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HOPE works in more than 35 countires worldwide. Please enjoy our blog as we document the successes and challenges of our work to provide Health Opportunities for People Everywhere.
Posted By Alison Brandt, Communications Specialist for Project HOPE on February 27, 2014
As we have previously reported on our website, recording artist and 2012 American Idol finalist Jeremy Rosado is donating a portion of the proceeds from his new single “Hope for Tomorrow” to Project HOPE’s disaster recovery work in response to Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the Philippines on November 8, 2013. In celebration of the launch of “Hope for Tomorrow,” a red carpet event was held Tuesday evening at the Hard Rock Café in Nashville, Tennessee, where Jeremy performed a set of songs from his soon-to-be released debut album No Ordinary Moments.
Project HOPE’s Director of Institutional Development Karen Carr and I were on-hand at the event to represent Project HOPE and spread the word about how HOPE is helping the Philippines rebuild its health care capacity following the immense destruction caused by the typhoon. The event was well-attended by such luminaries in the Nashville music scene as Grammy-nominated songwriter Aaron Rice and singers Schyler Dixon and Kerrie Roberts.
A highlight of the evening was meeting Project HOPE alumna Carole Rietz, RN. A local resident of Nashville, Carole was a nurse anesthetist aboard the SS Hope on a humanitarian mission to Tunisia in 1969 and 1970. A sprightly woman, Carole is eager to volunteer for Project HOPE once again now that she has retired from her nursing position at Vanderbilt University MedicalCenter and has some more free time. And we hope she will!
Jeremy did an excellent job singing a set of songs from No Ordinary Moments. Following a striking duet with Kerrie Roberts, he performed “Hope for Tomorrow” to a standing ovation.
I was delighted to be able to celebrate the launch of “Hope for Tomorrow” with Jeremy and am thrilled that he is supporting HOPE and our work in the Philippines. If you have not yet downloaded your copy of “Hope for Tomorrow,” you can do so by clicking this link. And don’t forget to enter our contest to travel with Jeremy to the Philippines to see Project HOPE’s work first-hand. The contest has been extended to May 1. You can enter the contest here.
Posted By Theresa Chan, MD, Project HOPE Volunteer, Philippines Rotation 4 on February 11, 2014
Theresa Chan, MD of Ashland, Oregon is volunteering for three weeks in the Philippines as part of Rotation 4 of our disaster recovery efforts in Tapaz, the Philippines. She is augmenting local health care capacity and performing medical outreach in more remote areas of the island.
From the moment I arrived in the Philippines, my time has been devoted to topics related to maternal and child health. My first stop was at the Festival of Santo Nino, which was being held at the center of town. I watched demonstrations of traditional dances and marveled at the composure of the little boy who had been chosen to represent the Santo Nino. I'll admit I was a bit woozy from culture shock, but my reception was so warm and kind that I soon settled into life at Project Hope's lodging.
The next day our volunteers were carried to the top of the mountains around Tapaz by Philippine Army helicopters. They dropped us off at two of the most inaccessible baranguays, or health care districts. This was a rare opportunity to see what life looks like in a remote village, where people live closer to a pre-industrial agrarian lifestyle than a modern one. Without the generosity of the Army we would not have been able to travel to these remote baranguays, which are only accessible by foot or occasionally, by bicycle. There are seventeen local midwives who rotate through these baranguays to provide support and supervision of the community health care workers--and they must walk 6-8 hours over difficult mountain paths to get there!
Fun, games and helicopter rides over, we immersed ourselves into the task of preparing to teach a dual curriculum of “Helping Mothers Survive” and “Helping Babies Breathe”- two programs developed to train health care providers in resource-limited areas to manage post-partum hemorrhage and abnormal breathing in newborn infants. It was a crash course for all of us, but we managed to conduct an informative and interactive class for eight new nurses.
The next day, we helped augment the services at Tapaz District Hospital, where I was lucky to participate in the birth of a baby girl. Amy Kogut, CNM, attended the delivery, while I acted as doula. Project Hope is collaborating with the hospital in technical exchanges of information relating to management of normal labor and delivery, as well as management of common complications of birth, such as post-partum hemorrhage, a leading cause of maternal mortality in the Philippines.
During the upcoming week, I am looking forward to preparing guidelines to screen for higher-risk pregnancies. These will be designed for distribution to community health care workers, many of whom have limited literacy but still serve an important role in the health surveillance of their communities. Meanwhile, our team of volunteers will also be working on technical exchanges with Tapaz District Hospital on programs to promote early initiation of oral hygiene practices in children and on programs to screen and manage chronic hypertension. Along the way, we will be continuing our support for the staff at the local hospital and clinic and enjoying the kindness and hospitality of the Filipino people.
Posted By Dalibor Tasevski, Project HOPE Senior Medical Advisor on January 31, 2014
Three weeks before Typhoon Yolanda had its huge impact in the Philippine islands, there was an earthquake in the island of Cebu (epicenter in Bohol) in the Central Visayas region of the Philippines.
The 2013 Bohol earthquake occurred on October 15, 2013, at 8:12 AM. The magnitude of the earthquake at the epicenter was recorded at Mw 7.2, at a depth of 12 kilometers (7.5 mi). It affected the whole Central Visayas region, particularly Bohol and Cebu. The quake was felt in the whole Visayas area and as far as Masbate Island in the north and Cotabato provinces in southern Mindanao.
