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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.
on November 14, 2013
By Paul Madden, Project HOPE Senior Advisor for Noncommunicable Diseases
Today is World Diabetes Day! World Diabetes Day was created by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in response to concern over the escalating incidence of diabetes around the world. A blue circle is the global symbol of diabetes; it signifies the unity of the global diabetes community in response to the diabetes pandemic. Many recognize World Diabetes Day by wearing a blue circle logo or by wearing blue.
After receiving invitations from key diabetes leaders in Latin America, senior members from Project HOPE’s Diabetes/Noncommunicable Diseases team John Bronson and Paul Madden along with Project HOPE Country Directors Mario Ortega Maliano, MD (Nicaragua) and Abraham Castaneda, MD (Mexico) are in Mexico this week working with 2,500 diabetes specialists from Latin America. They are all there to share and develop optimal solutions to meet the multiple challenges of maintaining healthier, more productive lives with diabetes as well as to prevent and delay the onset of millions of cases of type 2 diabetes.
Dr. Juan Rosas Guzman, the President of the Congress for the Latin American Diabetes Association, and several leaders from the country-wide diabetes associations and top diabetes centers throughout Latin America have been meeting with Project HOPE’s senior team to continue to explore partnerships that will allow us to bring Project HOPE’s unique IDEEL training program to a growing number of allied health professionals and primary care physicians in Latin America. The program is currently being translated into Spanish, and it will be culturally adapted to the various Latin American countries in which it will be implemented.
Posted By Lily Hsu, Project HOPE’s Senior Technical Advisor, China Region; Program Director Shanghai Office on October 17, 2013
On September 16, I traveled with Shanghai Children’s Medical Center’s Chief of Pediatric Surgery, Dr. Zhang HaiBo , and Senior Intensive Care Cardiologist, Dr. Li ZhiHao, to Dhaka, Bangladesh. We were in Dhaka for a three-day assessment at the National Institute of Cardiovascular Disease (NICVD) and to prepare children with congenital heart diseases for surgery scheduled for October 25-30.
The visit to NICVD started with a warm and delicious Bangladeshi red tea and cookies at the office of the Director, Dr. Abdullah A.S. Majumder. Dr. Majumder welcomed us and shared his concerns and his desire to further develop NICVD’s capacity for pediatric cardiac surgery.
The subsequent hospital tour made me understand the pressure the Bangladeshi health providers are under to provide better health care and the immense potential for improvement. Incoming patients at NICVD are packed in with patients currently receiving care. Fortunately there are beds free of charge for incoming patients, where they can stay while waiting for admission. This is made possible with government subsidies for daily meals and bed costs.
The Operating Theater at NICVD has six operating rooms and two additional rooms currently under renovation. There are nine cardiac surgery teams including two for pediatric cardiac surgery. Due to insufficient operating rooms, the surgeons have to rotate their operating days, and the pediatric cardiac surgery can only be performed one day per week. Therefore children with congenital heart diseases have to wait for surgery. Unfortunately, given their poor health, vulnerability to infection and malnutrition status, many of these children probably cannot wait long for surgery. What is astonishing is that there is no health insurance system in Bangladesh for adults or children. The lack of insurance in Bangladesh makes health care accessibility and affordability very challenging.
While our team was at NICVD, Dr. Zhang was asked to perform surgery on two children with congenital heart diseases. His skillful surgical techniques and the safe outcomes of the procedures earned many praises from the staff working with him during the operations. The two children both recovered smoothly, and we were happy to see the knowledge and experience exchange between the Project HOPE-trained Chinese cardiac surgeon and the diligent Bangladeshi surgeons from NICVD.
Dr. Zhang told us how 30 years ago Project HOPE sent Dr. Richard Jonas, the Chief of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital at the time, to Shanghai to train a group of pediatric surgeons. Today, Dr. Zhang is delighted to share that knowledge with his colleagues at NICVD-Bangladesh. Project HOPE’s mission to improve care for children with congenital heart disease continues - in Bangladesh.
