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Saturday, August 15, 2009

NEWS AND UPDATES: Summer 2009

Kenya

Northern Rift Valley, May 2009: Bed nets save women’s and children’s lives. HealthRight and its partners distributed over 34,000 long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets to pregnant women at high risk for malaria infection. Communities are also being educated on malaria, which has particularly serious health impacts during pregnancy.

Northern Rift Valley, May 2009: Short films provide lifesaving information on maternal and neonatal health.  HealthRight and partner FilmAid International have begun production of a series of short films using dramatic narrative to bring health messages to isolated communities.  The project uses local community members in concept development and production, and will create the first ever films in Pokot – the primary language in this area of Kenya.

Mexico

Chiapas, February 2009:  HealthRight-trained ‘Promotores de Salud’ bring testing and treatment for TB to indigenous communities.   The first TB patients were identified and are receiving treatment as part of a broad effort to bring quality TB prevention, treatment, and care services to the communities, who have traditionally lacked access to quality care.  Promotores – local community health workers – are engaged in building awareness regarding TB prevention and treatment options within their communities, collecting and delivering sputum samples for testing, and monitoring TB patients’ adherence to treatment.

Russia

St Petersburg, March 2009: Conference brings models and methodology on providing care for street and at-risk children and youth to over 100 Russian services providers.  The conference highlighted HealthRight’s over 15 years of experience in building lasting access to health for street and at-risk children and youth, and provided specific tools and models for providers from government and civil society to provide quality, right-based services.

St Petersburg, March 2009:  Mama+ halfway house helps HIV-positive new mothers transition to independence and stability.  During the first part of 2009, the halfway house provided seven HIV-positive new mothers, including victims of domestic violence, with residential psychosocial, legal, and educational support services. 

Ukraine

Kiev, Donetsk, Odessa, March 2009:  HealthRight completes study of HIV among street youth in Ukraine.  The study, conducted with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the local Ministry of Health, focused on HIV prevalence and risk behaviors among street youth in Kyiv, Odessa, and Donetsk.   Results will be used to improve the national and civil society response to the growing crisis of HIV among street and at-risk youth in Ukraine.

Kiev, April 2009: New campaign to raise awareness of drug treatment options.  Using media, education, and outreach, HealthRight’s local partner, the Ukrainian Foundation for Public Health, working with the Open Society Institute and Saatchi & Saatchi, developed a campaign including a documentary film, educational posters, and media outreach to raise awareness about the availability of substitution treatment therapy for women drug users in Ukraine. 

United States

New York & Arizona, March 2009:  Trainings bring clinical skills and information to help survivors of torture. Over 50 medical and mental health professionals participated in the trainings as part of HealthRight’s Human Rights Clinic (HRC).  Volunteers provide vital assistance to survivors of torture seeking asylum in the United States, by documenting signs of abuse and providing crucial evidence in asylum proceedings.  The trainings played an important role in expanding HRC services in the western U.S.

Vietnam

Hanoi, 2009: Trainings for Home-Based Care (HBC) workers improve services for families affected by HIV.  HBC workers help HIV-affected children and their families meet the challenges of living with HIV, including accessing treatment and social services.  Participants will also help staff and provide services at the HealthRight-run Smile of the Sun Center, which serves families affected by HIV in Vietnam (see page 6). 
 
Hanoi, August 2009: 
Foster care symposium to examine new partnerships and initiatives.  Over 120 participants, including government representatives, health providers, and people living with HIV will gather to discuss model for providing foster care to children living with and affected by HIV.  The program will build on HealthRight’s experience developing similar initiatives in Russia and Kosovo.