The Red Nose Day campaign to end child poverty returns in the U.S. on Thursday, May 25, in conjunction with a night of special programming and the third annual “Red Nose Day Special” on NBC.
One of the best ways to help vulnerable children in low-and-middle-income countries is by telling their authentic stories to those who can help make their lives a little better.
Along with Comic Relief, Ed Sheeran recently traveled to West Point, one of west Africa’s largest and most dangerous slums, in Liberia’s capital Monrovia. There he saw children whose lives have been routinely ravaged by poverty, the Ebola crisis, and an economy that was devastated by the notorious disease that killed thousands. Today, an estimated 14,000 children (some as young as seven) are living and working on Monrovia’s streets.
In Liberia, Sheeran shot a video set to “What Do I Know,” a track from Ed’s latest album Divide to bring awareness to street kids who live in Monrovia.
Continue reading “WATCH: Ed Sheeran Visits Liberia for Red Nose Day”
For two years Ebola has drastically ravaged three West African countries – Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia – and has taken the lives of 11,300 people according to the Guardian UK. Over 28,000 people were diagnosed with Ebola and still live with the pain and stigma of the disease. Since Liberia has not reported a single Ebola case in 42 days, the World Health Organization officially declared an end to the Ebola epidemic. Sierra Leone and Guinea have already been declared Ebola-free with 90 days of no new reported cases. However, just last week another Ebola case was discovered in Sierra Leone in the death of a 22-year-old woman, causing an outbreak of at least 100 people. Twenty-eight people have been quaratined.
Continue reading “West Africa Declared Ebola Free, Despite Recent Outbreak”
Timothy P Lahey, Dartmouth College
Ebola is on the run: the number of cases dipped below 10 a week recently, and a few days ago investigators announced in the prestigious journal The Lancet that a new Ebola vaccine was “100% effective.”
In response, global health authorities are starting to sound a little giddy. “We believe that the world is on the verge of an efficacious Ebola vaccine,” said Marie Paule Kieny, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) assistant director-general for health systems and innovation (and an author on the study). “It could be a game changer.”
Continue reading “News About the Success of a New Ebola Vaccine May Be Too Good to Be True”
In January I wrote that I would be looking closely at the effect of Ebola on maternal health and mortality in the Ebola-affected countries – Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. Today unfortunate news was released by the World Bank and The Lancet.
According to the new report, Health-care worker mortality and the legacy of the Ebola epidemic and New Wave of Deaths From Ebola?: The Impact of Health Care Worker Mortality (PDF), it is estimated that 4,022 more women will die during childbirth in these countries on top of their already high maternal mortality rate due to the deaths of 240 health workers (doctors, nurses, and midwives) collectively across all three countries. Liberia lost the most health workers at 83. Guinea lost 78 and Sierra Leone lost 79 health workers. That translates to an increase of maternal deaths by 38% in Guinea, 74% in Sierra Leone, and 111% in Liberia. Due to the nature of health work a disproportionate rate of health workers died during the Ebola epidemic as opposed to the general population. Those health workers, of course, were critical to the health systems in all three countries whose systems were already on troubled ground before Ebola ravaged west Africa.
Continue reading “Maternal Mortality Will Rise Due to Ebola-Caused Health Worker Deaths”
I am currently in a very small North Carolina town known for a few things: its infamous ballroom that was converted into a world class event space from an old, historic cotton mill, its Gastropub, its craft beer as well as its pristine location on the Haw River about twenty minutes from Chapel Hill.
I’m here for the SwitchPoint conference that fuses a combination of music, art, microlabs and 15-minute talks on a wide variety of issues ranging from using drones in humanitarian crises to being implored to add more Africa into our timelines and not excepting the narrow narrative arc of the continent.
SwitchPoint is presented by IntraHealth International, the 35-year-old global NGO that works in innovative ways with health workers in 100 countries. SwithPoint is IntraHealth International’s flagship conference where experts, and storytellers, and doers on the ground (wherever in the world that is) convene for two days for a conversation about ways to partner, collaborate, and innovate on ideas.
After the first day at SwitchPoint I walked away knowing there are new ways to reach online and offline communities with messages that moms want to hear and share – issues that not only affect women and children here in the United States, but globally as well.
