Posts in Category: “Asia-Pacific”

Helen Keller International works in 8 countries in the Asia-Pacific Region, preventing blindness, reducing malnutrition, and improving maternal and child health.

Hello from lovely Cambodia!

Hello from lovely Cambodia!  My name is Caitlin Gruer and I am a masters of public health student at Columbia University.  I am studying Sociomedical Sciences with a concentration in Global Health and a personal interest in child health.  As part of my studies I have the pleasure of interning for HKI Cambodia for the next six months.

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Categories Asia-Pacific

HKI at Women Deliver Conference

This blog was originally written by Ramona Ridolfi, the Gender Advisor at HKI Bangladesh.

Last week I had the pleasure to attend the third Women Deliver Conference, one of the largest world conferences of the decade focused on the health and well-being of girls and women, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Women Deliver brought together more than 4,500 leaders and advocates, representing over 2,200 organisations and 149 countries, over a three-day event.

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Categories Asia-Pacific, Reducing Malnutrition

Checking in on the Human Yardstick

This blog post was originally written by Victoria Quinn for the Huffington Post. View original post.

Measuring malnutrition in Mali. Photo c. HKI/Bartay

In May 2012 I wrote a piece for The Huffington Post about the need for G8 leaders to position strategies for preventing malnutrition high on the agenda for their annual summit. Back then I wrote, “indicators of child malnutrition, such as height, reflect much more accurately than gross domestic product whether development progress has truly been achieved in a country. Chronic malnutrition reduces not only the productivity of that specific individual, but also their entire community and country.”

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Categories Africa, Asia-Pacific, Reducing Malnutrition

From the classroom to the real world…

So, we have finished our first week in the office. We are official public health practitioners and it feels great.

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Categories Asia-Pacific, Preventing Blindness

Chúng tôi đã làm cho Nó (We made it!)

Blog post by HKI-Vietnam Interns, Casey McCormick and Michael Wilson

After a long, but uneventful set of flights, Casey and I finally arrived in the bustling city of Hanoi just shy of 30 hours after leaving the North Carolina/Virginia area. We were very fortunate to find a very hospitable taxi driver who, aside from a persistent use of his high beams in order to make oncoming traffic aware of his presence, was extremely helpful in helping us to find the apartment Linh, from HKI Viet Nam, had arranged for us in the Bah Dinh district. more…

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Categories Asia-Pacific

2 Days Till Humidity Kicks In!

And so the countdown enters into single digits. In just two days, Michael and I begin our journey to Hanoi, Vietnam. I suppose before we continue anymore with the details of our summer, we should introduce ourselves. My name is Casey McCormick and my trusty sidekick and fellow intern is Michael Wilson. We are both master’s of public health students at the school in the southern slice of heaven, otherwise known as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Michael and I have focused our studies within the department of Health Behavior with a specific concentration in global health. We are both beyond thrilled by the opportunity Helen Keller International has afforded us to work with HKI this summer as interns in their Hanoi office.

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Categories Asia-Pacific

One Mother Helping Many

Homestead Food Production in Nepal

Photo: c. HKI/George Figdor

Parvati was born into a small family in Far Western Nepal. Since her family could not afford school fees, she has no formal education.  She has a small piece of land, but it is not sufficient to provide food year-round for Parvati’s family, which includes her small son and daughter.

Motivated by the need to care for her family, Parvati joined HKI’s Homestead Food Production  program, where she received training in  homestead farming.  After learning about how to cultivate nutrient-dense vegetables and raise chickens for egg production on a Village Model Farm, she received five chickens and seasonal vegetable seeds, along with the skills she needed to manage them. Before long, Parvati was able to multiply her five chickens to 16 and now feeds her family with healthy vegetables from her own garden and protein-rich eggs laid by her chickens.

With her family healthy and thriving, Parvati wants to give her children a chance to have the formal education she did not.  To do so, she is selling her vegetables, eggs and hatched chicks to raise enough money to send them to school.  “I will continue to raise more poultry and vegetables by renting additional land from big landholders,” she says. “I have a plan to send my children to a better school with my earnings.”

Beyond allowing her own family to benefit from her new skills, Parvati is helping other mothers in her community reach their full potential.  She began teaching farming skills at her village’s infant and young child feeding group “I tell my friends and neighbors about the importance of eggs and vegetables for their children and for women when they are pregnant and breastfeeding.”

As we approach Mother’s Day, HKI will be celebrating mothers around the world.  Mother’s like Parvati, who are a testament to courageous women everywhere and a reminder of how, with the right skills and tools, one mother can help many.

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Categories Asia-Pacific, Reducing Malnutrition

Rashida Begum: A New Entrepreneur

Rashida in her garden

Rashida in her garden

Rashida and her husband live with their two sons in Howalvangi, a village in southern Bangladesh. With her husband’s meager income, Rashida says “I could not feed our family. Sometimes we ate only once a day. We used to own a few goats and sheep, but had to sell them to buy food.”

To supplement their diet, Rashida tried to cultivate vegetables in their home garden using the traditional approach: simply scattering seeds on the ground without preparing raised beds, protecting seedlings or adding compost to the soil. Her harvest was limited to a few vegetables in the winter (peak growing season). The region’s poor soil made growing vegetables difficult for Rashida, as it did for other women in the village.

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Categories Asia-Pacific, Reducing Malnutrition

Saving the Sight of Diabetics in Bangladesh and Indonesia

Did you know that by 2030 over 550 million people in the world will suffer from diabetes? According to the International Diabetes Federation approximately 366 million people already have diabetes and 80% them live in low and middle income countries.  The age of onset for Type 2 diabetes continues to fall worldwide, and is increasingly found in people as young as their late teens and early twenties.

What do these shocking statistics have to do with eye health? One of the lesser known side effects of diabetes is called diabetic retinopathy and results in a sometimes irreversible loss of vision among diabetics. Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is asymptomatic in its early stages, so regular screening is to identify and treat DR is crucial.

With funding from the World Diabetes Foundation and Standard Chartered Bank, HKI successfully developed two pilot programs in Bangladesh and Indonesia, areas where DR is often untreated due to a lack of well-trained ophthalmologists. The key components of HKI’s program include training diabetes clinicians to recognize the disease and encourage their patients to obtain annual eye examinations; raising awareness among diabetics about the significant risk of vision loss; and increasing patient access to DR screenings and care by developing affordable and efficient treatment systems. Working with our local partners, HKI has succeeded in making DR screening a basic component of the screening regimen for all diabetes patients served by these facilities. This process includes photographing the retina, sending the images to ophthalmologists outside of the region over the internet, determining the presence and severity of disease and offering appropriate treatment to the patients. HKI hopes to scale-up these efforts to train more doctors and reach more diabetics to prevent the spread of diabetic retinopathy.

 

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Categories Asia-Pacific, Preventing Blindness

The Importance of Good Partnerships: Meet HKI’s Dr. David S. Friedman

An interview with HKI's Senior Ophthalmologist and Eye Health Advisor.
Dave_Friedman

You sometimes hear the phrase, “One plus one equals three,” and I have been struck by the power of that notion in my work with Helen Keller International through the partnerships we create with local organizations. I recently sat down with Dr. David S. Friedman, HKI’s Senior Ophthalmologist and Eye Health Advisor, to talk about his experiences in public health and his perspective on building partnerships to achieve success.  Dr. Friedman most recently was awarded the prestigious Alcon Research Institute award for his contributions to ophthalmic research.

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Categories Asia-Pacific, Preventing Blindness, Staff Profiles