Archive for the Campus Challenge category

New Video from Notre Dame NTD Awareness Group

January 31st, 2011

ND Fighting NTDs is a student-run group from the University of Notre Dame. They have contributed to End the Neglect in the past, most recently with this blog post highlighting their Annual NTD Awareness week at Notre Dame last December. Today we are featuring a video that they created as an advocacy tool to encourage others to do their part in the fight against NTDs.

**Warning: Graphic content:

Weekly Blog Round Up 8/30-9/3

September 3rd, 2010

This week on End the Neglect.

  1. We announced the beginning of the Global Maternal Health Conference 2010 spearheaded by a partnership between The Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) and the Public Health Foundation of India
  2. We highlighted an upcoming Neglected Diseases Workshop in Boston
  3. Alanna Shaikh gave us a lesson on the importance of sound governance structures for successful NTD programs
  4. A new editorial in PLoS NTDs called for emerging market economies to join the US, UK, and Japan as partners in neglected tropical disease (NTD) control efforts
  5. VOA News featured Dr. Peter Hotez on a segment about the US Global Health Initiative
  6. Our Campus Challenge winner and former intern Manuel Claros shared his recent humanitarian missionto Honduras with us

For those of you in the United States, have a great Labor Day weekend!

Paying it Forward: Living Proof In Honduras

September 3rd, 2010

By: Manuel Claros

Because of my own experience growing up in a rural Colombian community with the constant threat of contracting a parasitic infection, I knew that as an adult, I would do as much as I could to help improve the lives of children growing up in communities similar to mine. I recently joined a one-week public health humanitarian mission with Global Brigades, a nonprofit global health organization, where we worked to better the living conditions of a rural community in Honduras named Joyas del Carballo.

The Global Bridge Group!

My objectives during this trip were to identify any deworming activities and the impact of NTD control within this area, and to provide at least one family with the basic tools they need to live healthier lives in order to avoid the threat of parasitic infections.

After a week of hard work, our brigade had built a latrine, a basin for clean water, a heat efficient stove, and poured concrete over dirt floors in Don Gregorio’s home. With these new additions, his grandchildren, Hector and Catherin, will grow up free of soil-transmitted parasites. They will be able to use a clean latrine, bathe on a daily basis, and wash their hands before eating. They will be able to thrive and excel in school and to come that much closer to escaping poverty.

Their lives have changed forever.

We also visited Jose Rivera Paz Rural School, a grade school comprising of students aged 6-13 years. There, we watched a play that the students had prepared for our group. The play was an opportunity for the students to demonstrate what they have learned from community health educators and other Brigade groups, such as the benefits of the medical and public health brigades in the community. The play also included a re-enactment of a deworming activity. I spoke with one of the school’s teachers, Dora, who was funnily enough standing by a large poster of “Dora the Explorer.” She thanked us for the work we were doing in her community and then introduced us to all of her students.

Student holding up a bottle of Albendazole, used to treat intestinal worm infections

Dora also has an instrumental role in protecting her students from NTDs. She ensures that her students are treated every six months with deworming medicines supplied by the groups sent by Global Brigades.  She documents the names of children who receive treatment along with the type of drug they are receiving, then reports the numbers to the local health center.

Most of the students at this school are a part of families that have gotten new floors, stoves, water basins, and latrines through the efforts of Global Brigades. These changes within their homes and regular deworming campaigns at the school will sustain a strong new generation, one free of parasites.

Hector, Catherin, and the students at Jose Rivera Paz Rural School are all living proof of sustainable public health interventions that have been carried out by Global Brigade groups.

I plan to return to Honduras on the next Brigade to visit Hector and Catherin at their new improved home to see the impact of our project.

Manuel Claros, winner of the individual Campus Challenge, is a graduate student at GW School of Public Health MPH Global Health policy.  He is a foreign medical graduate from Colombia  with 10 years of experience in HIV prevention and education. He enjoys photography, going to the movies, traveling and cooking.

P.S.  More pictures from Manuels trip to come!

Public Health Mission in Honduras

August 23rd, 2010

By: Linda Diep

The Velasquez-Medina family
From left to right: Gregorio, Hector, Catherin (front), Carla, Anastasia

Meet the Velasquez-Medina family: Gregorio Velasquez and Anastasia Medina live in a small two-room home with their two adult children, Carla and Oscar, and their two small grandchildren, Hector and Catherin, in rural Joyas del Carballo, Honduras.

The Velasquez-Medinas is one of the poorest families in their small community, living on $5 a day, lacking basic necessities such as clean water, and going without food on most days. There are many families living in these impoverished conditions throughout Honduras and the world; fortunately, there are organizations such as Global Brigades who work in developing countries and serve families just like the Velasquez-Medina family. Global Brigades is a 501c3 nonprofit organization working to mobilize student volunteers to help provide individuals in Honduras and Panama with a better quality of life through economic, public health, medical, and infrastructure assistance. This summer, I and Campus Challenge winner Manuel Claros, were fortunate enough to participate in a Public Health Brigade a week-long trip where student volunteers work to improve living conditions for an assigned family to Joyas del Carballo, Honduras. We worked on four construction projects in efforts to help provide the Velasquez-Medina family with a better quality of life.

