Archive for June, 2010

Vote for Global Network Ambassador Alyssa Milano for VH1s 2010 Do Something Awards!

June 30th, 2010

Global Network Ambassador, Actress and Tweeting Guru Alyssa Milano has been nominated for VH1s 2010 Do Something Awards on July 19th for her passion and dedication to charity and philanthropy through social media devices like Twitter.

Here at the Global Network, we are grateful for Alyssas generous support and are rooting for her to win!

Voting is quick, free and easy!  You can also share your votes with friends by posting them to your social networks. Dont forget to tune in July 19, 2010 on VH1!

To read more about the Do Something Awards and vote for Alyssa please click here

Reading List 6/30/2010

June 30th, 2010

New list of reads to help get you through the week! Today were reading about great strides and advances in the control and elimination of NTDs such as the substantial drop in human African trypanosomiasis cases over the last five decades as well as other developments that pose more as obstacles, such as the re-emergence of Dengue in the U.S. Take a look:

Human African trypanosomiasis: number of new cases drops to lowest level in 50 years, WHO Community-Based Education Strengthens Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis, Science Daily Pharmacy students work to close the gap, Charles Sturt University Foreign Policy Examines GHI, PEPFAR, Kaiser Family Foundation Researchers In Australia Make Important Malaria Breakthrough, Government of Australia Do Parasites Make You Dumber?, Cassandra Willyard, ScienceNOW Dengue Re-emerges in U.S., Spurring Race for Vaccine, Gayathri Vaidyanathan, The New York Times

Global Network Ambassador Tommy Thompson Urges Congress to Fully Fund NTDs

June 29th, 2010

Today, former Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy G. Thompson, who also serves as an Ambassador for the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases, submitted a letter to Congress asking for the full funding for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). The letter, addressed to Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), Chairwoman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs and Ranking Member Kay Granger (R-TX), called on Congress to support the president’s full request of $155 million for the treatment of the seven most common NTDs. Thompson noted that after seeing the debilitating effects these diseases have, especially on children whom are “constantly sick….cannot regularly attend school… [and whose] future earning potential can be curtailed by up to 40 percent” as a result of these diseases action must be taken. His request is one that the Global Network, and the entire NTD community, hopes will be granted. The Global Network’s Policy Director, Michelle Brooks stated, “that progress made toward the prevention, control, and elimination of the seven most common NTDs is undeniable, but we are far from our goal of eliminating the world’s seven most common NTDs and need the sustained support and commitment of the United States Government in our global health efforts.” Since 2007, under USAID’s NTD control program over 55 million people in 14 countries have received 221 million NTD treatments. The NTD Initiative is part of President Obama’s Global Health Initiative (GHI) unveiled in May 2009 as a comprehensive whole-of-government approach to meeting global health needs. A leading target of GHI is to reduce the prevalence of NTDs throughout the world by clamping down on the seven most common NTDs.

The Global Network would like to thank Governor Thompson, Congresswoman Lowey, and Congresswoman Granger for their unwavering dedication to global public health and the fight against NTDs. Now everyone will watch and see how Congress in this current budget climate will balance the myriad of competing foreign aid issues—particularly those in global health.

To read Governor Thompsons letter in its entirety, please visit the Global Networks website.

Reading List 6/29/2010

June 29th, 2010

Todays reading list features articles all about the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The topic of each article touches on at least one MDG. Article topics include G8s commitment to maternal health, new approaches to development taken by the Obama administration, and reducing poverty. Take a look!

Promising Steps Toward International Womens Health, Cecile Richards, The Huffington Post A New Approach to Advancing Development, Office of the Press Secretary, The White House G8 Nations Commit $5B For Maternal, Child Health, Medical News Today UN chief urges G20 to not balance budgets on the backs of the poorest, UN News Center G8 avoids bold aid promises amid budget strains, The Economic Times

Stephanies Story

June 28th, 2010

by: Christopher Glass

Its about 6am on my last day of a week-long trip to Haiti.  Im sitting in my hotel room in Port-Au-Prince waiting to be picked up to go the airport and Im listening to the city wake up. My hotel room is quiet. No TV. No cell phones. When I close my eyes and listen I hear car horns beeping, pigs grunting and roosters crowing all in a matter of moments.

