Please join the CSIS Global Health Policy Center and Hope Through Healing Hands for an event to launch the new book, The Mother & Child Project: Raising Our Voices for Health and Hope, compiled by Hope Through Healing Hands and published by HarperCollins and Zondervan. This book brings together 47 notable contributors, including Melinda Gates, Kay Warren, and President Jimmy Carter, to raise awareness and promote advocacy for maternal, newborn, and child health worldwide, with a special emphasis on the importance of healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies.
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE, March 4, 2015 – Ian Crozier, MD, a Vanderbilt-trained infectious diseases doctor who treated Ebola patients in West Africa before contracting and defeating the disease himself, is scheduled to speak at a fundraising event for Hope Through Healing Hands and Siloam Family Health Center on March 31 at Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville, Tennessee.

Deployed by the World Health Organization, Dr. Crozier contracted Ebola while treating patients in Sierra Leone last summer and was the third—and the sickest—Ebola patient to be treated at Emory University.  Soon after evacuation to the United States, he became critically ill. On the verge of death, he received ground-breaking critical care in addition to an experimental Ebola drug and blood plasma from an Ebola survivor.  Dr. Crozier's identity was kept confidential until a New York Times feature story about him and his experience was published in December.

Sen. Bill Frist, Founder of Hope Through Healing Hands, will host a conversation with Dr. Crozier, emphasizing what a globally-connected world we live in, especially when it comes to matters of health – specifically for women and children.

"Through this event we will have an opportunity to raise financial support for a new generation of global health care heroes like Dr. Crozier, both at home and abroad," said Hope Through Healing Hands Executive Director Jenny Dyer, PhD.  To emphasize the local dimensions of global health, funds will also go to provide healthcare for with no other options, many of whom are immigrants or refugees served by Siloam Family Health Center.

"We are deeply grateful that Ian battled and overcame this deadly disease allowing us the opportunity to welcome him back to Nashville," added Siloam President and CEO Morgan Wills, MD, a longtime friend and former classmate of Dr. Crozier's at Vanderbilt School of Medicine.

Following a Patrons' Dinner at 6 p.m., the main event will begin at 7:30 p.m.  A reception for guests will follow at 9 p.m. Tickets are available online at www.talesfromthefrontline.eventbrite.com or by contacting Katie Richards at Katie.richards@silloamhealth.orgor 615-921-6114.

The event will take place at MBA's Paschall Theater, 4001 Harding Pike in Nashville.

Hope Through Healing Hands is a global health organization whose mission is to promote improved quality of life for citizens and communities around the world using health as a currency for peace.

Siloam Family Health Center is a nonprofit organization committed to helping Nashvillians "think globally and heal locally" as a frontline provider of charitable health care for all Nashvillians, especially immigrants and refugees.

EDITOR'S NOTE: If you have any questions about the event, or would like to attend, please contact: Melany Ethridge, (972) 267-1111, melany@alarryross.com.

Tales From the Frontline Evite

Quetzaltenango, Guatemala – Manuala Tum, 25, cannot read or write. She lives in a dusty one-bedroom house with eight family members on just a few dollars a day. But that’s not stopping her from saving lives in her community.

For the last six months, she has been working with the global poverty-fighting organization CARE as a volunteer community health promoter. Her job is to help pregnant women prepare for the birth of their children. In Guatemala, where Manuala lives, pregnancy can be a death sentence: a mother there is five times more likely to die while giving birth than a mother in the United States.

The Washington Post | Feb. 23, 2015

At a health center here, a young woman is in the recovery room after a Caesarean section. A nurse takes the newborn to a table for cleanup. We (a group organized by the Center for Strategic and International Studies) are allowed to enter and see the child. But she starts struggling for breath. Three more nurses enter. One briefly applies bag-and-mask ventilation. Yet the infant’s breathing grows weaker and weaker as she turns a horrible shade of gray.

The suddenness of this little girl’s death, so soon after her welcome to the world, made it seem particularly cruel. To the nurses, however, it was hardly unusual. Later I was told that Tanzanian mothers often do not name their babies until long after birth, trying to avoid emotional attachment in a place where neonatal, infant and child mortality rates are so high.

I still don’t know what to make of the experience, except to pray for a woman and an innocent little soul and to realize that “neonatal mortality” is not something abstract. It happens in some room, on a table, under a heat lamp, where life’s best gift turns gray and cold.

Tanzania (along with much of the world) has made rapid progress in reducing child mortality — defined as children younger than 5. In one region I visited, rates have fallen by more than half during the past five years.

