Today is World Sight Day which is celebrated every year on the second Thursday in October to raise awareness about avoidable blindness and visual impairment.
I’ve worn glasses since I was a young student, so I’m pretty familiar with visual impairment. In fact, I couldn’t really function at all without my glasses (or contacts) -– I couldn’t drive, work on the computer, cook, manage my way through my apartment, etc.
How one woman's bravery inspired HKI's Peggy O’Neill.
This blog is written by Peggy O’Neill, HKI’s Vice President of Development, Individual Giving.
“I’d tremble too, if a stranger was about to put a sharp scalpel to my eyelid,” was all I could think as I watched Somoe Abdalah prepare for trichiasis surgery. I walked up to her and gently took her hand in mine. Tears immediately began to roll down her cheeks, and soon after, I was crying too.
I didn’t expect to get emotional as I got in a jeep that morning to observe HKI’s Trachoma program in a remote Tanzanian village, but there was something about seeing this woman, my own age, lying on an exam table awaiting surgery that particularly moved me. She was trying so hard to be brave, but her trembling showed her fear.
This post was written by His Excellency Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete – President of the United Republic of Tanzania and originally appeared in Global Health and Diplomacy magazine.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on maternal and child health are lagging far behind target. Although Africa has just 12% of the global population, it accounts for half of all maternal deaths and half the deaths of children under five.
In Tanzania, attendance at prenatal clinics is over 94% but only 50% give birth at proper health facilities. It is not like in the United States where giving birth at home is a matter of choice. In our part of the world, women are unable to reach proper medical help at their most vulnerable time. I was born under the hand of a traditional birth attendant and I grew up healthy and strong to become the president of my country. It is my hope that we can provide the same opportunity to every child.
An interview with HKI's Senior Program Manager for Nutrition and Health
I often wonder how people actually get to live their dreams. I sat down recently with Jennifer Nielsen, Senior Program Manager for Nutrition and Health for Helen Keller International, and discovered someone who has actually done just that. Here is Jennifer’s story:
Tags: Acute Malnutrition, Breastfeeding, Burkina Faso, Complementary Feeding, Essential Nutrition Actions, Food Security, Homestead Food Production, Jennifer Nielsen, Maternal Nutrition, Nepal, Niger, Sweetpotatoes, Tanzania
Categories Africa, Helen Keller, Reducing Malnutrition, Staff Profiles
Sweetpotato pie. Sweetpotato casserole with marshmallows. Sweetpotato fries. It seems like this time of year, these starchy, sweet-tasting root vegetables are all the rage. But, did you know that sweetpotatoes are more than just a Thanksgiving staple? In parts of Africa, orange-fleshed sweetpotatoes help save sight and lives.
An interview with HKI's President and CEO
Have you ever dreamt about having more fun at your job, or wondered why some people really look forward to going to work every day? Ask Kathy Spahn, President and Chief Executive Officer of Helen Keller International, about her work. Even after five years, she still feels rewarded and energized by her job. I recently asked Kathy to tell us about her journey to HKI and what inspires her the most.
Tags: Homestead Food Production, Kathy Spahn, Nepal, Onchocerciasis, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Trachoma, Vitamin A
Categories Africa, Asia-Pacific, Helen Keller, Preventing Blindness, Reducing Malnutrition, Staff Profiles, United States
It’s Thanksgiving time, which in my family means countless phone calls and e-mails about the menu. Should we stick with the standard stuffing or try one with cornbread this year? Will my father make cranberry sauce with or without walnuts? What will make the most succulent turkey? Basting? Brining? To stuff or not to stuff? Those are the questions. This year, however, the answer to my Thanksgiving menu question came to me from a most unlikely source − some village women in Tanzania.
A public health intern shares her experience working with Helen Keller International.
The first time I saw a trichiasis surgery to correct blinding trachoma I almost passed out. It was pretty embarrassing to have someone sit me down and bring me a Fanta for my blood sugar after seeing me wobble. It was even worse when that someone was waiting for her own surgery.