University Teaching Hospital

Lusaka, Zambia

Zambia

The two weeks I spent on the gynecology service were eye-opening and much less pleasurable than working on the maternity wards. On this service we were mostly giving bad news and taking care of chronically ill patients. Of the urgent cases, the majority presented with complaints of bleeding during the first trimester of pregnancy. At least half of these were spontaneous abortions (miscarriages), an average of 12 per 24 hour shift. These patients needed manual vacuum aspiration to empty the uterus of any retained products of conception. Amazingly, the women accepted the news gracefully and were cooperative with this method of treatment. Only their strength carried them through this painful procedure as analgesia was not given.

Unfortunately, a few of the women lost a significant amount of blood and fainted soon after the procedure. We scrambled to start intravenous fluids and manually monitor vital signs for quick resuscitation. We were always very concerned about blood loss knowing that the entire hospital had a critical shortage of blood available. For weeks most requests for blood transfusions were denied. Blood was only given for surgical cases since these patients were at highest risk for becoming acutely anemic.

I had the pleasure of visiting the Chongwe District Health Center, a rural health center outside of Lusaka. The clinic was very busy and ran as efficiently as possible with 1 physician working day shift, 1 clinical officer, 2 midwives, and 4 or 5 nurses. This center functions as a hospital and clinic, keeping patients who need close monitoring overnight as well as treating any acute cases that come day or night. On site is an antiretroviral clinic used for the care of people with HIV/AIDS, a women's clinic with equipment to perform cervical cancer screening, and men's and women's wards which are usually mixed due to an overflow of patients. Pediatric cases are also treated and kept overnight if necessary. The physician on duty treats a variety of illnesses, from malaria to strokes to burns. Emergent cases or those needing specialized care are stabilized and sent to University Teaching Hospital, some 45 kilometers away. All medical care is free, including medications and laboratory tests. In 2009 this clinic serviced over 17,000 patients.

The medical care in Zambia is adequate. The major shortcoming is manpower, a result of limited resources. I was grateful to be welcomed as member of the medical team, helping patients receive quality care in a timely fashion. The dedication of the medical staff and strength of patients will forever influence my attitude and actions throughout my medical career.

One of our partners, Ellie's Run for Africa, will host its 6th annual 5K race and family fun day next weekend - Saturday, May 22, 2010 - at Percy Warner Park.  Not a runner?  No problem.  There's something in it for everyone...

Ellie's Run was started by a Nashville teen when she was just ten years old.  Responding to a "missionary Sunday" presentation at her church, Ellie knew that she had to do something to help the kids she saw in those pictures whose mothers could not feed them and who had no chance at an education. 

Today, Ellie is planning her 4th trip to Africa this summer and has raised $210,000 for educational efforts in the Kibera slum of Kenya through the race.  What's more is that she has learned to see the hope that the Africans have in education as a way out of the slums. 

In addition to the 5K race, Ellie's Run features a kid's one-mile fun run, African dancing and drumming, cultural activities and learning opportunities and carnival-like games.  Yes - it's a race.  But it's really a family event.
We hope to see you there on May 22!  Learn more or register at www.elliesrun.org.

Today we want to announce the launch of our Water=Hope Campaign in partnership with The Brad Paisley H2O World Tour 2010. The tour begins next week, May 21 in Virginia Beach, VA - and we will be there to promote awareness, advocacy, and philanthropy for clean, safe water.

Around the globe, one out of every seven people lacks access to safe drinking water. 

TEXT H2O to 25383 to give $10.*

Your investment will build wells, provide water purification systems, and address sanitation issues both in the United States and around the world. Check in to our website in the coming months to watch how your dollars are being spent.

Volunteers?

If you would like to volunteer to help with our booths at a Paisley concert, please visit http://waterequalshope.com/volunteer/ to sign up for a concert near you.  Friends and family are welcome to sign up as well.

Facebook

Let your Friends on Facebook know that you are supporting clean, safe water to save lives. See our NEW Application: http://apps.facebook.com/htth_water_hope/ and add it to your Facebook page!

Cut and paste the following to your Twitter/Facebook status to update your Friends and Family:

Clean, safe water saves lives. Text H2O to 25383 to give $10 today for the Water=Hope Campaign to build wells around the world.

Thanks for spreading the word and for your support. We hope to see you on the road at a Brad Paisley concert this summer!

*A one-time donation of $10 will be added to your mobile phone bill or deducated from your prepaid balance. Messaging & Data Rates May Apply. All charges are billed by and payable to your mobile service provider. Service is available on most carriers. Donations are collected for the benefit of Hope Through HEaling Hands by the Mobile Giving Foundation and subject to teh terms found at www.hmgf.org/t. You can unsubscribe at any time by replying STOP to short code "25383"; Reply HELP to "25383" for help.