Posted By Laura Deely, R.N. on October 10, 2013
Laura Deely is a Registered Nurse, who works in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Oakland, CA. She is spending three weeks volunteering with Project HOPE in Ghana and Benin as part of African Winds 2013, a humanitarian mission coordinated by the Royal Dutch Navy. Laura Deely volunteered previously for Project HOPE at Hôpital Albert Schweitzer in Haiti during the Cholera epidemic in 2010.
Dr. Alan Jamison and I arrived in Sekondi, Ghana two weeks ago ready to make a difference. We joined members of the Royal Dutch Navy for African Winds 2013, a Dutch Navy-sponsored humanitarian mission to Sekondi, Ghana and Cotonou, Benin, focusing on maternal and child health. As child health specialists ourselves, we have already played an active role in both health education and outreach activities in Ghana.
During our first week, Alan and I taught a course at the naval base in Sekondi to members of the Ghana Navy, which included doctors and nurses as well as other members of the Ghana Navy. We taught the group about proper health examinations for newborns as well as neonatal resuscitation techniques. As part of the course, we also worked in a medical clinic for the military population. We encouraged members of the military to bring their children in for health screenings so that we could assess for things like malnutrition and malaria. It was like a free screening for the children.
Later on that week we took part in some health outreach activities at a local fishing village just a short distance from the navy base in Sekondi. We taught members of the local community about health care and how to observe your own children for optimal health. We taught about danger signs for an infant. We also encouraged pregnant women in the community to give birth in a hospital, which is very uncommon in this community. We learned that it is considered a sign of weakness to give birth with any form of assistance in this culture.
As part of our outreach in the local community, we conducted typhoid screenings, checked for diabetes and did general health assessments. We saw a lot of children, who were malnourished and many who had malaria.
While in Ghana, The Project Hope team experienced generosity, kindness and an insight into the local culture. The Ghanaians shared their beliefs, traditions and knowledge with us. During our outreach program in Sekondi, we met and formed relationships with many different people in the community. Our efforts were successful as we were able to reach out to more than 300 children and adults.
Posted By: Kenly Flanigan on October 9, 2013
While volunteering for Project HOPE in Macedonia, I have had the privilege of working with HOPE’s team in the field here. It has been an incredible experience learning from all of them. The atmosphere here is one that is professional, organized, fun, and exciting. Everyone works so well together. Although we each have a specific title, the environment is very collaborative. This makes the dynamic very positive.
Here in Macedonia, Project HOPE is implementing the Strategic Medical Re-Supply Program. The Strategic Medical Re-Supply Program is designed to help developing countries improve the quality of patient care as they transition to meet global health care standards by providing donations of priority medical materials and creating training platforms for the professional development of health care providers. Through knowledge, equipment and support, this program will bring in the infrastructure needed to improve the care, treatment and overall well-being of the community.
The Nursing Mentorship Program, a course based off of Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) and the Infection Control Database, will be an important new part of the Strategic Medical Re-Supply Program in Macedonia. By mentoring nurses we will be further able to share our knowledge in Macedonia. The idea of sharing knowledge - instead of just teaching or educating - is an important aspect to the program.
For example, the staff at the University Pediatric Clinic in Skopje is incredible at what they do. They have many techniques and skills for which nurses in the United States may not be as advanced. It is the sharing of knowledge – both from Project HOPE and the Macedonian nurses - which will make the program a success.
Posted By Sejdefa Catic, Program Coordinator for Bosnia and Herzegovina on October 2, 2013
On Sunday, September 29th, the Project HOPE team in Bosnia partnered with the Federal Institute of Public Health, Center for Healthy Aging New Sarajevo, Municipality Novo Sarajevo, Partnership for Public Health Association and Youth organization MOBA to celebrate World Heart Day. This year's theme focused on a life-course approach to the prevention and control of cardiovascular disease with a focus on women and children. In the Center for Healthy Aging a workshop was organized for mothers and their children with demonstrations on preparing healthy food and opportunities to try some new exercises that are suitable and healthy for kids.
The main message spread to the media and public on World Heart Day was healthy children lead to healthy adults and healthy adults lead to healthy families and healthy families lead to healthy communities. Let's organize together for a healthy environment for our children!!!!