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.

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

In London, A Gold for Trachoma

Trachoma mapping will aid global effort to rid the world of Neglected Tropical Diseases
mr. coker

This post was written by Chad MacArthur, Helen Keller International’s Director of Neglected Tropical Disease Control.

Days before the Olympics opened in London, I attended meetings at the London School for Hygiene and Tropical Medicine as the city was beginning to bustle with excitement. My interest was in something completely different.

The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) recently awarded our partner organization, Sightsavers, 10.6 million pounds ($16.4 million) to spearhead the completion of the global mapping of trachoma. There are currently more than 1,200 districts throughout the world that are suspected of being endemic for this blinding disease but we have no scientific information to verify this suspicion. more…

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Categories Africa, Asia-Pacific, Preventing Blindness

Postcard from Bangladesh: A Day in a Mother’s Life

Enhanced Homestead Food Production in Action
Bread 1

This blog post was originally published on Bread for the World’s Bread Blog after a visit to see Helen Keller International’s Homestead Food Production in Bangladesh in action. Photographs are by Laura Elizabeth Pohl and text by Molly Marsh.

The afternoon hours are Tohomino Akter’s favorite time of day. That’s when she can take a break from her household tasks, rest, and play with her 17-month-old daughter, Adia. Like any toddler, Adia much prefers movement.

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Categories Asia-Pacific, Reducing Malnutrition

A 1,000 Day Window For a Lifetime of Health

Nepal Mother and Child

This post was written by Yesenia Garcia, Communications Coordinator for the 1,000 Days Partnership and appeared on the 1,000 Days Blog and defeatDD’s blog. Helen Keller International is a proud partner of the 1,000 Days movement.

The 1,000 days between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s 2nd birthday represent a critical but short window of time to ensure a child’s future health and prosperity. Children who are well-nourished during this critical window reap a lifetime of benefits for themselves and their communities. The nutrition that a mother and her baby receive during these 1,000 days has a profound impact on a child’s ability to grow, learn and rise out of poverty.

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Categories Africa, Asia-Pacific, Reducing Malnutrition

With Better Support Women Farmers Could Feed Millions More

Nasima

This post was written by Kathy Spahn, Helen Keller International’s President & CEO and also appeared on the 1,000 Days Blog.

I participated in a panel yesterday hosted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that focused on the role of women in promoting transformative agricultural development and food security. As Secretary Clinton noted, if women farmers were given equal resources – land, seeds, water, credit and access to markets – they could grow enough to feed another 150 million people each year! With this compelling fact in hand, the discussion got off to a lively start, and ranged from talk about men and tractors to talk about vitamins and land rights.

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Categories Asia-Pacific, Reducing Malnutrition

Partnerships in Action: Deworming Day in Cambodia

Helen Keller International and Children Without Worms work together to treat and prevent intestinal worms in at-risk, school-aged children.
Cambodia Kids

This post was written by Kim Koporc, director of Children Without Worms. She also blogged about school-based deworming for ABC News’ “Be the Change: Save a Life.”

A month ago, I had the privilege of working with Zaman Talukder, Len Wanak and Hou Kroeun of Helen Keller International at the Chung Ruk primary school in Pnom Penh, Cambodia. We were there to oversee a “deworming day” – a day when children receive deworming medication and learn the importance of hygiene and sanitation in an effort to treat and prevent intestinal worms. What made this trip different was that this time, I went with a crew to produce a film, which was shown at this year’s Global Health Council Conference.

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Categories Asia-Pacific, Reducing Malnutrition

The Power of Nutrition: Meet HKI’s Dr. Victoria Quinn

An interview with HKI's Senior Vice President of Programs
Victoria Quinn in Bangladesh

Have you ever heard the saying, “You are what you eat?” In working for Helen Keller International, I’ve come to realize that this simple adage can mean different things to different people. In America, we often say it when we’re talking about losing weight. In developing countries, this simple phrase becomes a powerful reminder of the life and death impact nutrition can have on the lives of millions of people, especially young children. No one understands the importance of nutrition better than Dr. Victoria Quinn, HKI’s Senior Vice President of Programs. I met with Victoria recently to learn more about her background in nutrition and her views on the importance of nutrition on world health.

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Categories Africa, Asia-Pacific, Helen Keller, Reducing Malnutrition, Staff Profiles

World Traveler for Public Health: Meet HKI’s Nancy Haselow

An interview with HKI's Vice President and Regional Director for Asia-Pacific
Nancy Haselow in China

Have you ever met anyone who has visited and worked in over 50 countries and lived in Zaïre, Niger, Cambodia, Vietnam, The Philippines, Cameroon, Senegal and the U.S.? We have, and it’s our Vice President and Regional Director for Asia-Pacific, Nancy J. Haselow. I recently asked Nancy to tell us about her career in public health, and found someone who is not only an inveterate traveler, but also a tireless crusader for improving the lives of as many vulnerable people as possible.

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Categories Africa, Asia-Pacific, Helen Keller, Preventing Blindness, Reducing Malnutrition, Staff Profiles, United States