Im sitting here thinking about all the things I witnessed and all the people I met wonderful people who greeted me with a smile and a handshake. People walking down the street who waived to me when we made eye contact.

I slept well last night; thankfully I had a room with air conditioning since the high temperature has been hovering around 100 degrees. I missed that during our trip to Jacmel to watch the start of our second Mass Drug Administration (MDA) this month.

The MDA is part of the Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) intervention in Haiti. This program started well before the earthquake, we’re distributing medicines to eliminate or control Lymphatic Filariasis (commonly known as Elephantiasis) and Soil-transmitted Helminths, particularly nasty intestinal worms.  IMA World Health’s role is to coordinate the boots on the ground- among other things. But I’ll get into more of that later.

Im having a difficult time writing this blog entry because I have so much to say and so many photos to post. I feel like I could ramble on forever about this country and our work here but one story comes to mind. I’ll leave you with this image.

Her name is Stephanie.

She is 18 years old and shes suffering from a severe case of Lymphatic Filariasis. (LF) We met her by accident; we took a wrong turn and ended up on a back street in Jacmel. When I saw her we stopped the car and I spoke with her with the help of Dr. Abdel Direny, a Haitian-born co-worker and friend who helped make this trip a success.

Stephanie

She says her parents are alive and living in Jacmel but want nothing to do with her; she sleeps at her grandmothers home but is sent out during the day. She sits on this street and begs for money from strangers. I’m told the wall is where she spends her time.

I asked her if she was going to school she cant, theres not enough money. Her section of street is about 500 yards from one of our distribution points. We offered to drive her to get some of the medicines for her leg but she declined saying she had already gone to a clinic and taken some medicine for her foot. Dr. Direny thought it may have been some pain medicine but wasnt sure.

She sounded apprehensive about our pills. Dr. Direny did his best to explain their benefits and we asked her several times to take the medication but the best we could get was a promise that shed go the next day. I hope she does.

The medicine distributed by IMA World Health for LF probably wont reduce the swelling but it will get rid of the worms in the blood stream causing it. According to Dr. Direny, our Program Director in Haiti, she is very young to have such an advanced case, the medicine could still be a great help to her.

She needs access to a hospital capable of teaching her how to deal with her leg. Its called Morbidity Management. IMA is connected to this, teaching people how to care for swollen limbs like this by washing and daily maintenance. Sometimes the swelling will go down.

This takes me back to the Mass Drug Administration. If she could have taken the pills at a younger age, she wouldnt have developed the swelling. Her life would be dramatically different.

As I write this post, IMA World Health is distributing medicine to more than 1 million people in the month of June in Haiti. This is a huge number to wrap your mind around but consider this they are doing it with a network of roughly 4,000 community volunteers.

This work is truly being done in a partnership with the Ministries of Health and Education and other implementing partners. IMA’s funding is from USAID through RTI and there is a huge community effort to make this a success. It’s great to see a partnership of this size working in a country facing so many obstacles to face in the months and years to come. There are so many people working hard to improve the lives of people they may never know. People like Stephanie.

If you would like to learn more about IMA World Health and follow updates on our work go to www.imaworldhealth.org.

Christopher Glass is the E-Communications Officer at IMA World Health

The 2010 G8/G20 Summits: Looking Forward

June 25th, 2010

By: Genevieve Luippold

Today, Friday, June 25, 2010 the historic G8 and G20 summit meetings begin in Huntsville, Canada.  The G8, held from June 25-26, brings together eight heads of states from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States to discuss and address critical global challenges in areas such as international development, food security and global health.  Leaders from the G20, a summit with a narrower focus on global trade and economics, will immediately follow the G8 in Toronto June 26-27.  Global health is to be a major part of this year’s agenda.

