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Posts Tagged ‘Project Medishare response to malnutrition in Haiti’

As we leave the summer behind, students and teachers will be starting the 2011-2012 school year. In a third world country like Haiti, children face many preventable health risks. We need your help to diminish these risks and you can do so by sponsoring a school child for the year in Haiti. For a mere $10, you can help save a young life by clicking here.

Project Medishare for Haiti developed a School Based Health Program to give every child attending primary schools in the Medishare catchment area in the Central Plateau a physical exam and healthcare during the school year, including vaccinations, an assessment for anemia/malnutrition, a vision and hearing screening, a dental check, de-worming and referral to clinics for follow-up. Your generous donation can help guarantee the continuation of this important program for children of the Central Plateau. Project Medishare sees approximately 12,000 children per year in this program alone.

Project Medishare responded quickly to the Cholera outbreak last year using different prevention methods. This was possible because of Medishare’s long history of community support and education. Meetings were held at the schools to train staff and students on the signs and symptoms of Cholera. Liquid bleach, water treatment tablets, disinfectant and oral rehydration salts were distributed to all of the schools during the first quarter of the school year. Many of the school children participated in Cholera awareness campaigns at their local churches on Sundays. We are doubling our efforts to identify funding in order to provide access to clean water to our populations, most specifically to the school children.

As you prepare your own family and friends for the start of a productive school year, please consider a donation to support this program to keep Haitian students safe and healthy. Just $10 sponsors one child, and with a $100 donation, you can sponsor 10 kids to receive healthcare this year. We appreciate your generosity to ensure that children in Haiti have access to the healthcare they so desperately need.

Thank you for your contribution.

Sincerely,

Dr. Barth A. Green

School Children in Haiti's Central Plateau at a Project Medishare assembly

School Children in Haiti's Central Plateau at a Project Medishare assembly

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By Jennifer Browning

Within a two month period two earthquakes struck. On January 12, Haiti’s Port-au-Prince rumbled and roared when a quake the magnitude of 7.0 left the city in ruins and killing over 200,000. Early Saturday morning, a more powerful earthquake, an 8.8, rocked Concepcion, Chile causing widespread damage, destroying buildings, bridges and roads in many areas as far as Chile’s capital in Santiago. Electricity, water and phone lines were cut. So far 214 are reported dead.

Since Saturday morning scientist and journalist have been discussing why a smaller quake killed so many more and left behind more damage in its wake.

Colin Stark from the Doherty Research Scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University shares his opinion with CNN. A geophysicist and geomorphologist, Stark’s research is focused on the effects of typhoons and earthquakes on the triggering of landslides and the erosion of mountain rivers.

In his opinion piece Stark discusses that it was poverty, not necessarily the power of the quake that left Por-au-Prince in a pile of rubble and catastrophic misery.

“Poverty is what ultimately kills most people during an earthquake. Poverty means that little or no evaluation is made of seismic risk in constructing buildings and no zoning takes place. It means that building codes are not written, and even if they do exist they are difficult, or impossible, to enforce. It means the choice between building robustly or building cheaply is not a choice at all.

Haiti is a tragic illustration of this. Weak building materials and poor construction standards share much of the blame for the grotesque numbers of fatalities, injured and internally displaced people.

Of course it’s complicated. Earthquake shaking is a complex process and the chain of causation from earthquake source magnitude through infrastructural damage to human harm involves factors like the type of earthquake fault, its orientation, the hardness of bedrock or presence of wet soil, and so on. A lot also depends on the time of day the earthquake strikes in terms of how many people are inside buildings that could collapse. Population density, distance from the epicenter, and the depth of the rupture are the most important factors of all.

Nevertheless, those countries most at risk of seismic tragedy are not simply those on tectonic plate boundaries, but also those with the least money to spend on protecting themselves.”

Project Medishare has been working in Haiti since 1994 towards achieving quality healthcare for the Haitian people. Poverty has remained a large obstacle in working to achieve this for our organization as well as other NGO’s working in Haiti.

Three years ago, Project Medishare began working towards a plan to obtain funding to operate a Nutrimil (Akamil-AK1000) facility which will produce a fortified meal for those in Haiti’s Central Plateau. Nutrimil is produced from locally-grown products such as cereals (rice, corn, millet, wheat) and vegetables (beans) all blended into powder. It is a product of great nutritious value containing building and energetic nutrients, and is affordable to poor families. With the expert consultation of a nutritionist, the finished product will be fortified with a mix of important vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc, and Vitamin A.

The Nutrimil facility in conjunction with the adjoining nutrition complex will be a part of working toward combating malnutrition, but also because the ingredients are bought locally, will help boost the local agriculture economy–thus together working toward fighting poverty as well.

Equipment for the facility was installed in November, and Project Medishare planned for the facility to begin operation at the end of February, but the earthquake has postponed the opening.

In the months and years to come, while Project Medishare works towards helping Haiti’s earthquake victims, we will also continue to work towards fighting poverty and malnutrition.

Click here to read more of Stark’s opinion piece on CNN.com which tells the tale of two earthquakes.

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akamil_child.jpgA recent Associated Press article alarmed many as they read about Charlene Dumas eating mud patties in Cite Soliel, one of Haiti’s worst slums.

Project Medishare for Haiti has been working to combat childhood malnutrition and related diseases in Haiti, still the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, for 14 years. Haiti has long battled malnutrition where 23 percent of its children are reported as malnourished. Past Port-au-Prince, up and over mountains in Haiti’s Central Plateau 33 percent of Haiti’s children face malnutrition.

Akamil facility construction continues despite delays from the rainy season and this year's hurricanesCurrently, Project Medishare is focusing on a local solution which will not only provide meals but economic development around Thomonde in Haiti’s Central Plateau. The Akamil processing plant which will accompany the Nutrition and Training Facility is currently under construction in Thomonde.

Akamil is a nutritional product made from locally grown cereal and beans all blended into powder, and fortified with essential micronutrients and vitamins. This new Akamil processing plant, located with in the Training Facility will allow Project Medishare to fill the nutritional deficits currently observed among children, pregnant and breastfeeding women as well as HIV/AIDS & TB patients in Haiti.

The Akamil processing plant and the Nutrition and Training facility is already creating an economic impact by currently providing 175 short-term construction jobs. Upon completion 29 people in the local community will have a permanent job.

While the Akamil processing plant and Nutrition and Training Facility will give a training center for healthcare providers it will also also provide:

  • Nourishment for HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis patients
  • Daily nutrition for 200,000 individuals along Haiti’s Central Plateau
  • Sustainable operating revenue
  • Support 3000 local farmers through the purchase of local grains helping these farmers transition from subsistence farming to cash crop farming.
  • Entrepreneurial opportunities for women merchants in the plateau

akamil-plant.jpgWhile Haiti’s rainy season, a variety of hurricanes and tropical depressions have delayed the general construction process, funding is also an issue. Project Medishare still needs $225,000 to complete the final stages of construction of the Akamil facility which will bring much hope and progress to the people of Thomonde and the central plateau.

Join the Project Medishare team in completing the Akamil facility and its accompanying Nutrition and Training Center by clicking here to donate to this worthwhile project. A donation of $50, $100, $500, $1000 or more could help the people of Thomonde in their own battle against hunger and malnutrition.

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