Saturday, May 1, 2010
News and Updates - Spring 2010
Maternity Waiting Homes Crucial in Increasing Number of Births at Health Facilities
HealthRight has broken ground on a series of maternity waiting homes, known locally as “kirors”, at health clinics in the rural North Rift Valley. The kirors provide a place for expectant mothers to stay in the days leading up to delivery. Kirors are a crucial element in ensuring women can have safe clinic-based deliveries in a region where most people must travel many hours, sometimes by foot, to reach the nearest clinic – a dangerous activity for a woman in labor.
New Project to Bring Health Care to Mothers and Children
HealthRight is pleased to announce the launch of a new project – the Partnership for Maternal and Neonatal Health in Nepal – which will work over three years to build lasting access to maternal and newborn care for communities currently lacking access to many services essential to preventing deaths during pregnancy and birth. The project will build upon HealthRight’s experience working with similarly rural and marginalized populations in Kenya, as well as our previous years of experience working in Nepal.
New Partnership to End Child Abuse
This spring, HealthRight launched a new initiative in partnership with the St. Petersburg City Children’s Hospital #5 to develop a child abuse prevention and treatment center, an innovative collaboration that is advocating and working within the system to prevent and treat domestic violence against children. Previously, children who were admitted to the hospital with appalling injuries from brutal treatment, and with clear signs of repeated abuse, were treated and released to their caregivers without any further psychological or legal intervention. The project is developing a model to effectively identify abusive families and victims, create rights-based protocols for treatment of victims, and promote inter-agency cooperation between health providers, social services and law enforcement, in order to put an end to domestic violence and protect victims from further abuse.
Training Curriculum to Reach over 4,400 Child Service Workers
HealthRight’s latest initiative in Ukraine is taking a long term approach to bring rights-based health and social services to street and at-risk children and youth. A new training curriculum, developed by HealthRight and approved in December 2009 by the Ukraine Ministry for Family, Youth and Sports, will become the recommended training curriculum for 4,400 staff members of Children’s Services Agencies, Shelters and Socio-Psychological Rehabilitation Centers across the country. In 2010 alone, trainings will benefit an estimated 17,000 children in shelters and centers, 31,000 children withdrawn from the streets during round-ups, and more than 20,000 children withdrawn from at-risk families.
Human Rights Clinic Expands Reach in Five Cities
The Human Rights Clinic, which works to assist survivors of torture seeking asylum in the U.S., has recently expanded its impact by launching project activities across the country. Recent trainings in Denver, Phoenix, Baltimore, New York and Seattle have trained hundreds of new volunteer health professionals to provide clinical evaluations for asylum seekers, documenting the signs of abuse and providing expert testimony in asylum proceedings. Asylum seekers increasingly face detention while their case is pending, in many cases re-traumatizing those who have already suffered torture and abuse. Having local volunteers able to visit prisons and detention facilities throughout the U.S. will prove crucial to ensure the Human Rights Clinic reaches those who need it most.
Second “Smile of the Sun Center” for HIV-Affected Children Opens in Ha Noi
HealthRight and its local partners have opened a second Smile of the Sun Center to provide comprehensive care and support for HIV-affected children and their families. The new center will serve communities in Dong Anh district, Hau village, Uy No commune – a rural area in Ha Noi where few services are currently available for people living with HIV. The Smile of the Sun Center is a model for addressing the complex health and social needs of families affected by HIV, helping to build access to care, and working with the community to combat stigma and discrimination. HIV-affected children often suffer such intense social exclusion that the Smile of the Sun Center is transforming their lives by providing them with what is in some cases their first opportunity to play in a safe, friendly place.