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.

Housing programs lift poor in world

By William H. Frist and Jonathan T.M. Reckford?

8:11 p.m. Monday, April 12, 2010

http://www.ajc.com/opinion/housing-programs-lift-poor-457340.html

As in Haiti and Chile, disasters mobilize us to help families rebuild, rebound and recover.

Yet, in our rush to react, we can overlook the underlying tragedy: those most vulnerable to disaster often live in peril before the earth shakes or the sea rumbles. We must respond to the needs of disaster survivors, but we must also address the constant crisis families face daily in deplorable living conditions.

For example, nearly 9 million children die each year from preventable causes. That’s about 24,500 every day.

By the time you read this article, 50 more will have died, not because of medical barriers, but because of financial ones. Cheap medical interventions can prevent many of these deaths, but medicine isn’t the only necessary measure.

With access to clean water, proper sanitation and other basic services, decent housing fosters good health.

More should be done through public, private and nonprofit partnerships to provide proper housing.

Take those preventable causes above and consider how many of them might have been avoided had families lived in decent homes.

Pneumonia, for example, kills more children each year than AIDS, malaria and measles combined — nearly four children each minute.

Many of those deaths take place in homes with crowded living conditions where bacteria thrive.

Because too many poor families cannot afford adequate shelter, they cram too many people into too small a space — subjecting the entire household to increased risk.

Diarrhea is another leading cause of child deaths. Once a child contracts diarrhea, we can easily treat it with oral rehydration.

But consider again how that same child might have avoided the condition with access to clean water. More than 1.2 billion people lack that access.

Studies have linked health outcomes to housing and housing-related basics such as water and sanitation. In Mexico, the World Bank found that replacing dirt floors with concrete floors improved the health of children, including a 78 percent reduction in parasitic infections and a 49 percent reduction in diarrhea.

In Malawi, researchers from Emory University concluded that young children living in Habitat for Humanity homes were 44 percent less likely to contract respiratory problems, gastrointestinal diseases or malaria than their counterparts living in substandard housing.

Behind those statistics are the hopes, lives and dreams of children who are significantly less likely to fall ill when they have adequate shelter.

Health threats from inadequate housing are not limited to developing countries. In the United States, 6 million families face disproportionate health risks because of their housing. Cockroaches and mold exacerbate asthma in children and adults.

The list goes on, and even though it’s poor and low-income families who suffer most, all of us have a stake in the good health — and by extension, the good housing — of everyone.

Creating decent, affordable housing is not only the right thing to do, it’s smart and economical — saving health care dollars at home and promoting economic development internationally.

When families are well, they don’t incur costly hospital visits, and when they can afford their housing, they can better maintain a healthy life.

Health initiatives in the U.S. and beyond must address the positive impact adequate housing has on good health.

As Congress assesses U.S. foreign assistance, policy-makers should recognize the importance of shelter as a standalone issue, as well as a means to support other development outcomes, such as improved health.

We as individuals must speak up in the conversation around decent shelter.

We can advocate for sound housing policy, roll up our sleeves to build affordable housing or financially invest in housing solutions that bring health, hope and healing to families around the globe.

Dr. William H. Frist is a physician and former U.S. Senate majority leader.

Jonathan T.M. Reckford is CEO at Habitat for Humanity International.

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.

Earlier today, First Lady Michelle Obama announced that Senator Frist will serve as a Vice Chair for her Childhood Obesity Foundation - Partnership for a Healthier America:

Partnership for a Healthier America Expands Leadership, Naming Board of Directors and Honorary Vice Chairs

Sen. Frist, Mayor Booker Join First Lady Michelle Obama as Honorary Leaders of Childhood Obesity Foundation

Nine-Member Board of Directors Brings Vast Array of Experience and Expertise to Support Partnership, Guide its Activities


Washington, DC - The Partnership for a Healthier America today announced the addition of key leaders in its effort to address the serious epidemic of childhood obesity.  The organization named former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and Newark Mayor Cory Booker as Honorary Vice Chairs, and appointed a board of directors, including Dr. James R. Gavin III, who will serve as chairman.  The Partnership is working to mobilize the private sector, thought leaders, media, and local communities to action and further the goals of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign to curb childhood obesity within a generation.
 