With the help of Gavi — the global vaccine alliance — vaccination rates in Tanzania are north of 90 percent, and new rotavirus and pneumococcal vaccines are arriving. Women walk and bicycle for miles to have their children vaccinated, while some American suburbanites engage in vaccine denialism. Tanzania’s vaccination rate for measles is higher than America’s. With the help of the President’s Malaria Initiative and the Global Fund, Tanzania is making progress against malaria, which is particularly dangerous for pregnant mothers and children younger than 5.

Read the full article on The Washington Post

I have come to Kijabe, Kenya with the help of the Hope Through Healing Hands with the goal of training local providers in the OR and ICU. My first days in Kenya have been uplifting, but I have been surprised at the case volume, severity, and complexity of the system here at AIC Kijabe Hospital.
This week, CARE is directing a congressional delegation to Guatemala including Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) and Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC), among other activists. The goal of our trip was to witness first-hand the lives of women and children across the nation in terms of health.

Dallas Morning News | February 12, 2015

By BILL FRIST AND JENNY EATON DYER

The Kaiser Family Foundation recently reported that Ebola is still a top-tier global health concern in Americans’ hearts and minds. Although media coverage has slowed, there is still much work to do in West Africa to curb the spread of the virus that has now killed more than 8,500 people. In a promising step forward, the National Institutes of Health just announced that a vaccine trial will soon be available in Liberia.

Sadly, it took the death of Thomas Eric Duncan to prompt real assessments of how prepared local hospitals are to handle a global outbreak. But as a result, our nation is now more aware and more concerned about the tragic loss of life in West Africa and the broader issues of global health.

More than half of Americans believe that the U.S. government offers more than 26 percent of our annual budget in foreign assistance. The reality: Less than 1 percent of our budget goes to global health and development.

As we’ve seen, health issues abroad have a real impact at home. Years of underfunding global health has allowed a virus like Ebola to become a crisis in Africa and reach American soil. If we had spent even one-tenth of our perceived investment, perhaps we wouldn’t be in this position.

We can’t again wait until the crisis is upon us.

We want to encourage Americans to explore foundational global health issues like clean water, vaccines, nutrition, and maternal and child health. Establishing foundations of health and health care better equips populations to respond in times of crisis and outbreak so that global health threats can be more quickly brought under control.

We also urge Congress to prioritize these lifesaving investments in global health. There has been great progress over the past decade as Democrats and Republicans have come together on issues such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and maternal and child health.

Our global health organization, Hope Through Healing Hands, believes that maternal, newborn and child health is a fundamental global health issue, one that — with an emphasis on healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies — is a critical issue for the next decade.

More than 6.6 million children die every year in the developing world from preventable, treatable causes. As Bill and Melinda Gates’ annual letter for 2015 notes, this number has been halved since 1990, and we expect to halve it again by 2030. Simple, low-cost measures such as oral rehydration therapy, bed nets to prevent malaria, and access to immunizations have accelerated the reduction of child mortality in developing nations.

More than 289,000 women die every year because of complications from pregnancy or childbirth, with 85 percent of maternal deaths occurring in Africa and South Asia. We can change this, too. More than 80 percent of these deaths are preventable. Skilled care during labor, delivery and up to 48 hours postpartum makes a lifesaving difference.

An underappreciated part of the solution is family planning. When we talk about voluntary family planning in the international context, we mean enabling women and couples to determine the number of pregnancies and their timing, and equipping women to use voluntary methods for preventing pregnancy, not including abortion, that are harmonious with their values and beliefs.

Healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies is also central to achieving other global health goals, such as combating hunger and improving the status of women and girls. Family planning is a key, often hidden engine for additional global health achievements.

While we are grateful for the renewed attention being given to global health concerns, we hope that Americans and their legislators will seize the opportunity to protect funding in these key areas of maternal and child health and international family planning in recognition of long-term national and global benefits.

Former U.S. Sen. Bill Frist, a physician, is board chairman for the nonprofit Hope Through Healing Hands. Jenny Eaton Dyer, Ph.D., is the group’s executive director. Reach them through www.hopethroughhealinghands.org

I last witnessed a measles outbreak in 2011. Thousands were sick with high fevers, dry cough, and a spreading rash. Three quarters of the ill were children under five years old, and the disease was spreading rapidly. Once the outbreak began, immunization response strategies could barely keep up. It took months before even the hospitalized pediatric patients were all vaccinated. Back then I was in the Dadaab refugee camp, near the border of Kenya and Somalia. I’m horrified to think we are courting a similar outbreak in America.

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