Utah Valley Global Health Group

A blog about global health for those living in Utah Valley and their friends.

Archive for May, 2007

NGO links

Posted by chads on May 10, 2007

Here are a few more NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) that are involved in global health, and that may be of interest to the Utah Valley and/or LDS communities (In most cases, my knowledge of these organizations is superficial. I do not necessarily endorse them):

Empowering Nations “is a pro-active, volunteer-run 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to empowering the poor through education and relief, and to promoting and facilitating involvement in the fight against poverty throughout the world… Working with established projects in countries including Brazil, Ghana, Peru, Panama, and Thailand, Empowering Nations’ volunteers have built schools and homes, provided micro-credit training, taught disease-prevention methods, bolstered literacy, and provided disaster relief, impacting the lives of thousands.”

Deseret International has the following goals:

“* Assist physicians in partner countries to establish ongoing programs for the surgical repair of specific surgical problems, particularly among children.
* Achieve a minimal overhead goal of less than 2%.
* Develop ongoing medical programs in partner countries.
* Promote volunteerism within and without the medical community to achieve these goals.”

HELP International “is a volunteer nonprofit organization dedicated to helping eliminate poverty and alleviating human suffering.”

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21%, 23%

Posted by chads on May 9, 2007

My heart aches right now.

I just opened a report from some of the public health workers in Mozambique that I have worked with. They recently started an HIV testing center in a small town, and the results of the first group of people to be tested were in that report. Twenty-three percent of the women tested were positive, and 21% of the men.

I knew that the percentages were about that high. My heart aches this morning, I guess, because I know the people behind those numbers. I know that they will likely suffer from opportunistic infections like tuberculosis and Kaposi’s sarcoma and diarrhea, that they will loose weight and develop painful sores, and cough. I know that they will not be able to work or go to school, and that they will likely leave children as orphans.  They will all die prematurely if not treated.

I also know that their conditions were preventable, and are currently treatable. Thanks to an unlikely collaboration of PEPFAR, HAI, and a small NGO, they just might be saved. To avoid this tragedy in the future, however, their health system must be strengthened.

It’s 5am and I am in a hotel in Denver, Colorado. My heart, however, is in Mozambique.

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April 7 Meeting: Micro-Credit and Health

Posted by chads on May 7, 2007

I haven’t posted in over a month for personal reasons: new baby, oral emergency medicine exam, etc. I should be posting more frequently now, but we’ll just have to see…

By just about any measure, the Utah Valley Global Health Group’s first informal dinner was a success. We met on April 7 at Ned and Claralyn Hill’s home. Over 30 people came: students, NGO representatives, LDS missionaries, interested citizens, etc. There was also a wonderful variety of food.

I began the discussion with a 10-minute review of the micro-credit/health literature. In summary, while more research is desperately needed, there is some evidence that suggests that combining health interventions with existing micro-credit is effective. I hope to post a Q&A answering the question “How effective are micro-credit programs that are combined with health interventions?” soon.

Kirk Dearden then gave a summary of his involvement with Food for the Hungry. Kirk is one of the primary investigators with the Microfinance and Health Protection (MAHP) initiative.

Todd Manwaring finished the discussion from a micro-credit perspective. He introduced various types of micro-finance that involve health, including micro-insurance, and micro franchising. He also recommended the micro-finance gateway. While not peer-reviewed, it does provide thousands of documents that one can download.

We are planning our next informal dinner in the fall, and hope you’ll join us! I will post details here when we make definite plans.

Posted in Announcements, Evidence-based Global Health, Global Health and Mormonism, Utah Valley Global Health Group | Leave a Comment »