Essential Public Services

Oxfam helps people to access basic health care, clean water, sanitation and education for all.

Every day, 37,000 people around the world die from preventable diseases. Thousands more die from diseases that are treatable with medicines and basic health care.

We know that primary education helps children of poor families break out of poverty and helps them gain control of their futures, and yet 65 million girls and 50 million boys globally are still unable to go to school.

Social services like: affordable and adequate basic health services, access to clean water and sanitation and good quality basic education have long been enshrined in international agreements on basic human rights, and still world leaders fall short.

What is Oxfam doing?

Along with our work to help communities at the grassroots to improve access to these services, we continue to call on governments and international institutions to live up to their commitments.



The women of the Global South often lack access to essential services such as health care. Oxfam and partner agencies support these women by applying pressure on governments to make sure that every woman has access to necessary health services. Dorothy Ngoma of the National Association of Nurses and Midwives describes how health service reform is being advanced in Malawi by Oxfam and local partners.