According to official reports by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), 222 were reported dead, 8 were missing, and 976 people were injured due to this earthquake. In all, more than 73,000 structures were damaged, of which more than 14,500 were totally destroyed.
It was the deadliest earthquake in the Philippines in 23 years. The energy of the quake released was equivalent to 32 Hiroshima bombs.
The Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) is a hospital with more than 300 beds and a history of more than 50 years working successfully and accepting patients from every part of the island.
The Philippines Department of Health decided to move the patients and equipment to the nearest fire department, which does not fit the size requirements at all. The patients and equipment were moved to improvised areas of the fire department, most of them in tents outside the building. Just as the hospital started hearing that help was on the way, Yolanda happened. The focus of the government, agencies and organizations turned to another direction, and the hospital was left on its own. Not only was the hospital forgotten by the health authorities, but a number of Yolanda victims were sent there for treatment.
The government started a campaign to raze the old hospital and build a new one. However, the estimated budget was too big and there are a lot of financial and technical problems. They even started an initiative for collecting money from civilians by putting empty water gallons all over the city.
It is estimated that the new hospital will be built for another two years. This means that the medical personnel will have to work in the worst conditions I have ever seen. I was especially amazed by the delivery room and the pediatrics ward, which is actually a huge tent (donated by Red Cross where most of the beds accommodate three kids each, with their mothers all around them. The heat and the smell are unbearable. The delivery beds are so old that they are not usable.
And the latest issue that has occurred is that the hospital is now in conflict with the fire department because they want their building back.
When we heard about this hospital from the Department of Health, we decided to give a portion of the last shipment of donated medicines and supplies to it. That way the hospital’s staff can continue their normal work to a certain extent, until they are able to go back to their old building. The Project HOPE team delivered more than 150,000 USD-worth of high quality medicines and consumable disposable materials. During the delivery we obliged ourselves to try to help them as much as possible in the upcoming period. The manager of the hospital will send us a list of priorities and needs in the form of medicines, supplies, equipment, ventilators, beds, etc.
Posted By: Jon Brack on January 29, 2014
During a recent outreach clinic at Candelaria Elementary outside of Tapaz, the Philippines, Project HOPE volunteers saw a record 626 patients. These visitors were as young as a few days old - all the way up to their mid-90's. Though it was the busiest of the four outreaches that Rotation Three has been a part of, everyone was happy and energized with a successful day.
Dr. AK Goodman from Boston, MA; Veronica Rodriguez, RN from Bernalillo, CA; Catherine Rushfirth, CNM also from MGH; and local council woman Ruby Ann “Tata” Fecaro Bellow treat patients in the adult consultation room.
Thanh Dinh, RN from Dublin, CA; Cherri Dobson, RN from Oakland, CA; Amanda Harwood, RN from Cambridge, MA; and Wally Winter, RN from Bernalillo, NM take the vital signs of incoming patients including their blood pressures, temperatures and the weights of children.
April Madrigal, pharmacist from Brockton, MA and Kathleen Ashton, RN from Hammonton, NJ running the pharmacy out of the principal's office.
Catherine Rushfirth, CNM and Tata Fecaro Bellow use the ultrasound on a pregnant patient.
Dr. AK Goodman investigates a patient's cataracts.
Dr. Rajesh Bhargava from Brookfield, WI and Dr. Barry Finette from Charlotte, VT see pediatric patients sharing the translating assistance of Seth-Thomas Tate, RN from Tacoma, WA.
Volunteer Amanda Harwood, RN from Cambridge, MA takes the temperature of a young patient with an armpit thermometer.
Posted By Barry Finette, MD, Project HOPE volunteer on January 28, 2014
We had our fifth outreach today in Malitbog. We saw 401 patients - 203 children and 198 adults - with similar types of illnesses as reported in the past. Once again we had support from the Philippines’ army, and the dentist from the clinic assisted us. The army and clinic provided one dentist each and performed 70 tooth extractions. Dr.AK Goodman continues to use her ultrasound to assist in diagnosing the more complicated cases. One of the patients seen today was still suffering from the mental trauma of the typhoon. So Liz Parker, one of our volunteer social workers, sat down with her and provided helpful ideas to assist in her recovery.
We were honored to have the President the Philippines NursesAssociation of America (PNAA), Victoria Navarro, to visit and observe our outreach. She spent the evening talking and discussing issues and interests.
The Governor of Capiz, where we are located, honored us this evening with a very impressive meal and then a brief slide show, which captured the resilience of the Filipinos. Approximately 30 people were in attendance, including the Medical Director of Tapaz Regional Hospital, Dr. Gloria, the Chief Nurse, Myrna and the former Mayor of Tapaz. The governor spoke to the group, thanking us for our help and the medical care we have provided. The governor hopes we will stay as long as possible, since he believes we have made a huge impact.
Watching and listening to the governor, you could tell how heartfelt and sincere he was. Following the governor’s talk, Wally Winter, a volunteer nurse, and I were asked to speak. We thanked everyone for their help and assistance. Following the talks we were presented with certificates from the governor for our work as medical volunteers. After the dinner, Wally gave Vicki Navarro a tour of the hospital, acquainting her with the staff. The opportunity to meet someone of this caliber is infrequent. All of the nurses wanted photos with Vicki. Vicki is a very kind lady, and everyone enjoyed her visit and the information she share about her association.