One recent development in the global health sector is the new maternal and child health initiative, for more than $1 billion dollars, unveiled  by Canada’s Prime Minister, Stephen Harper.  This initiative aims to improve the health and livelihood of women and children (MCH) in the world’s poorest regions.   The G8’s Muskoka Report, released earlier this week, provides insight into the progress of the Gleneagle Commitments made by G8 members in 2005 to increase global Organizational Development Assistance (ODA) significantly.  These ODA committmetns  were set to rise to $130 billion by 2010. Of this increase, $25 billion would go to Africa alone.  G8 expenditures in the last five years include assistance to the African Action Plan, billions of dollars in debt cancellation from G8 countries, improvement of market access for goods from Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and as well as major health sector contributions including the formation and support of the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria.

Yet, as the G8 and G20 leaders meet to discuss solutions to pressing global concerns, 1.4 billion of the world’s poorest, most marginalized people remain in the devastating impacts of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). This group of seven disabling, disfiguring and deadly diseases impair physical and cognitive development, cause adverse pregnancy outcomes and limit adult workforce productivity.  As a result, the affected communities remain anchored into poverty by these endemic parasitic infections.

The Global Network, a major initiative of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, is a partnership dedicated to eliminating neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).  The Global Network applauds the G8 in their inclusion of NTD, control, and elimination as a major channel of global development, yet reminds G8 leaders that there is still much work to be done. 

The Global Network is calling on members of the G8 to:

  • Fulfill promises made at the 2005 G8 summit in Gleneagles to increase ODA by $130 by 2010
  • Recommit to statement made in 2009 G8 summit in L’Aquila, Italy that no poor country with a credible plan for reducing infectious disease and newborn, child and maternal mortality should fail to achieve its objectives because of a lack of donor resources.
  • Ensure that accountability is an integral and permanent component of both the G8 and G20 process
  • Continue to raise the profile of NTDs around the world
  • End the neglect of neglected tropical diseases

What does it mean to me?

June 24th, 2010

by: Stephanie A. Hedean

Photo Courtesy of www.ussoccer.com

I’m being tempted to write about the World Cup, when public-private partnerships are on my mind. A colleague encouraged the correlation between France’s magnificent World Cup collapse and partnerships, while another suggested I should consider the exuberant camaraderie of the Brazilian team as a prime example; still I heard yet another vote for how the USA crew pulled it together after last week’s bum call. Just the word “partnership” can mean and refer to so many different activities and relationships, each with definitions and expectations that vary depending upon what type of stakeholder you are to the partnership matrix. I’m sure that everyone rooting for France considers they are a stakeholder to the partnership that is the World Cup team, along with sponsors, and the team itself.

In the global health non-profit sector, the stakeholder contingents are enormous as we deal with billions of individuals impacted by the causes we pursue, governments and a vast universe of public and private organizations and individuals that are engaged in some way. With so many dynamics in play, how do we go about crafting partnerships that provide for meaningful strategic results based on the fundamental needs of the partners and stakeholders? Now that could be a long discussion.

Let’s start with the “what does it mean to me” test. To create meaningful partner programs, we need to look beyond our own core objectives and shine the light on what that partnership, project, or program fundamentally means to our potential partners and group of stakeholders. And we need to hold ourselves accountable for creating outcomes that work best to satisfy the needs of all parties (within reason is my only caveat) or reevaluate the synergy of the match.

When pursuing partnerships with the private sector we need to have a pretty cohesive understanding of the strategic business interests and success metrics of our partners. Sure, there’s a need and a want to do good, but it’s not really about philanthropy. Our job is to understand what they need to accomplish – increasing shareholder value, growth into new markets, stabilization of an employee base, sourcing resources, branding or pr – in addition to any cause-related goals they may have. So the next time you’re developing a partnership idea or submitting an RFP, think about the other guy’s shoes and ask “what does it mean to me.”

Stephanie Hedean is the Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases. She is also an avid biker, who enjoys biking all over Washington, D.C. with her fellow cyclists.

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    • The Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases is a major advocacy and resource mobilization initiative of the Sabin Vaccine Institute dedicated to raising the awareness, political will, and funding necessary to control and eliminate the most common neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)--a group of disabling, disfiguring, and deadly diseases affecting more than 1.4 billion people worldwide living on less than $1.25 a day.
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