Tag Archives: featured

One Mother’s Story Of Giving Birth in a Hospital Instead of At Home

Merida, Philippines – I met Jocelyn Pingos, 27, in Merida, Leyte on a bright, sunny tropical day in the Philippines. A mother of four, Jocelyn sat outside her local health center and waited patiently to have her youngest, Lenith, 10 months, looked at because of a nagging cough. Her second youngest, Jelenia, 3, was also with her. Jocelyn’s other children who are 9 and 6 were attending school.

When Jocelyn delivered Lenith earlier this year, she and her husband decided that she should have a tubal ligation two months after her delivery.

“I have no plans to have any more children,” Jocelyn said.


Jocelyn delivered her two youngest, Jelenia and Lenith, at the local hospital. Her two oldest were delivered at home. “For the first two, the midwife came to my home,” Jocelyn remembered. “The midwife wasn’t available for the last two.”

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How Women Are Rebuilding After Typhoon Haiyan: Elsa Morales

“We are very lucky the storm surge didn’t really touch my town,”said Manuel Boy’ Sia Que, the mayor of Dulag municipality. “We only had one-half to one meter storm surge.”

In Ormoc, a city about an hour and a half from Tacloban, one of the hardest hit cities during Typhoon Haiyan is also like another nearby city, Dulag. Ormoc didn’t get the huge storm surge like Tacloban that took thousands of lives, but they did bear the brunt of the torrential winds.

Elsa Morales lost everything during the storm. A single mother, her husband left her in 2005. In 2009 World Vision gave her a pig to provide a livelihood for her and her four children.  She has been raising pigs organically ever since by feeding them natural plants instead of commercial feeds and creating her own fertilizers.

Elsa Morales' Pregnant Sow
Morales’ pregnant sow eats swamp cabbage. It is abundant and organic food for her pigs.

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New homes recreate shattered lives in the Philippines

This post was originally published on the World Vision USA blog.

At everyone’s most basic level, we all want somewhere to lay our head every night. Filipinos living in the path of last year’s Typhoon Haiyan’s early morning storm surge and over 300km/hour winds lost everything within a 30-minute span, including their homes, and many, sadly, lost loved ones.

Those tracking the storm before it hit on November 8, 2013 projected that Typhoon Haiyan would reach the islands by 9 AM, but it sped up and reached landfall around 5 AM, just as everyone was sleeping. No one knew Haiyan would be as powerful as it was.

New homes recreate shattered lives | World Vision Blog
Photo: Jeana Shandraw/SurfandSunshine.com

After the storm, entire families were relegated to living in tents until temporary shelter kits could be delivered. Some live in makeshift and patchwork homes built from scraps even today, and some still do not have homes to call their own a year after Haiyan. And yet, there are some families who have been given the keys to a new home, one that was creatively designed to withstand high winds, rain, and – yes – even typhoons.

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India Launches Massive Scale-Up of Pentavalent Vaccine

This month begins a massive scale-up of Pentavalent vaccine for India’s children. With the largest rate of child mortality in the world, this new, national immunization effort will help reduce the number of child deaths in India. The Pentavalent vaccine combines diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) with hepatitis B (hepB) and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). Haemophilus influenzae type b kills 72,000 Indian children each year. Currently there are 6.8 million unimmunized children in India.

With the help of GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, India will roll out free Pentavalent shots in 12 states during its first phase. 8 states already have free Pentavalent immunizations. By the end of phase one 2/3 of all India’s children will have access to the Pentavalent shot, according to GAVI. Phase two will cover the remaining 16 states with the Pentavalent shot. Phase two begins in 2015.

India Pentavalent Vaccine Rollout

“India’s decision to expand access to Pentavalent vaccines through the Universal Immunization Programme will have a major long-term positive health impact by averting the deaths associated with Hib pneumonia, meningitis and hepB liver cancer,” said Dr Seth Berkley CEO of Gavi.

India has already shown that massive immunization roll-outs are in its citizens’ best interest in order to have a healthier populace. India was recently declared polio free because of its willingness to scale-up its polio vaccination programs.

Read more at GAVI.org.

Looking at Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision in the Field

Amos Emmanuel Kakere really wanted to undergo voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC).