Read more: Public Health Mission in Honduras

Worm of the Week Hookworm

August 16th, 2010

This past Spring, students from Boston University put together a series of brief 1-page flyers on 8 neglected diseases (the big 7 plus Chagas) as a resource for  raising  awareness about NTDs amongst their student body. The fact sheets were themed Worm of the Week, highlighting one of eight NTDs each week. Fact sheets were distributed during periodic bake sales and on student listservs, and was an effective way to connect with people and spread the word about NTDs within the students academic community. Below is a reprint of one of the fact sheets on hookworm:

Hookworm

Ancylostoma duodenale AND Necator americanus

Hookworm

The 2nd most common helminthic infection after ascariasis and the leading cause of anemia and protein malnutrition affecting 740 million people worldwide. Infections can be limited to the skin (cutaneous larva migrans) or involve the small intestine by passing through the lungs. Larvae penetrate skin from feces and/or soil contaminated with nematode eggs. Adult hookworms can live in the body for 1-2 years. Cutaneous infections are caused by larvae that use dogs and cats as definitive hosts.

Symptoms

Ground itch or cutaneous larva migrans presents with a pruritic serpiginous rash. Iron-deficiency anemia is the most common symptom of intestinal infection. Cardiac complications, gastrointestinal and nutritional symptoms may also occur. Respiratory symptoms may occur during pulmonary migration of the larvae. Reinfection is common.

Diagnosis

Microscopic identification of eggs in feces is evidence of infection.

Treatment

Albendazole, mebendazole or pyrantel pamoate are the drugs of choice but are considered investigational in the US.

Prevention and Control

In 2001, the World Health Organization (WHO) adopted a resolution aimed at the “deworming” of 75 percent of all at-risk school-age children by 2010, the largest public health program ever attempted to date. As with the other soil-transmitted helminths, treatment of hookworm infection is coupled with education efforts aimed at proper waste disposal and sanitation management. The Human Hookworm Vaccine Initiative currently has vaccines in Phase I and II trials.

Sources:

Calling all Global Health/Development Bloggers!

July 26th, 2010

 “End the Neglect,” the official blog for the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases is looking for blog contributions from professionals and students in the global health/development field.

The Global Network launched the “End the Neglect” blog to serve as a broad, transparent platform through which we as a community can continue to raise the profile of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and disseminate stories from the field. End the Neglect is a vital education resource that informs readers of the devastating impact of NTDs and the simple and cost-effective interventions available.

While “End the Neglect” specifically focuses on NTDs, we are also interested in highlighting bloggers with a broader global health perspective. Success stories, personal stories/testimonials from the field, photos, and video are all welcome!

We accept submissions on a rolling basis. If you are interested in blogging for us, please send a writing sample of no more than 500 words and a brief background of your work/educational experience to Anjana.padmanabhan@sabin.org.

Our blog post submission guidelines are as follows:

  • Keep length of posts between 200-500 words
  • Include links to sites or articles that supplement your topic
  • When quoting other blogs or publications in your post, please link to the original material if possible, and denote quoted material using quotation marks.
  • Submit a brief biography (2-3 lines) and a photo for inclusion with your post.
  • We appreciate suggestions for images to accompany posts. If you have photos available for publication, please submit them along with your post and include caption information and attribution information.
  • If you don’t have images available, we will add one from our own photo stocks or from publicly available resources including Flickr or the CDC’s Public Health Image Library
  • We encourage you to email your post to colleagues and friends to encourage comment and discussion
  • Publication of posts is at the discretion of the Global Network, based on relevance of the subject matter as related to neglected tropical diseases and other global health issues.

Please review the guidelines for submissions below, and contact Anjana.Padmanabhan@sabin.org for more information. Please also visit us on Twitter and Facebook

I am Living Proof

July 23rd, 2010

By: Manuel Claros

The “Living Proof Project,” created by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, features true life testimonials that demonstrate the positive impact that global health/development interventions can have on individuals across the globe. The touching stories inspire us to reflect on our own experiences by connecting us to theirs.  Sharing a personal story is different than just being another statistic, another number amongst the myriad of global health facts and figures we find ourselves inundated with constantly.

My personal story has had a deep impact on my life and where it has taken me. It is also why I was interested in starting a campaign to raise money for neglected tropical diseases. I am from Popayan, a small town in the south of Colombia and come from a big family where I am the eldest of 19 cousins on my paternal side and 16 on the maternal side. Growing up in my paternal grandmother’s house was a lot of fun because there were always a lot of kids to play with.  On the weekends at any given time there would be 10-20 kids in the house. While this was very fun, it also meant that sickness traveled frequently from child to child.  Everything from chicken pox to measles traveled through us all…..and of course parasites were not an exception.

