Tag Archives: Developing country

One Million Health Workers Slated to be Trained in Sub-Saharan Africa

While traveling on a long, remote road to a village in southern Ethiopia we noticed the vast amount of dust and sand covering the trees. Every person walking along the road wore a head scarf to keep the swirl of dust out of their eyes and mouths. But most importantly, the road was long – possible twenty miles – all uphill to the nearest street from the village that is nestled squarely, yet pristinely in the valley. The road was extensive even for a ride in a SUV.

Can you imagine trying to walk this road when giving birth?

You would be astonished by the range of long distances people are from their closest health clinic or hospital in developing countries. Every Mother Counts did a superb job of bringing that fact to life in their video, The Walk. Do give it a look. For many who live in rural areas in poor and middle-income countries frontline health workers are their only chance of receiving much-needed health care from vaccines and malaria treatment to maternal health and infant deliveries.

Yesterday at the World Economic Forum Director of the Earth Institute and Columbia University professor Jeffrey Sachs, President of Rwanda Paul Kagame, and CEO of Novartis Joseph Jimenez announced the training of one million health workers in sub-Saharan Africa.

“The campaign will transform health care delivery across the continent and help some of the world’s poorest nations meet the health-related Millennium Development Goals,” said Sachs. “We are proud to be working with Novartis to launch this campaign and to work with African leaders to develop huge new cadres of community health workers to reach the rural populations.”

Frontline health workers form the backbone of health services for developing countries. Without them, most people would have no access to health care. You can read more about the one million health workers initiative on www.1millionhealthworkers.org. You can also read more about the work of health workers and why they are so important to the lives of people who live in the poorest countries in the world.

Photo and video copyright: Social Good Moms

Intel Releases Report About Internet Access for Women, Girls in Developing World

Access to the Internet liberates individuals and entire countries. Unfortunately of those who have access to the Internet in a variety of platforms (not just via mobile phones) women and girls lack Net use significantly. Intel, UN Women and the US State Department are looking to change that. A joint report, “Women and the Web” calls for a doubling of women who have access to the Internet from 600 million to 1.2 billion by 2016.

Today, only 4% of women in low-income countries have access to the Internet, 13% in lower middle income countries and 34% in middle income countries. Women in Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Haiti and Iraq have the least access to the Net of all countries. Conversely, women show greatest Net use in the West Bank/Palestine, the Seychelles, Maldives and Antigua and Barbuda.

Some of the reasons women lack access to the Internet are fairly common sense: cost, location, cultural norms, timidity about the medium, and a general lack of awareness about the benefits of the Internet.

Women and the Web estimates that if more women are afforded access to the Internet there could be a potential increase of $13 billion to $18 billion to annual GDP across 144 developing countries.

“With the powerful capabilities the Internet enables — to connect, to learn, to engage, to increase productivity, and to find opportunities — women’s lack of access is giving rise to a second digital divide, one where women and girls risk being left further and further behind.” said Melanne Verveer, ambassador-at-large for Global Women’s Issues at the U.S. Department of State.”My hope is that this report will catalyze action to close the Internet gender gap. This will require knowledge, leadership, determination and collaboration among governments, public institutions, corporations, and civil society to tackle the wide range of gender-specific barriers to Internet access.”

According to the report women who have access to the Net use mobile banking and health programs more often. Additionally they gain a greater sense of self-esteem, connect with people in other communities and garner gender-specific information. Additionally women who use the Net can use the medium for business and making money, creativity, and greater information gathering.

Read more about the report at Intel.com.

Photo Caption: Sudanese women and girls march in El Fasher, North Darfur, to celebrate International Women’s Day, in many places the day’s 100th anniversary. The 2011 theme: “Equal Access to Education, Training, Science and Technology”.  UN Photo/Olivier Chassot

Help Send Books to Ethiopian Schoolchildren

Children everywhere deserve an exceptional education. In fact, it it their right. In Ethiopia, there is a 10-20% increase of school-age children meaning there is a greater need for educational materials.

Bruktawit Tigabu, the award-winning entrepreneur and co-founder of Tsehai Loves Learning, is bringing storybooks to thousands of children in Ethiopia and needs your help. Higher Circle has launched their Opening Books to Open Doors campaign where they are raising $10,000 to provide books for 4,000 Ethiopian schoolchildren.

$10 will provide four books for children in need. Donate now.

Below Bruktawit Tigabu talks about the importance of reading for Ethiopian children.

Education_First_Infographic_section-full_-_resized

Photo: Jennifer James
Inforgraphic: UNESCO

The Importance of Clean Cookstoves – A Personal Experience

When I was in Ethiopia last week observing frontline health workers with Save the Children I had the unfortunate circumstance of going into a home, a traditional hut, where the mother was cooking on her indoor cookstove. The smoke from the burning wood was so thick and powerful I could hardly breathe and couldn’t imagine a family, let alone children and babies, being in an enclosed area with that much damaging smoke.

In Ethiopia communities recognize families as “model families” if they have two separate homes – one for living and one for cooking — but many do not have the resources to create a separate space for cooking.

When you visit developing countries where there is widespread cookstove use you will see children who have a lot of mucus in their noses. Cookstove smoke causes increased risk of pneumonia, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and heart disease. And 2 million people die every year because of indoor health pollution.

Now that I have experienced how harmful cookstoves are I am more adamant about how important clean cookstoves are to the health and well-being of families, particularly women and children.

Read more about what you can do to advocate for clean cookstoves at the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.

Do You Know an Amazing Health Worker?

Health workers are typically the unsung heroes around the world. They help women deliver their babies in health facilities, they treat babies who are too weak to thrive and even care for wounded civilians during time of war. Health workers assess our problems and patch us up the best they know how. And in developing countries where health workers are vital to the survival of communities their work is even more critical.

Save the Children along with Frontline Health Workers Coalition have created the REAL Awards where deserving United States-based health workers will be honored for the sacrifice and commitment they exhibit through their work.

If there is a doctor or nurse who inspires you be sure to nominate them for the REAL Awards. The deadline is today, November 29 – not too late to show someone you appreciate that you care.

Read more at www.therealawards.com/nominate.

Photo: Save the Children