A slight young man who looked far younger than his mere 24 years, Kakere, who is married and lives in Mhango village in Tanzania’s Shinyanga region, opted to undergo the procedure after seeing a large VMMC mobile field clinic near his village.

2014-10-15-VMMCHeaderImage-thumb (1)

The clinic, housed in a large, deployable tent and powered by a massive generator, with a waiting area and operating tables inside, was erected and run by IntraHealth International-trained health workers. The mobile clinic reaches 25,000 local men and young boys over the age of 10 from three villages who want to undergo VMMC but do not have access to nearby health facilities.

“I was passing nearby and heard there was a tent and asked what was being done,” Kakere said through translation. “I was anxious to get the service.”

Voluntary medical male circumcision is a common, 15- to 20-minute procedure that reduces HIV acquisition by 60 percent during heterosexual sex. VMMC is considered to be one of the easiest and most effective methods to reduce HIV transmission.

When I asked him how he felt about the procedure, Constantine gave a thumbs-up and simply said, “Poa,” which means “cool” in Swahili.

It’s been found, surprisingly, that women in sub-Saharan Africa tend to be excellent targets of VMMC messaging, as they encourage their partners to get circumcised and they understand that while not foolproof, a circumcised partner poses a lesser HIV threat than one who isn’t.

Village announcement campaigns also educate and bring in potential VMMC clients. Constantine Michael, 10, heard the announcement in his village and asked his older sister, Rosalea Michael, 19, to take him to IntraHealth’s mobile clinic.

“I heard from the announcement in the village,” Constantine said in a low, shy voice. “I asked my sister to bring me.”

Rosalea agreed to take Constantine to get the procedure, but only after explaining VMMC to him. When I met them, Constantine was waiting in line with other young boys to get tested for HIV and be counseled afterward before undergoing the procedure.

When I asked him how he felt about getting the procedure done, Constantine gave a thumbs-up and simply said, “Poa,” which means “cool” in Swahili.

IntraHealth, a global NGO that works in 90 countries and trains health workers to serve public health, works in Shinyanga, Simiyu, and Mara regions in northeast Tanzania to help the Ministry of Health reach the voluntary male circumcision targets set in 2009.

The main challenges are supply-chain management, governance, continuing education, and low pay for health workers.

The expectation is to successfully perform 200,098 voluntary male circumcision procedures by 2017 in these regions.

Located two hours outside Mwanza, Tanzania’s second-largest city, along dusty, bumpy, unpaved roads, IntraHealth’s mobile clinic in Shinyanga region has a daily capacity of 40 to 60 procedures.

Armed with CDC funding, IntraHealth works to effectively reduce the 7.4-percent HIV-prevalence rate in the three regions in which they work on VMMC. The HIV rate in these areas is higher than the nationwide average, making the scale-up and outreach of VMMC critical.

The Tanzanian government takes part in the human-resource side of regional VMMC projects and also pays health workers, explained Dr. Gissenge Liga, the head of the Clinical STI Unit and a national VMMC focal person. Yet there are still challenges that health workers who work on VMMC face.

Dr. Ntuli Kapologwe, a regional medical officer in Shinyanga, says the main challenges are supply-chain management, governance, continuing education, and low pay for health workers. “On the regional level people are competent,” Kapologwe said. “We are doing our best.”

Paying nothing for his circumcision because voluntary medical male circumcision is an HIV-prevention procedure, Amos Kakere underwent the relatively quick procedure inside the air-conditioned field clinic. Aside from the initial pain of the anesthesia shot, Kakere lay still on the operating table during the relatively painless procedure. He was given painkillers, instructed to return after three days for follow-up, and told to abstain from sex for six weeks in order for the circumcision to fully heal.

Voluntary medical male circumcision has made definite inroads in Tanzania through years of initial pilot projects, awareness and education campaigns, and a scale-up of VMMC services provided in health facilities and in mobile units. The approach seems to be working.

Before undergoing the procedure Kakere said, “I will encourage my friends. They shouldn’t be scared.”

Disclosure: I traveled to Tanzania as a guest of PSI to see their lifesaving work on the ground with health workers, as well as to see IntraHealth’s VMMC mobile clinic in Shinyanga region.

Photos courtesy of Jennifer James.

– See more at: http://www.intrahealth.org/blog/looking-voluntary-medical-male-circumcision-field#.VEZEDPnF8t4