An interview with HKI's Senior Ophthalmologist and Eye Health Advisor.
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.
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.
An interview with HKI's Senior Vice President of Programs
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.
Tags: Bangladesh, Behavior Change, Essential Nutrition Actions, Food Security, Gardens, Homestead Food Production, Maternal Nutrition, Victoria Quinn
Categories Africa, Asia-Pacific, Helen Keller, Reducing Malnutrition, Staff Profiles
HKI to test efficacy of Golden Rice to prevent vitamin A deficiency
This post was written by Nancy Haselow, Helen Keller International’s Vice President and Regional Director for Asia. It also appeared on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation website.
Imagine living in Bangladesh and eating little more than a bowl of rice or two each day. Rice has been part of your diet since you were a child, and you feed it to your children because it’s filling, inexpensive and accessible. Aside from small helpings of vegetables or legumes or the occasional piece of chicken, rice is your primary food source.
Rice has calories, but it has minimal additional nutritional value. A diversified diet that includes nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables (and, preferably, animal source foods such as chicken and eggs) is necessary to prevent sight- and life-threatening deficiencies, including vitamin A deficiency. Vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of childhood blindness, leaving approximately 350,000 children blind every year. Young children with vitamin A deficiency also have impaired immune systems; a condition which increases the risk of death from certain common childhood infections and claims the lives of 670,000 children each year who live in less developed countries.
Homestead Food Production in Bangladesh
Working for an organization with programs that reduce malnutrition (and prevent blindness), as Helen Keller International’s do, has some tasty benefits.
I am traveling with a film crew from Digital Development Communications to create videos of Helen Keller International’s programs in Bangladesh. Our journey has taken us to the southern area of Barisal division, in the sub-district of Barguna. We are working with local partners to implement our Homestead Food Production programs and to establish or re-establish livelihoods destroyed during Cyclone Sidr in 2007.
Helen Keller International addresses the growing problem of blindness from diabetes
There are a lot of people in the unlit, rather grimy waiting room at the Diabetes Hospital in Chittagong, Bangladesh. I had read the statistics about the burgeoning numbers of diabetics, but it is a different experience seeing the numbers transformed into persons. Despite a certain level of chaos, patients’ needs are being met – their blood sugar checked, nutrition counseling provided, their feet and legs examined for worrisome pain, numbness or ulcers, etc.