Reflections on first 100 days at HOPE.
It has been a very busy, and fulfilling first few months leading Project HOPE.
“Global health is global” so I’ve needed to see our work overseas, starting with visits to Ethiopia, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Poland, Macedonia, and Kosovo. I had a close look at our programs on HIV, TB/HIV, diabetes and hypertension, Ebola, biomedical engineering, neonatology, our support for children’s hospitals and our efforts to ease the refugee crisis in Europe.
I’ve been pleased to discover, but not surprised, that Project HOPE is truly making a difference. Let me just share a few examples:
- In Romania the mortality rate among newborns weighing 1,000-1,500 grams has been cut in half between 2007 and 2012 as neonatal care improved with HOPE support.
- In South Africa, the rate of blood pressure control in patients attending the HOPE Centre clinic in Johannesburg has nearly doubled in two years, thereby reducing the risk of premature stroke and death.
- In Namibia, Project HOPE works with the Ministry of Health to place community health workers in HIV/AIDS treatment centers to use information technology to track down treatment defaulters who have been lost in remote communities. This will help prevent HIV transmission, drug resistance, and preventable morbidity and mortality.
- In Poland, Project HOPE was honored with a medal of recognition at the 50th anniversary celebration of Krakow Children’s Hospital (KCH), where we have had a 41-year partnership, involving more than 700 HOPE volunteers going to KCH, and more than 300 Polish specialists visiting children’s hospitals in the US. KCH is now a center of excellence for children with special needs in Poland and performs highly advanced cardiac surgical procedures, all made possible through long-term partnership with Project HOPE. Building capacity takes time.
- “HOPE delivers” is what I heard loud and clear from the medical director for the refugee crisis in Macedonia, who spent a day with us visiting the transit center on their southern border with northern Greece. Project HOPE didn’t just come, drop off supplies, and leave; it has stayed and strengthened the ability of health authorities to deal with the massive and evolving migration of refugees fleeing very difficult circumstances.
- And in Sierra Leone, President Ernest Bai Koroma recently awarded Project HOPE with a medal of recognition for the close partnership and strategic supply of critical medical products, drugs, and consumables that saved lives during the recent Ebola epidemic.
In addition, Project HOPE’s journal Health Affairs was recently ranked #1 in “Impact Factor” among all health policy journals according to Journal Citation Reports, the annual ranking of scholarly journals produced by Thomson Reuters.
Together with our partners, we are making much progress but much more is needed. Thank you for your dedication and steadfast support in bringing, HOPE, Health Opportunities to People Everywhere.
-Dr. Tom Kenyon