Read more: I am Living Proof

7 Players, 7 Cures: Student Ambassador Fights NTDs One Ultimate Frisbee Tournament at a Time

May 5th, 2010

By Alex Huddell

I was moved that more than 30 college student and recent graduates came to the National Mall on April 3rd, 2010 to play in an Ultimate Frisbee tournament to benefit the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases.   We called the tournament “7 Players, 7 Cures” because each team has 7 players on the field in a game of Ultimate, and each of the Global Network’s “rapid-impact packages” treats 7 of the most common NTDs.   Everyone I talked to about the tournament was so excited that their $10 donation could treat upwards of 20 people—just 50 cents (and sometimes less!) can treat an individual for the 7 most common NTDs for an entire year.

The weather was gorgeous, the games were fun, and spirits were high.  Students mixed genders to forms teams that they do not usually play with, which made for a light-hearted day.  We took a few minutes before the championship game to congratulate ourselves on a fun day of playing and for incredible success as a group, raising $335, enough to treat 670 people for NTDs for 7 NTDs for one year!

Alex Huddell's photos

I am thrilled that the tournament was such a success, and that it may complement, in its modest way, the incredible accomplishments of the Global Network.   Studying for my Economic Development final tonight, I came across a direct reference to NTDs and the Global Network’s work in Micheal P. Todaro and Stephen C. Smith’s tenth edition of Economic Development. I could not help but giggle in excitement because NTDs have seemed to gain recognition across the global health and development fields in recent years.  Congratulations to the Global Network and its partners, and all of the advocates out there who continue to push for the eradication of NTDs as an integral strategy for development.   Policy-makers are starting to realize the vast potential of investments in treating NTDs!

Students Inspire at Clinton Global Initiative University Meeting

April 23rd, 2010

The Global Network spent last weekend surrounded by inspiring students making real commitments to change their communities and the world around them. The 3rd Annual Clinton Global Initiative University meeting, held in Miami, brought more than 1500 students, national youth organizations, and university officials together to discuss solutions to pressing global issues. In the Opening Plenary Session, President Clinton highlighted commitments from some of last years student rock stars, including Sam Adelsburg, Founder of LendforPeace.org, a micro finance initiative for the Middle East, and Robyn Allen, an MIT student who founded the Vehicle Design Summit, a student-led program working to contribute a new mode for education, innovation and inspiration through transportation design. The discussion was followed by a panel on igniting the social imagination which featured leaders from the government, academic, and non-profit sectors.

Global Network team member Erin Finucane at CGI-U

Global Network team member Erin Finucane at CGI-U

I had the good fortune to be invited to participate as a public health facilitator where I led student table discussions around advocacy and media. After a training that went late into the evening on Friday, we got started bright and early Saturday morning. What impressed me most about the table discussions was the commitment and passion of all of the student participants who not only had brilliant ideas, but the dedication to follow them through. Selfishly, it was also inspiring to hear a number of students connect their projects (varying around peace, water and sanitation, and other global issues) to the control and elimination of NTDs. Id be remiss if I neglected to mention that one of my favorite moments was when a Stanford student ran up to me and said, I love parasites!

CGI-U brought students together from over 70 countries and all 50 states and I am confident that their impact will reach even further. More than anything, last weekend reinforced for me the critical role that students play in advocacy work. Whether addressing NTDs or other international crises, the future of these critical issues is in their hands. Thankfully, the solutions are, as well.

Manuel Claros, Just 50 Cents Campus Challenge individual winner, blogs about his experience

April 12th, 2010

Manuel ClarosLast September I attended a session at USAID’s and GWU’s Global Health Mini-University where they discussed the global burden of intestinal worms and knew I wanted to do more. So five months ago when the Just 50 Cents Campus Challenge started, I was very excited!  I have a busy schedule between work, school,  and research projects, so I started thinking about less time-consuming alternatives to raise funds for a good cause, primarily though use of the internet and social networking sites. I wasn’t convinced I would be successful, but I gave it a try!

…And it was simple!  I signed up to be a Global Network student ambassador for the Campus Challenge and then created a Facebook page event for my Just 50 Cents campaign Make Your Change Count and invited all 329 of my friends. I sent them updates and invites again and again and asked them to invite more people. In addition to my online efforts, I cooked dinner for friends in exchange for donations. We celebrated their generosity with drinks and food I sent thank you notes to everyone, even to friends that donated $1, to show them my appreciation. It was so much fun!!!  My final campaign effort was a contribution of pennies I’ve collected off the street for the last two years with the hope of donating them to a good cause and I did!

I thank you all for your support and generosity! Especially Scott who cooked dinner in exchange for donations and was kind enough to go to the bank with all the coins, and to Erin for her endless patience and hard work.

Make your change count! We can do much more. Next stepan Internship with the Global Network to help deworm the world!

Manuel Claros, winner of the individual Campus Challenge, is a graduate student at GW School of Public Health MPH Global Health policy.  He is a foreign medical graduate from Colombia  with 10 years of experience in HIV prevention and education. He enjoys photography, going to the movies, traveling and cooking.

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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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