Monday, December 9, 2013

Hi all,

Today I thought I'd take the chance to introduction y'all to one of my favorite global health NGO's (other than U-Tena of course!) called Nyaya Health. Nyaya Health is also the partner organization for Tuft's Globemed chapter so it's relevant in more than one way. They are a 'for purpose' health organization that dedicates themselves to working for the right to health in rural Nepal. One of the reasons Nyaya sticks out in my mind is because of their dedication to transparency. Nyaya Health founded itself on the principle of "being transparent until it hurts". They want to end the age-old image of the perfect aid organization that is secretly collecting money and allocating large portions to overheads. To do this not only does Nyaya have a public wiki with all financial and day to day activities of its staff, but they also write blog articles about both their failures and successes. Today I want to share with you one of my favorite such pieces, entitled "Walls and Flies" and written by their co-founder Duncan Maru.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Kenya's Health Care System

Hey everyone,

Just thought it would be a good idea to kind of just take a step back and get a little background knowledge about what the health care system is like in Kenya. Just to look at the basis of the system and its main goals and funding, and compare it to our system. I found this link with the general info:



Thursday, December 5, 2013

Songs/Cheers: Meeting Kuza

Hey everyone,

One of the things I looked forward to most was bringing the Kuza Project back to Brown. I've been a bit slow about it (forgive me), but I'll be starting a multi-part series on some of the highlights and thoughts from our GROW trip.

To start, I wanted to share a treat from our very first week in Nairobi. After a few days of getting acclimated to our humble home of ~2 months, the six of us set out for our very first Kuza Project event, a gender-based-violence workshop for some of the teens in the community and their parents. Among the teens were some of our very own Kuza girls, and Brienne, Anna and I had the pleasure of meeting them.

Lydia, Maurine, and Caroline (from left to right in the video below) are 14-16 years old and have been in Kuza for its entire existence. They are talented at so many things: Lydia's a blossoming professional hair stylist (literally--she went to beauty school for it!), and Maurine loves singing. The three of them were generous enough to sing a little song for us after we found out they all love to sing and dance, and they got so excited for us to take this back to you guys. Without further ado...

If anyone happens to know the name of the song, I'd love to know. It's the one thing I forgot to ask them!


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Chronic Kidney Disease in the developing world

Annabel Lemma

Chronic Kidney disease (CKD), also referred to as chronic renal disease, is a progressive loss of kidney function over a period of time.  The natural course of CKD extends from being susceptible to the disease, exposed to the risk factors and to development of CKD that progresses to End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). The fast progression of the illness together with the very high medical costs associated with it makes Chronic Kidney Disease one of the most dangerous diseases worldwide. Chronic kidney is now the cause of hundreds of thousands of deaths every year.It is highly pronounced today because of the rapid increase in its prevalence, the enormous cost of treatment, and most importantly, because of its major role in heightening the risk of cardiovascular disease and other complications. Especially in developing nations where the health care system is not very advanced, these effects can be highly aggravated.

It has been suggested that as many as 100 million individuals may be affected by chronic kidney disease globally.4 Provision of care for patients who require dialysis or transplantation is a major and growing healthcare problem in both developed and emerging nations in terms of cost, premature mortality and economic impact. It is estimated that over 2 million patients with ESRD worldwide are currently on renal replacement therapy (RRT), at a global cost of around one trillion dollars.90% of all treated ESRD patients reside in the West, as the prohibitive cost precludes renal replacement therapy in most developing nations. Though there is not an official registry for renal disease cases in most developing countries,1 it is undeniable that its effect is more pronounced in the part of the world where health care is at its worst.

Chronic kidney disease is at least 3-4 times more frequent in Africa than in developed countries. Hypertension affects approximately 25% of the adult population and is the cause of chronic kidney failure in 21% of patients on renal replacement therapy in the South African Registry. The prevalence of diabetic nephropathy is estimated to be 14%-16% in South Africa, 23.8% in Zambia, 12.4% in Egypt, 9% in Sudan, and 6.1% in Ethiopia.5 The current dialysis treatment rate ranges from 70 per million population in South Africa to < 20 pmp in the most of sub-Saharan Africa. The transplant rate in Africa averages 4 pmp. 5

The unavailability of medical supplies, physicians, technology are all contributory factors to this reality. There is so much that could be done to decrease the severity of the problem starting from creating awareness in the community about the disease and how it can possible be prevented, campaigns for early treatments are also another options.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Giving the Gift of an Education

Thanksgiving has come and gone and the stress of papers, finals and of course the impending holiday season is upon us. In the midst of all that is the end of the semester at Brown, it's hard to think ahead to holiday gift giving. The thought of navigating malls or sifting through the internet in light of all else we have to do is entirely daunting. Which is why I want to introduce Globemed and it's blog readers to an organization that gives the gift of education: the Iqra Fund. 

The Iqra fund(Iqra means 'to read' in Arabic) was created by Jennifer Chabot in 2007 after she spent time doing doctoral research on women's education in Pakistan. Today the Iqra fund is a nationally recognized organization that works with communities and employs local leadership to provide girls with educational opportunities that greatly affect their quality of life and the future of their communities. 

Having worked first hand with the Iqra fund, I've seen the impact they have made on the ground in Pakistan and the way in which they have risen from a small grass roots organization to a powerful voice in the future of women's education in the Middle East. 

This holiday season the Iqra fund is urging us to give the meaningful and unique gift of education. They are accepting donations of any amount and to prove that a little goes a long way they give the example of nine year old Jane who donated $10 with which the Iqra fund was able to purchase texts books and a school bag for a girl in Pakistan. Iqra will make a donation in your friend or family's name and you will be both have the knowledge that you are part of an incredible organization and an extraordinary revolution. 

Here is the link for the website to donate:

Happy Holidays!