receiving treatment for dehydration and pnuenomia at a clinic built by World Vision in Kenya. (Photo: Jon Warren/World Vision)

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Little Sabina receives a pill to treat her worm infestation from a collection of donated medications delivered to her community in Zambia. (Photo: Collins Kaumba/World Vision)

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Iranyitse examines a bottle of medication his mother, Joselyne, was given to treat her son's diarrhea. Joselyne has already lost three children and walked three hours to get to the clinic with Iranyitse. (Photo: Jon Warren/World Vision)

Read related story: Donated medication helps child fight worm infestation

What would it be like to see your child suffering from a perfectly treatable ailment that you couldn't do anything about -- all because your local clinic wasn't equipped to help? For far too many children and parents around the world, poverty makes this a reality.

Make a one-time donation today to help ship and distribute life-saving medicines and supplies to communities in need. Your gift multiplies 12 times in impact to help provide donated phamaceuticals, supplies, and over-the-counter medications to places where children and families are suffering.


    This so impressing to see how the life's of the community are being transformed and touched

    Lokidor, thanks for sharing your thoughts, we love being able to be a part of transforming lives for the better.


    Lindsey, WV Staff

    Our VBS collected $1260 for Operation Kid-to-Kid, enough to buy 210 mosquito nets for the children of Mali, Africa. They also wrote cards and drew pictures for the children. So proud of our kids. They learned SO much about missions and giving and then put what they learned into action. It was awesome to behold. Brought tears to my eyes. God bless your efforts and the kids/families in Mali, Africa.

    Anyone know what type of camera Jon Warren uses?

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