There is exciting and timely news for students looking to make a direct impact in the world. Each year, the Clinton Global Initiative's CGI U sponsors a competitive grant program called the Outstanding Commitment Awards.  These grants are given to students who submit proposals for "Commitments to Action" that are aimed at improving communities and lives in their communities and across the globe.  The grant awards range from $1,000 - $10,000 and applications are open to all currently-enrolled students, both undergraduate and graduate. The applications should be focused on one of CGI U's five global challenge areas: Education, Environment & Climate Change, Peace & Human Rights, Poverty Alleviation, and Public Health, and are awarded to student-led groups focused on these areas.
This is a fantastic opportunity for students to take action in making a difference across the globe, and helping turn their ideas into reality. Time is running out however.  The final deadline has been extended to April 30, 2010, so there are only a coupe days left for you to submit your applications.
I encourage students in Tennessee and across the gobe to take advantage of this funding opportunity by submitting an application before the deadline.  For more information about this exciting project, please visit http://www.cgiu.org/funding/.
The CGI U Outstanding Commitment Awards were launched in 2008 to provide financial support to innovative, student-driven initiatives. To see a map of previous award winners and their winning projects, please click here.

PeytonHoge001Yesterday, I had the chance to visit John F. Kennedy Middle School in Antioch, TN to meet with some incredibly talented students who worked hard to raise $1,000 for Haiti relief efforts. The work they did to raise money for such a worthy cause was inspiring, and I left with a renewed and continued sense of optimism about the future leaders we have in Tennessee.

It all started in the Science Club at the school. Reading the news of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, the students wanted to act and do something to help those in need. Several of the students including Tristan Higginbotham, Quai Gordon and Destiny Vaughan, encouraged by their teacher Betty Martin, stood outside the cafeteria at lunch, collecting change and donations to help lend a hand to those in need in Haiti. The seventh and eighth grade Science Club students worked for weeks and weeks collecting money, and reached their goal of collecting $1,000.

After collecting such an amazing sum, the students wanted to find the best place to send the money, hoping to make the biggest difference. After looking at the Red Cross and other organizations, they saw that my global health organization, Hope Through Healing Hands was using 100% of donations for on the ground relief efforts and decided to send the money to Hope Through Healing Hands. With their donation, we will put it to good use, directly helping relief efforts in Haiti.

I am so proud of these students and their hard work. I especially enjoyed getting to meet with them yesterday and talk about topics such as healthy habits, the importance of clean water in developing areas and what in particular the students are learning in their science classes. I encouraged them to continue to work and study hard (and I may have also given a special push for them to consider becoming a doctor).

I would like to thank in particular Betty Martin, their science teacher and Science Club director, Dr. Sam Braden, the principal, and the entire faculty at John F. Kennedy Middle School. We had a great visit, and I am confident that their hard work is making an incredibly positive impact on the students in their school. Middle Tennessee has a lot to be proud of thanks to the leadership of these three girls and all of John F. Kennedy Middle School.

University Teaching Hospital

Lusaka, Zambia

by Analeta Peterson, Meharry Medical College

April 12, 2010

Experiences on the Maternity Ward

I was initially blown away at the number of delivery rooms when first arriving on the labor and delivery ward at University Teaching Hospital (UTH). There were no less than 20 beds for mothers who were in labor or those who were pregnant and very ill. The monitors, such as those used to assess fetal heart rates found in most U.S. hospitals, were absent. As were bedside sitting areas for patient's family and friends, likely as a result of limited space.

Five to seven midwives provide ongoing care to each patient. Their responsibilities include monitoring the progress of labor, delivering the neonate, and immediate resuscitation of any newborn in distress. Resident physicians decide who is admitted to the ward and also monitor the progress of each patient. I mostly assist with the admission process. Many of the patients are referred from clinics within the community that are unable to adequately care for severe cases. A small number come directly from home with symptoms of labor; occasionally they have given birth at home with a family member or friend providing assistance.

There is a constant flow of patients to be assessed and cared for, at times leaving staff overburdened. In a 24 hour period 60 deliveries were completed and others were either sent home with a diagnosis of false labor or admitted to a different ward for medical therapy. An average 10 operations, including cesarean sections and removal of ectopic pregnancies, are performed by the senior resident physicians in this same time period. The operating theater is continuously in use throughout the night.

A number of the women are HIV positive and receiving appropriate therapy. The primary diagnoses I've witnessed excluding normal labor include preeclampsia and cephalopelvic disproportion (the maternal pelvis is inadequate to deliver the fetus). These patients receive the standard of care and leave the hospital in good condition.

I am very impressed with the outcome of care on the maternity wards at UTH despite the lack of expensive equipment. The Zambian women are incredibly strong and very cooperative. I'm looking forward to my next few weeks here where I will be spending time in gynecology and visiting a rural clinic.

