By Jenny Eaton Dyer, PhD

Last week, VUSM’s World Health hosted global health hero, Dr. Paul Farmer, from Harvard Medical School. Over the course of the week, VUSM hosts speakers on various global health topics each day. On Wednesday, I was asked to speak on the issues of women’s health in developing nations. For this discussion, I developed a talk to address critical issues and interventions for maternal and child health, including family planning and nutrition, during the first 1000 days of a child’s life.
By Jessica Murray
I came to Belize as part of my field placement experience for my Masters of Public Health program. As an epidemiology student, I am interested in who has disease and why. Currently, there is an epidemic of chronic kidney disease of unknown origin in the Mesoamerican region. Chronic kidney disease of unknown origin or Mesoamerican nephropathy has been seen in countries like El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica; however, we do not quite know if it has made its way to Belize as there is no published data on this disease here. I came with a surgery resident and her attending physician to Belize to work at La Loma Luz Hospital to do research (chart reviews and patient interviews) on this topic. There has been a lot of difficulty in getting my research project approved with the hospital and the Ministry of Health in Belize; however, I was successful and have finally been able to start my project. So far it’s been a great experience to do international research, as well getting to know people in Belize, about how they live, and the problems they face regarding healthcare.
By Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), and Zippy Duvall

Today, more than 75 million people around the world are starving and 800 million lack enough food to live a healthy life. Every year, poor nutrition causes more than three million children to die from hunger, nearly half of whom are under the age of 5. Making matters worse, there are an unprecedented four countries – Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan, and Nigeria – experiencing near-famine conditions at the same time, and warring parties are, in many cases, deliberately blocking access to aid. For decades, American farmers have played a critical role in reducing hunger overseas. Since the Food for Peace program was established by Congress in 1954, more than four billion people and more than 150 countries have benefited from U.S.-supported food security programs.
(CNN)"Is it fair that you have so much influence?"

We've been asked that question more than a few times in the 18 years since we started our foundation. Our answer? No. It's not fair that we have so much wealth when billions of others have so little. And it's not fair that our wealth opens doors that are closed to most people.

However, we do this work, and use whatever influence we have, to help as many people as possible and to advance equity around the world.
By Bill Frist

What a week! We have spent the days surrounded by the unique landscapes and wildlife that are a source of pride for all Africans, and must be safeguarded as this continent rapidly urbanizes. We have traveled from a remote lakeshore town (Buhingu) in Tanzania all the way to the Serengeti, engaging in countless discussions on global health and wellbeing along the way, sharing the 13-year history of Hope Through Healing Hands operating in Africa and learning a lot about health, healing, and sustainability from local and native peoples.
By Amy Fogleman, RN

During February 8-10, 2018, over 200 students from all over the U.S. and Canada gathered at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI for the Faith and International Development Conference (FIDC). This three-day conference attracts students who are interested in programs of development, global studies, and missions. The FIDC provides opportunities for these students to engage with and learn from speakers and organizations who work in global development, in hopes of inciting their interest for global service.
How can people of faith contribute to the political will and the leadership of shifting the paradigm for vulnerable populations to enhance access to nutrition for mothers and children, end stunting and wasting, increase food security, and reduce malnutrition? This chat will cover these areas and more at the intersection of justice and global nutrition.
By Bill Frist

Tracy and I are in Africa for two-weeks: Tanzania, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Kenya. The trip will bring together work from Hope Through Healing Hands (global community health) and The Nature Conservancy (intersection nature and health) in conjunction with Pathfinder International (global women’s health). As chairman of Hope Through Healing Hands, I will explore how we can globally impact peoples’ well-being and health by more smartly addressing and integrating: food and nutrition; clean water by protecting sources and exploring the power of social impact water funds; sustainable agricultural practices; environment and pollution; climate change and coastal impact; maternal and reproductive health; infant mortality and child health. The expertise of The Nature Conservancy – the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people – will be invaluable as we study in depth its science-based best practices in each of these areas. Internet access is intermittent, but I will share updates as I can.
By Bill Frist

It’s been many years since my first trip to Africa, but each trip changes me. I already know this trip will be no different. Tracy and I are here for two-weeks this time: Tanzania, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Kenya. The trip will bring together work from Hope Through Healing Hands (global community health) and The Nature Conservancy (intersection nature and health) in conjunction with Pathfinder International (global women’s health). Since 2004, Hope Through Healing Hands has invested over $2.2 million in direct funding to Africa and has sent over 60 Frist Global Health Leaders to African nations including Kenya, South Africa, and Tanzania for medical service and training.
By Jenny Eaton Dyer, PhD

Last week, I had the privilege of speaking at the National Association of Evangelicals Christian Student Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C.

The conference was led by Galen Carey, Vice President of Government Relations, and on the day I spoke, it was in the grand marble Kennedy Caucus room in the Russell Building on Capitol Hill.

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