Tag Archives: Africa

Can Creative Innovators Drive Global Health and Humanitarian Change?

I am currently in a very small North Carolina town known for a few things: its infamous ballroom that was converted into a world class event space from an old, historic cotton mill, its Gastropub, its craft beer as well as its pristine location on the Haw River about twenty minutes from Chapel Hill.

Haw River

I’m here for the SwitchPoint conference that fuses a combination of music, art, microlabs and 15-minute talks on a wide variety of issues ranging from using drones in humanitarian crises to being implored to add more Africa into our timelines and not excepting the narrow narrative arc of the continent.

SwitchPoint is presented by IntraHealth International, the 35-year-old global NGO that works in innovative ways with health workers in 100 countries. SwithPoint is IntraHealth International’s flagship conference where experts, and storytellers, and doers on the ground (wherever in the world that is) convene for two days for a conversation about ways to partner, collaborate, and innovate on ideas.

After the first day at SwitchPoint I walked away knowing there are new ways to reach online and offline communities with messages that moms want to hear and share – issues that not only affect women and children here in the United States, but globally as well.

We heard from extremely talented innovators, social entrepreneurs and others who are indeed innovating on ideas that are shaping the world really as we know it. The day started with Patrick Meier, who founded the Digital Humanitarian Network. He talked about the worldwide use of drones in places like Namibia for conservation efforts and in Haiti where after Hurricane Sandy drones were used to find standing water and flooding across the island country.

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Justin Forsyth, Save the Children CEO, on Child Migrant Deaths in the Mediterranean

“Whoever makes up the next Government has a moral obligation to work with the EU to restart the rescue. Every migrant child’s death is a stain on Europe’s conscience. How many thousands must die this summer before Europe acts?” – Justin Forsyth, Save the Children CEO.

Read more at Save the Children Calls on the EU to Halt Child Deaths in the Mediterranean.

7 YouTube Videos About Maternal Health You Should Watch

Maternal health and mortality, especially in the world’s poorest countries, are serious global issues. I blog about maternal health a lot here because it is important to continue spreading awareness about the rate at which women are dying during childbirth which causes complete families to splinter.

800 women die in childbirth every day and those deaths are largely preventable. Most of these deaths are caused by severe bleeding (mostly bleeding after childbirth), infections (usually after childbirth), high blood pressure during pregnancy (pre-eclampsia and eclampsia) complications from delivery, and unsafe abortion according to the World Health Organization.

That said, I found seven YouTube videos that bring to life the plight of women who are pregnant in sub-Saharan Africa. I chose these videos because most maternal deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa.

If you would like to make a difference in the lives of women who are pregnant support these 41 organizations that work on the maternal health crisis.

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Researchers Say Donor Funding Will Make Malaria Drugs More Affordable

Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest burden of malaria sickness and death. In fact, 90 percent of all malaria deaths occur in Africa  according to the World Health Organization. Children under the age of five are particularly susceptible of dying from malaria and adults can be completely debilitated by the infectious disease as it zaps their energy little by little for weeks. It is important, then, that those who live in malaria prone areas have the medicinal options needed to fight off the disease.

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and New York University business schools have written a recent paper showing that more donor funding from U.S. multilateral agencies such as the World Bank and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria as well as from foundations like the Clinton Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are critical to keeping the price of malaria drugs low for poor people to afford. Buying these Artemisinin Combination Therapies (ACTs) is literally a matter between life and death.

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