In their roles, Frist, Booker, Gavin, and the board of directors bring valuable leadership and experience to help drive the Partnership's activities and ensure the organization is effective in establishing measurable solutions for fighting obesity.    
 
On a conference call today with Frist, Booker, and Gavin, the First Lady welcomed the Partnership's new leaders.  "Reversing the obesity trend has never been more important to the health of our nation and, to succeed, it will take the combined effort of public and private sectors," the First Lady said.  "I am encouraged by the enthusiasm and resolve of the honorary vice chairs and new board of directors, and I am confident that their leadership and experience will help us achieve our goal of solving childhood obesity within a generation."
 
A licensed physician, Frist has long recognized the growing danger of the obesity epidemic.  "As childhood obesity continues to threaten the health and future of all American children, the time has come for meaningful, measurable solutions to solve this crisis," Frist said.  "I look forward to working to mobilize leaders across this country to take action and improve the health of our nation."   
 
Similarly, Booker has worked tirelessly to promote healthy lifestyles and physical fitness for all Newark residents.  "My experiences in Newark have shown me that the fight against childhood obesity can only be won if all people come together to find real, achievable solutions," Booker said.  "I am excited to join in this effort and help bring our nation together for this important cause."
 
As the Partnership's board chairman, Dr. Gavin brings a deep knowledge of childhood obesity-related illnesses and the policy and environmental influences that are contributing factors.  He currently serves as chief executive officer and chief medical officer of Healing Our Village, Inc., a health communication corporation developing methods to assure health care system change that promotes patient behavior change for improved health outcomes in medically-underserved populations.    
 
"The Partnership for a Healthier America will fill a unique niche among childhood obesity initiatives across the country, by working to target industry-specific solutions that can be measured and tracked," Gavin said.  "I am pleased to help lead this organization in efforts to develop a strong network of committed and solution-oriented members dedicated to curbing childhood obesity within a generation."
 
Other newly-appointed members of the board of directors are Deborah DeHaas, Peter Dolan, S. Lawrence Kocot, Deborah Landesman, Janet Murguía, Vivian Riefberg, William L. Roper, and Antronette K. Yancey.
 
These board members bring significant experience and expertise that will support the Partnership's activities and help ensure its success.  Members offer medical expertise on issues related to childhood obesity; have experience leading large companies, as well as organizations focused on driving social change; and represent multiple communities highly affected by the childhood obesity epidemic.  For complete board member biographies, please visit www.aHealthierAmerica.org/about/board.html.
 
About the Partnership for a Healthier America

The Partnership for a Healthier America is an independent, nonpartisan organization that will mobilize broad-based support for efforts to solve the child obesity challenge.  Core activities of the Partnership include:
 

  • Developing  a  strong membership network of  leaders across sectors with commitment to  scaling meaningful and measurable solutions;  
  • Convening members  annually to affirm, align, and announce commitments;  
  • Promoting broad  understanding among all sectors about the role healthy food, physical  activity, and the environment play in reversing the childhood obesity  epidemic;  
  • Facilitating and  measuring the impact of members' commitments against clear and transparent  targets; and  
  • Connecting  potential partners in the private and nonprofit sectors to each other and to  the correct points of contact in government to ensure efficient leveraging of  actions, and sharing of knowledge and lessons learned at the community, state,  and national levels.  


The Partnership emerged out of a series of conversations between The California Endowment, Kaiser Permanente, Nemours, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, which is a partnership of the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation.  Sonnenschein, Nath and Rosenthal, LLP has provided operational and legal support in establishing the Foundation. The Brookings Institution has also contributed thought leadership to the effort.
 
For more information about the Partnership for a Healthier America, please visit www.aHealthierAmerica.org.  
 
