When thinking about public health in the developed world, we generally think about preventing chronic disease through behavior change. However, in Mshenguville (the informal settlement/shack town in Munsieville), the public health needs are drastically different and much more basic. One of the key issues in Mshenguville is the need for basic sanitation/waste management. Illegal dumping around various sites in Mshenguville occurs because people do not think that there other alternatives and do not understand the consequences of poor sanitation.

by Jenny Eaton Dyer, Ph.D.

The numbers are staggering. Over 12 million people are reported to be in dire need of food and clean water. And more continue to trickle in daily to the refugee camps. Somalia has seen famines before, but this is said to be the worst. Perhaps the greatest crisis of the decade.

Today, Mohammad Ibrahim writes about the emergency in the NYT, "Somalis Waste Away as Insurgents Block Escape from Famine."

It is an extremely complex and difficult situation. Aid agencies are having trouble getting into and providing care for the most vunerable. Governmental funding is especially and desperately needed to avert the loss of millions of lives. 

How can you help? For starters, support Save the Children.

East Africa Drought and Food Crisis: A dollar a day for 100 days can help us keep a child alive. Give online at www.savethechildren.org/food-crisis-6 or text "SURVIVE" to 20222 to donate $10 (Standard message rates apply)

Recommended Reading: "Global Food Crisis Takes Heavy Toll in East Africa," by Samuel Loewenberg, in The Lancet.

Since my last post, I have been very, very busy! First, the skin cancer prevention program I’m developing is really coming together. At this point, I have developed two of the four modules, completed a formal recording of “Sabrina’s Story,” a local melanoma survivor’s story, with the help of ETSU’s Communications Department, and scheduled meetings with each of our region’s eight county Health Councils as a way of disseminating the program once it’s complete. As I will be collecting baseline and posttest data from 135 students at David Crockett High School, the pilot site for the program, I will also begin the IRB (Institutional Review Board) application and approval process very soon.
On Thursday July 14th, 74 individuals came together and made the decision to change their lives and end hunger, malnutrition, and poverty in Munsieville , South Africa by planting gardens. Many families in Munsieville struggle to have a well-balanced meal every day and building gardens will create a sustainable way to ensure that individuals do not have to go hungry. Further, vegetable gardens will help to fight malnutrition in the children of Munsieville. According to the World Health organization, malnutrition contributes to more than one third of all child deaths and can occur due to offering the wrong foods, inadequate breast feeding, and not ensuring that the child receives enough nutritious foods1. The people of Munsieville are going back to the soil to make sure their children and families are adequately fed and nourished.

Brad Paisley talks about the importance of clean water for the 1 out of 7 people around the world who lacks access. Please join our Water=Hope campaign today at WaterEqualsHope.org. Donate $10 by texting H2O to 25383; you will receive a confirmation, reply YES. It really is that simple!

During the past month and a half, I have been working and an intern with the Boone Watershed Partnership, Inc. (BWP) a non-profit organization currently in the process of performing restoration projects on two creeks, Sinking Creek and Gap Creek. Sinking Creek is mainly located within Johnson City, while Gap Creek is located mainly in Elizabethton. Both creeks are an essential asset to these two Appalachian communities. Both of these creeks are on the 303(d) list, meaning that they are not capable of sustaining life. Sinking Creek has been put on the list due to E.Coli pollution, while Gap Creek’s main problem is sediment.
PRESS RELEASE
WASHINGTON, DC – The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund today announced a $1.8 million grant to the Boston-based nonprofit Partners In Health to support its Haitian sister organization Zanmi Lasante in a program that will make long-term, sustainable improvements in the scope and quality of Haiti’s healthcare and medical education sectors. The grant will be used to launch a residency program for family practice physicians and a certification program for auxiliary nurses at the public hospital in St. Marc supported by Partners In Health and Zanmi Lasante.
Today millions of people sung Happy Birthday to Former South African President, Nelson Mandela’s 93rd birthday. Now known as Mandel Day, July 18 is an international holiday adopted by the United Nations. July 18 is more than just a day to celebrate the anti-apartheid heroic leader’s birthday; this day is a global movement to commemorate his life’s work and honor Mr. Mandela’s legacy through an act of kindness – 67minutes to be exact. Sixty-seven minutes represents the number of years Mr. Mandela dedicated to ensure equality for South Africa, from 1942 until his retirement from public service in 2009.
During the last two weeks, my colleague, Twanda Wadlington and I have had the opportunity to collaborate with another local non-government organization (NGO) to implement a health promotion program during the winter school break. Legae La Bana (Home for the Children) is a local NGO focused on providing daily meals and social support to the orphaned and vulnerable (OVC) children in Munsieville. The program centered on health related issues, while incorporating team building, arts, sports, and academics. The program also assisted in identifying student leaders in the community that can assist with future Thoughtful Path projects.
This weekend marks the celebration of the independence of a new nation, the Republic of South Sudan. A close friend, Ken Isaacs, was there to witness the joy:

"Today the Republic of South Sudan declared its independence from Sudan. Hundreds of thousands of people were present as well as dozens of dignitaries and international representatives.

There were parades of the various military units of the South. Youth groups, wounded veterans, police corps and other citizen groups also marched past the grandstand.

I have never seen or experienced such joy in Sudan. People cheered as loud as thunder. They sang and cried with tears of joy."

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