We heard from extremely talented innovators, social entrepreneurs and others who are indeed innovating on ideas that are shaping the world really as we know it. The day started with Patrick Meier, who founded the Digital Humanitarian Network. He talked about the worldwide use of drones in places like Namibia for conservation efforts and in Haiti where after Hurricane Sandy drones were used to find standing water and flooding across the island country.
Continue reading “Can Creative Innovators Drive Global Health and Humanitarian Change?”
This week we will collaborate with Save the Children and Children Inspire Design on two important awareness raising and fundraising events.
#EndEbola Twitter Chat
Join us this Wednesday when we join Save the Children and their Liberia Country Director, Greg Duly. We will discuss the state of the Ebola crisis in Liberia and how it is steadily becoming under control. We will also discuss how Ebola has affected women, children, and entire families.
When: WEDNESDAY, April 1, 2015
What: Twitter chat with Save the Children (@SavetheChildren) and its Liberia Country Director Greg Duly (@greg_duly)
Why: We will discuss the current state of the Ebola caseload in Liberia as well as Ebola’s effects on women, children, and families.
Want to spread the word? Share this tweet.
Continue reading “Upcoming Events Discuss Ebola in Liberia, Raise Money for Children in Crisis”
In September 2014 the Centers for Disease Control along with Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Health studied traditional burials in order to create a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for safe and dignified burials for those who die from Ebola. As of October 2014, a SOP for safe, dignified medical burials was approved and released by the Sierra Leone National Emergency Operations Center. This is a far cry from the insistence upon cremation by the Liberian government in the summer of last year.
As of January 2015, 2500 people have died from Ebola in Sierra Leone. Today when someone dies from Ebola, families have a greater chance of their loved one being buried with dignity without having to touch the deceased who are highly infectious.
Below are photos of an IFRC (International Federation of Red Cross) team removing a body of a young man on December 24, 2014 who was suspected of having Ebola. His family held a small ceremony in the young man’s memory. The body was then driven to the cemetery where it was buried based on the standard operating procedure created in October 2014.
As part of the Western Aera Surge Operation in Sierra Leone, the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society is undertaking safe and dignified burials ensuring that those who have died from the disease are treated with respect, while also ensuring the safety of communities. This is critical work, often performed by volunteers, and undertaken at the most dangerous time. Volunteers must wear full personal protective equipment and work in teams of seven.
Continue reading “In Photos: Safe and Dignified Burials in Sierra Leone”
2015 will be an interesting year in global health primarily because this is the year when the Millennium Development Goals should ideally be reached. Global health experts admit that many of the goals, for example MDG5, will not be reached globally even though some of them have already been reached on a country level. Ethiopia effectively reached MDG4 along with Bangladesh, Liberia, Malawi, Nepal, and Tanzania according to … Continue reading 5 Global Health Stories We’re Following This Year
There were really powerful and poignant Vine videos that were published by NGOs, foundations, and nonprofits this year. Even though adding Vine into their social media repertoire hasn’t hit a tipping point within the nonprofit community yet, we still believe Vine is an effective medium to convey short, but impactful messages. Here are our seven favorite Vine videos of the year — in no particular order. Gates … Continue reading Our 7 Favorite #NGO Vine Videos of the Year
One of the top three killers of children under the age of five globally is diarrhea. Human feces carries diarrhea pathogens and “a single gram of human feces can contain 10 million viruses and one million bacteria“. An easy way to curb deaths of children under five is to simply wash one’s hands. This goes for pneumonia as well, another global killer of children in low- and middle-income countries.
Handwashing is an intervention that works, but one that proves hard to catch on in some parts of the world due to a lack of knowledge, behavioral norms, and a lack of soap! Studies show most homes worldwide have soap, but it is typically used to wash clothes and not hands. If one simply washes their hands it breaks the cycle of a disease. That is how powerful, effective, and inexpensive handwashing is, but unfortunately isn’t used nearly enough to curb some of the most deadly infectious diseases that take the lives of millions of children every year.
October 15 is the annual Global Handwashing Day where over 200 million people celebrate handwashing around the world to reinforce the importance of washing hands to stay healthy and ultimately save lives. Simply washing one’s hands with soap significantly reduces the spread of disease. And yet, given that, data shows that health workers only wash their hands 40% of the time when they are in a health care setting. That is certainly unacceptable and one of the primary reasons Global Handwashing Day exists. Studies also show that children who live in homes where handwashing is a part of the regular routine are more healthy than those who do not.
Continue reading “Why Global Handwashing Day Matters”