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NepalAddressing Women’s Health In Nepal.Addressing Women’s Health In Nepal
Women play a very important role in Nepali society, yet are given a very low status. Not only do Nepali women give birth and raise children, they also spend their days working in the fields, cooking, cleaning, and spend hours every day carrying water to their families, often touting urns weighing 30 pounds.
These cultural and gender traditions contribute to the high frequency of uterine prolapse in rural Nepal.
Uterine prolapse is a painful and debilitating condition. Many women suffer in silence in a nation that struggles with extreme poverty, only seeking help when symptoms cause them significant distress with their families.
GHI has undertaken an ambitious project in Nepal. In partnership with Scheer Memorial Hospital and ADRA-Nepal, the Nepal Women’s Health Initiative works to address complex issues surrounding the reproductive health of Nepali women with a specific focus on uterine prolapse.
Yashada’s life mirrors that of thousands of other Nepalese women and for many years she suffered from chronic pain from a severely prolapse uterus. Yashada gave birth to her three children at home with no assistance. When she was asked if a family member or midwife assisted, she replied no. When asked who cut the umbilical cord, she answered simply “I did."
“When I got to the hospital I felt inferior and dirty. The people from Centura made me feel comfortable. Your people have done a lot for us, and you do it from your heart; I can tell. I would never have been able to have this surgery if it weren’t for your group. I hope you will continue to help other women with these same problems.”
Watch our videos from Nepal and see how one woman’s life was changed with the help of supporters like you and Global Health Initiatives.
PeruRemoving barriers to health care in the Peruvian Amazon
In Peru’s most isolated region, the Amazon, people face unique health care challenges. Widespread poverty; the regions remoteness; high cost and long distance of travel; and a shortage of medical workers and supplies lead to a situation where many people’s basic health care needs are unmet. The health care system that is available is very limited and expensive for the local population; most residents cannot afford to see a doctor or utilize the few clinical services that are available.
These barriers to health care mean that many people suffer from preventable and treatable health conditions; common ailments, such as a respiratory infection or diarrhea, can develop into a life threatening illness.
GHI Peru projects take place in and around Iquitos, a beyond-roads jungle capital. Here, GHI works with a local partner, Clinica Ana Stahl, to address the unique health care challenges found in the Amazon and to provide medical care to those who would otherwise go untreated.
RwandaOrthopedic care in Rwanda: a step in a new direction
Referred to as the Land of a Thousand Hills, Rwanda has had a turbulent history, culminating in the 1994 genocide that claimed the lives of almost 1 million Rwandans in just 100 days. The country has made great strides in their recovery; however there is still a lot work to be done to strengthen Rwanda’s healthcare system.
In a country of over ten million people, only a few orthopedic surgeons exist. This has vast implications in a country where most people engage in manual labor to feed their families and ensure that they do not fall further into poverty. Furthermore, it is estimated that nearly 400 children are born with clubfoot in Rwanda each year. Babies born with clubfoot in industrialized countries are treated soon after birth when their tendons and ligaments are still very flexible. Unfortunately for children in Rwanda, treatment is not available at birth. When left untreated, clubfoot congenital deformity results in sever disability, social stigma and isolation.
GHI’s Step in a New Direction Program in Rwanda is focused on building the countries capacity to provide orthopedic care; specifically strengthening orthopedic surgery services at Mugonero Hospital and providing corrective surgeries for children suffering from clubfoot.
Disabilities and injuries which would be quickly addressed in the developed world are simply left untreated in Rwanda; GHI is working to change that reality.
“I was shocked when I first saw Emmanuel's feet. He suffered from a severe form of bilateral clubfoot which had never been treated or corrected - only endured. I was part of a Centura Health team of volunteers working at Mugonero Hospital in Rwanda when I first met Emmanuel. Since that day, Global Health Initiatives, through the financial support of generous donors, has funded many clubfoot surgeries for children like Emmanuel.” - Greg Hodgson, GHI Director
Haiti, the most impoverished country in the western hemisphere, faces complex health challenges following the devastating earthquake in 2010. The deadly earthquake lead to the collapse of the already weak health care system and fostered an environment where deadly diseases, such as cholera, could thrive.
GHI work in Haiti is focused on building local capacity and enabling local health care facilities and workers to provide high quality medical care to the people of Haiti.Construction project at Hôpital Alma Mater.Construction Project
Construction at Hôpital Alma Mater, our partner hospital in Haiti, is coming along nicely. We are excited for the wonderful impact our new outpatient and administrative facilities will have once the project is complete. Your donations make projects like these possible.
TanzaniaProviding education and health care support to Tanzania
In the midst of the East African Rift Valley lies Dareda Hospital. This institution, run by the Catholic Diocese of Mbulu, serves a wide variety of health care needs to the diverse population that surrounds it.
Global Health Initiatives works with the Catholic Diocese to provide educational and medical services to Mbulu. Over the years, scholarships and small business loans have been provided for women, volunteers have made the journey to Tanzania to support Dareda Hospital, and medical equipment has been donated thanks to generous donors.
Tanzania is a project in development, and one that Global Health Initiatives eagerly looks forward to expanding and developing in the upcoming years.
Helping Babies BreatheEducating local providers on neonatal care
Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) is an evidence-based educational program designed to teach birth attendants around the world how to respond to some of the early dangers faced by babies in resource-constrained settings. HBB training focuses on keeping babies alive through the first five minutes of life.
HBB was developed by the World Health Organization, American Academy of Pediatrics, and other global health leaders with the goal of reducing deaths among babies in the first 28 days of life. Together with partners in Peru and Haiti, GHI has brought this training to regions that struggle with high newborn death rates.
The regions of Loreto, Peru and Artibonite, Haiti face challenges of poverty and lack of access to high quality medical care. Often, babies are delivered at home or in healthcare settings without supervision by a skilled attendant. Our train-the-trainer model ensures not only that these birth attendants can intervene when a baby is born not breathing, but also that local providers can teach their peers and create a network of trained attendants.Helping Babies Breathe in Peru
The Peru HBB project is based in the Amazon basin city of Iquitos and targets some areas of the geographically isolated Loreto region. With support from our partner hospital Clinica Adventista Ana Stahl and the regional Ministry of Health, we have employed three Peruvian staff to assist with implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the program. Since the project began in July 2015, over 200 health professionals have completed HBB training and we have already learned of several lives that were saved due to their HBB skills. We hope to expand the geographic scope of our training program beginning in July 2016.Helping Babies Breathe in Haiti
Several U.S. and Haitian partners play a role in GHI’s Haiti HBB project targeting the poor Artibonite region. Partners include Hôpital Alma Mater in Gros Morne, L’hôpital St. Francois de Sales in Port-au-Prince, La Providence Hospital in Gonaïves, and the LDS Church. Recent training efforts in Haiti have included HBB courses held in January and March 2016 with 25 and 60+ participants, respectively.
As plans take shape for continuing the HBB project in Artibonite over the next fiscal year, we will hire at least two Haitian staff to assist with operations. An important part of this program has been the inclusion of the lay “matrons” who often have little formal training in medicine but deliver a majority of babies in Haitian homes. By adding to the skillset of these critical providers, we hope that every baby will be given the best chance to survive the birth process.