 

by Krista Ford, Princeton University

Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

April 7, 2010

            In Dar es Salaam, March signifies the end of Tanzania's summer which starts somewhere around December. During the summer, the sun is already unbearable by 7 a.m. and the ridiculous humidity means you'll be drenched in sweat before you can even make it from home to the office.

            In addition to relief from the scorching heat, the end of summer also brings with it rain-buckets and buckets of rain. It rains almost every morning from about 6:00 am to 8:00- just in time for the morning commute. Heavy downpours come out of nowhere in the middle of the night with thunder loud enough to wake a person from a sound sleep and wind gusts strong enough to blast curtains open. The rain also seems to enjoy marathon sessions on Saturday afternoons, complete with menacing skies and enough water to keep all but the most determined inside.

            In the city the rain complicates morning commutes, forms huge puddles in the dips and valleys of bad roads and turns unpaved stretches of road into huge mud holes barely fit for travelling by foot. In parts of the city where the open drainage system has been blocked by haphazard construction of homes or shops or masses of trash and leaves that accumulated throughout the dry season redirected water often floods homes and business leaving citizens to grab a bucket and bail out the water as best they can.

            Upcountry things are much worse. Flashfloods carry away livestock, as well as elderly people and children. Puddles as big as lakes spring up and children must balance books atop their heads, remove their shoes, hitch up skirts and uniform pants and wade through knee-deep water to make their way to school. In places where the landscape forms fast flowing channels of water children simply stay home for days at a time until the water recedes enough to cross carefully.

            Like the weather, a lot of things have changed in the office. The last few months have been strongly geared towards proposal writing so a lot of time is spent researching, accessing the efficacy of existing systems and brainstorming ways that these systems can be improved.  Since February, I've provided support on two major proposals and we're currently in the process of writing another one. Also, we're wrapping up one of our biggest programs in June so I anticipate at least one visit to our field office in Dodoma to provide support on things such as end of project reporting and documenting best practices. Although it's tough to imagine wrapping things up here, it seems very appropriate that the end of my fellowship will coincide with the end of a major project.

March 23, 2010

by Jenny Dyer

Last night, Senator Bill Frist was honored by the T.J. Martell Foundation with the Lifetime Medical Achievement Award. Big Kenny Alphin of Nashville and Ross Perot Jr. of Dallas, TX presented the award citing Dr. Frist's contributions to medical science, the field of transplantation, and global health for the past 35 years.

The T. J. Martell Foundation , founded in 1975, raises funds for innovative cancer and AIDS research. Over $500,000 was raised at the event, with proceeds directed to the Frances Preston Center at the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center. Frist was accompanied by his wife Karyn, and brother Tommy and his wife Trisha.

March 19, 2010

by Bill Frist, M.D.

Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton will visit Haiti together on Monday, March 22, 2010.  It will be their first joint visit to the area.  They will be traveling with several of the board members of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, which to date has raised over $31 million from over 200,000 contributions for relief and recovery efforts.

The Chicago Tribune's Washington Bureau reported on this yesterday.  The Clinton Foundation announced, "Presidents Clinton and Bush will meet with Haitians, the Government of Haiti, and others providing assistance to earthquake survivors, with the goal of further establishing long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts."

I am very glad to work with the talented team at the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, and I am honored to serve on the board of that organization - one that can provide so much help and healing to a country that is still suffering daily from the deadly January earthquake.

For more information about the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, visit their website by clicking here.   For more information about the work Hope Through Healing Hands is doing in Haiti, you can visit our Beneficiaries page.

March 18, 2010

by Bill Frist, M.D.

CSIS Releases Report on Smart Global Health Policy

I have served on the Board of Trustees at the Center for Strategic and International Studies since 2007.  The work they are doing has continued to live up to its mission, which is "finding ways for America to sustain its prominence and prosperity as a force for good in the world."  Earlier today, CSIS issued a report from their Commission on Smart Global Health Policy, and I think it is well worth the read if you are interested in the issue of Global Health. 

The report, entitled "A Healthier, Safer, and More Prosperous World," is the result of nearly a year's worth of work, which looked in detail at the long-term U.S. strategic approach to global health. 

The Commission on Smart Global Health Policy included public servants,  top leaders in business and finance, and some of the leading minds in philanthropy and non-profit work. Together we worked hard to reach a consensus for a long-term plan for the United States to address global health issues and potentially save millions of lives around the world.

In short, the conclusion of the report is, "[t]he United States can better the lives of the world's citizens and advance its own interests by investing strategically in global health-even at a time of global economic recession and exceptional domestic challenges."

I encourage everyone interested in global health to take a look at this report and let me know your thoughts.  Working together, we can really have an impact on millions of lives.

To read the report, please click here.

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