Overcoming Obstacles to Keep Girls in School: Sustainable, Environmental, and Economic Practices

by Anita Henderlight

August 18, 2009

Shortly after NESEI opened our first girls' boarding secondary school in South Sudan, we observed that many of the girls skipped classes routinely each month. Why? Because they did not have necessary supplies for comfort or cleanliness during menstruation. Most were using leaves or old rags to absorb their flow.

We began to supply the students with "comfort kits" - disposable sanitary products imported from more industrialized countries. They met our primary goal - keeping our girls in school.
Loni and I have continued our work on the Munsieville Survey and rapid needs assessment data collection. We can now officially say that our Munsieville Survey is fine-tuned and ready for implementation. Each survey takes about 45 minutes to an hour. I mentioned in an earlier update that Project HOPE had planned to get 1000 surveys. Well, thanks to some mathematical wizardry on my and Loni's part, we discovered that we would only need about 400 surveys to get the same statistical power (something that SIGNIFICANTLY cut on costs for this project). So, with 10 hired surveyors it would take a little less than 2 weeks to complete data collection.
Senator Frist said "I fast to send a message to fellow leaders, fasters and activists that we must definitively address the cause of the ongoing violence and persecution in Darfur. It is an affront to our compassion, our decency and our very humanity that the government of Sudan has put racism, political and financial interests ahead of its people. I want the refugees in Darfur to know they are not forgotten and that we will not give up until we see peace come to our Sudanese brothers, sisters and children."

Dr.Frist published an op-ed in the Boston Globe titled "Global Healthcare Takes More Than A Pill."  In the op-ed, Dr. Frist talks about the work of the Millenium Challenge Corporation. He writes "The US government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation takes an innovative approach to strengthening the policy environment for global health. From the outset, the corporation evaluates a country’s immunization rates, total public expenditure on health, and commitment to combating corruption to determine where to invest its development grants. This smart approach ensures that US dollars are spent wisely in countries already taking steps to do their part to strengthen the health of their citizens."

Read the complete op-ed here.

I haven't had the chance to go on anymore exciting field visits yet, but I have become more familiar with how NGOs work. My supervisor has been out of the country for the last two weeks and consequently I've been given a lot more responsibility. For example, I lead this month's meeting of the Quality Improvement Task Force. The Q.I. Task Force meets monthly to discuss issues pertaining to the quality and guidelines of the care and support of orphans and other vulnerable children (OVC) in Tanzania. My supervisor is a co-chair on the task force and she usually hosts the meeting but I led the meeting in her absence. The task force is in the process of developing national guidelines for quality improvement of OVC care as well as a household status tool to be used in assessing the household conditions of OVC. The discussion about the process of creating and revising the documents gave me insight into how national guidelines for development work are established and the relationship between governmental ministries and non-governmental organizations.
Senator Frist's first trip in Medical Missions was with Dr. Dick Furman and World Medical Missions, an affililate of Samaritan's Purse.

Samaritan's Purse has been doing good work in Sudan for some time. I thought it appropriate to highlight their work, in support of their continued efforts, here as we focus on Sudan this month.

Secretary Clinton's Africa Trip

Aug 4, 2009

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Africa trip, August 3 to 14, features a tough and demanding agenda: she will be visiting dangerously conflicted Kenya, Congo, and Nigeria; holding a brief exchange with a Somali transition government close to succumbing to a radical Islamist movement affiliated with al Qaeda; reassuring unsteady postwar Liberia; and opening a dialogue with a newly formed government in South Africa, which confronts worsening internal economic strains and remains visibly befuddled by the continuing crisis in neighboring Zimbabwe. The secretary’s agenda bears little resemblance to President Bill Clinton’s spring 1998 Africa renaissance tour or the similarly optimistic tones of President George W. Bush’s summer 2003 and spring 2008 trips.

For full article-- CLICK HERE.

Senator Frist has a forthcoming book that will release October 5: A Heart to Serve: A Passion to Bring Health, Hope, and Healing

In Chapter one, A Mission of Mercy, Frist shares his experience of flying into Lui, Sudan, under the radar, to perform surgery in a conflict zone. This experience was a foundational one which shaped his understanding and philosophy of health diplomacy and how offering health care can be a currency for peace around the world.

For CHAPTER ONE -- CLICK HERE.

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Don't forget to order your copy of the book on Amazon.com!

 

 

Dr. Frist has an op-ed in the Houston Chronicle titled "Improve World Health Care by Increasing Prosperity." 

July 31, 2009

..."As the health care reform debate unfolds domestically, we face an opportune moment to recalculate for the better how we maximize the success of our efforts abroad to strengthen global health. By looking holistically at global health systems — the capacity, the policies, the health and non-health infrastructure — we can pursue integrated action on all the components that go into making and keeping the world's poor healthy. For their sake and ours, let us seize this moment to do so."

Read the complete op-ed here.

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