About the Let's Move! Campaign

The First Lady's nationwide initiative seeks to solve the challenge of childhood obesity, so that America's youngest children reach adulthood at a healthy weight.  Her plan offers four pillars:
 

  • Offering parents  the tools and information they need to make healthy choices for their  kids;  
  • Getting healthier  food into our nation's schools;  
  • Ensuring that all  our families have access to healthy, affordable food in their communities; and  
  • Increasing  opportunities for kids to be physically active, both in and out of  school.  

The Partnership will support these pillars through a campaign to unite and inspire families from every corner of the United States to take real and sustained actions to eat better, be more active, and make a commitment to embracing healthier lifestyles.
 
For more information on Let's Move!, visit www.letsmove.gov.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                           

Contact: Jenny Dyer

March 28, 2010                                                                                 

(615) 818-5579

 Hope Through Healing Hands Announces

The Water=Hope Campaign in partnership with

The Brad Paisley H2O World Tour 2010

Nashville, TN - Hope Through Healing Hands (HTHH) announces the title of its upcoming campaign for clean, safe water around the world: The Water=Hope Campaign.

Last Monday, March 22, 2010 was World Water Day, a day to draw attention to the one out of five people around the world who lack access to safe drinking water, and Brad Paisley announced the first leg of his highly anticipated 2010 tour, H2O World Tour presented by Chevy. Hope Through Healing Hands is excited to partner with Brad Paisley and his H20 Tour 2010 with a campaign for clean, safe water. 

The Water=Hope Campaign will promote awareness and advocacy for safe water, adequate sanitation, and improved hygiene, especially in low-income countries. At each show, HTHH will have a booth to distribute literature and encourage people to learn more about how they can get involved. Prior to the show, fans will have the opportunity to text their donations to support clean water initiatives around the globe.

With donations made to the campaign at each tour stop, HTHH will be digging wells and purifying water here in the U.S. and in some of the areas in the world that are in the most desperate need for clean, safe water.

H2O World Tour will include a "Water World Plaza," sponsored by Sea Ray Boats and Skinny Water, and will turn every city into a water festival.  Focal point in the Plaza area will be the "Water World Plaza Stage" featuring emerging new stars Easton Corbin, Steel Magnolia and Josh Thompson.  The tour extravaganza will open each day at 4:00pm with music starting at 5:00pm.  In addition to the music stage there will be multiple water-themed activities - including a Chevy H2O FLW fishing simulator, dunking booth, Hope Through Healing Hands' campaign booth, and more.

H2O World Tour will hit more than 75 cities in the United States, Canada and Europe over the next 12 months.  Chevy is title sponsor for the tour.  Special guests for the tour will include Darius Rucker and Justin Moore.  Appropriately, Paisley's current hit single is "Water," from his American Saturday Night album.

About Hope Through Healing Hands:

Hope Through Healing Hands is a Nashville-based 501(c) (3) that promotes improved quality of life for citizens and communities around the world using health as a currency for peace. HTHH supports health students and residents to do service and training in underserved clinics around the world. For more information, go to www.hopethroughhealinghands.org.

About Brad Paisley:

Country music superstar Brad Paisley is a consummate singer, songwriter, guitarist, entertainer and member of the Grand Ole Opry.  He has earned three GRAMMY's, 12 Academy of Country Music Awards and 13 Country Music Association Awards.  Paisley has released eight critically acclaimed studio albums and has accumulated sales of over 10 million units.  His most recent album, American Saturday Night, was ranked as TIME magazine's 2009 #1 album of the year in any genre of music.  Paisley's most recent #1 single, "American Saturday Night," was his 16th #1 - the last 12 consecutive. Paisley's innovative and entertaining tours have consistently placed in the Top 5 in Pollstar for attendance and his 2009 American Saturday Night tour played to nearly 1.2 million fans in 8 months.  Currently Paisley is nominated for four ACM Awards - Entertainer, Male, Album (American Saturday Night) and Video ("Welcome to the Future").

 

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