Rose News for ‘Health / disability’ Category

A Tale of Two Women (and thousands of lives saved…!)


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This is the story of two women. One woman uses a piece of clean string and a clean razor blade. With it she saves, scores, hundreds, probably thousands of lives. The people she saves are mothers and their babies. The mothers have given birth in a location where there is no medical assistance. Lack of hygiene, lack of knowledge, even some traditional practices in severing the umbilical cord,  provide the fertile conditions for infection. Sometimes mud or even cow dung are used to apply to the raw ends of the cord.  The clean string is used simply to tie the cord and the sterile blade to cut it.

Now this woman makes up cheap kits. They simply contain instructions, soap, sterile string, a blade and some sterile pads. This is all it takes to save two lives: a clean pad, soap, razor blade, a length of string and a set of illustrated instructions.  Each kit will save 2 lives. The kits are quietly  distributed to where they are needed thoughout the world.

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The other woman follows a similar path. She travels to rural Central America with a small team to carry the same simple message and also taking birthing kits with her. Year after year she returns and year after year she finds more women who, having seen the results of what she has been teaching others, wish to learn. Her course lasts 4 days. The woman educates child birth attendants to wash their hands. Thousands of women die every year simply because they do not. She educates them in the simple things that will save.

Both women know that 820,000 women die because of  childbirth every year; 99% of them are in developing countries.  They know that, worldwide, a woman dies in childbirth every 40 seconds. They know that three quarters of the 4 million babies who die every year could be saved by simple interventions. They know that so many women simply have no access to safe medical facilities (in Bangladesh for example only 9% of births take place in clinics or hospitals). They know the grief and suffering of so many families through these events.

So quietly, simply, they have rolled up sleeves and helped.  No full spread media campaigns, no double-space TV ads, no fleets of white SUV’s, no first-class  ‘celebrity spokesperson’ visits. They just do it themselves, unsung heroes, quietly saving lives…

1)   http://wordbirthaid.org (http://www NULL.worldbirthaid NULL.org/)
2)   http://safemotherhoodproject.org (http://safemotherhoodproject NULL.org/)

To help these projects, please donate (http://rosecharities NULL.us/get-involved/donate/) to Rose Charities and we’ll direct your funds to these amazing projects.

Antidotes to personal doom and gloom from economic woes..

Antidote to personal doom and gloom .. (with thanks to  Luke Johnson: Financial Times: Nov 9, 2011)

1) Study history:   It puts the present situation into context. Worse situations have occurred many times before

2) Avoid the news:  Editors believe bad news sells better than good. Neither do many hesitate to exaggerate

3) Spend more time with the young:  Age and experience make too many older people cynical and at times melancholy

4) Remain rational :  The worst almost never happens

5) Avoid pessimists:  Keep the company of sunny characters

6) Read the Stoics:  Writers such as Marcus Aurelius have given uplifting advice for hundreds of years

7) Admit mistakes and move on ; We all make bad decisions at times. Don’t dwell on them. Recognize them, learn,  and move on

8)  Keep busy:  dynamic individuals don’t have time to become depressed nor are interested in doing so

9) Get fit:  physical exercise is an excellent antidote for stress. Endorphins help banish the blues

10) Focus on small wins:   we all have little victories every day

11) Ignore events over which you have no control:   worrying about such things, such as what will happen to the Euro,  is a waste of intellectual effort.

12) Concentrate on your own micro-economy: forget the macroeconomic climate.

13) Laugh:  seek out comedy when you can.  Don’t take yourself too seriously

Rose Charities International Meeting: Penang 2012: update…

The Rose IV Meeting in Penang, Malaysia (22nd to 25th March 2012), and hosted by the Penang Rose Charities Association (Rose Charities Malaysia)  is shaping up to be an amazing gathering of both Rose Charities , and other people the world over.
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Delegates representing projects or registered Rose groups from,  Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Uganda, UK, USA and Canada and Guatemala  will be attending.
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The ‘Hillman Fund’, a special group inside Rose Charities Canada which sponsors health education projects in Africa, Pakistan, and Cambodia will have a big presence including chair of the Hillman Committee, Dr Joanne Young of Vancouver,  Annette Borkent of the Safe Motherhood Guatemala Project, Dr Wagma Reshsteen of Primary Health Frontiers, Pakistan, and Dr Wais Aria of  The Tabish Social Health Organization, Afghanistan.
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Dr Andrew MacNab (B.C’s Childrens Hospital)  founder of African Hearts and Brighter Smiles, Uganda will be speaking on his work with Health Promoting Schools, and Rachel Green of Rose Charities USA on the topical area of Social Networking.
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AMDA International’s senior Emergency Relief Director (Mr Nithiananan) will be attending (AMDA and Rose Charities have worked very closely a number of  emergency relief operations and are very close partners) . AMDA has huge international emergency humanitarian relief experience, and is one of the foremost NGO’s in this area.
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Joanna Thomson, founder of the Rose Cambodia Rehab Center will be discussing her amazing assistance to the disabled of Cambodia,  Mr Louis Lap Nguyen co-founder of Rose Charities Vietnam,  the impressive range of Rose Vietnam projects with include sight restoration, income generation and orphanage assistance
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Rose Charities Sri Lanka with its spectrum of multi-sectorial projects, ranging from early childhood care and education, through education for all ages, including college support, micro-credit, sports for peace and vocational training will be represented by co-founder Mr Anthony Richards as well as Dr Yoga Yogendran.
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From Rose Charities New Zealand, Mrs Anne George will be representing. Rose New Zealand works closely with the Rose Cambodia Sight Center providing expertise and resources. In 2011 the Sight Centre passed the mark for patients assisted (many with sight restoring operations). Rose NZ also assists eye programs in Nepal and work in NZ itself (Anne Georges specialty) with new immigrant program(s).  Rose Australia delegates will include Sarah Miller, an expert in Cambodia programs, Rose Austalia’s main focus.
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Rose Charities Malaysia, the hosts will be very well represented, not least by Mr  Lawrence Cheah Chair of the Rose International Council.  Rose Charities Malaysia, running out of Penang assists Malaysias indigenous people (Orang Asli), help the aged programs and helth promotion in Penang.
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The meetings will work at three levels.  a) sector focus groups on specific areas (Vietnam, Cambodia, Sri Lanka,  and Health Education/Safe birthing etc ) , round-table discussion for the whole Rose network and a more formal Conference component where persons from Malaysian (and other) NGO’s and interested parties will be invited.
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Malaysia’s Penang Island, with its historic UNESCO listed George Town, is a wonderful location for the meeting, most of which will be held in the seaside Tanjung Bunga area at the Paradise Sandy Beach Hotel.
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All Rose Charities persons and other linked or interested parties are welcome.
For details, please contact Mrs Sarah Miller (Australia)    sarah@rosecharities.org.au (sarah null@null rosecharities NULL.org NULL.au)
or  Ms  Judith Peralta (Canada)     jbperalta@hotmail.com (jbperalta null@null hotmail NULL.com)
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** Note: with one or two exceptions where limited assistance has been offered, all attendees are self funding.  Conference costs have been kindly born by Rose Charities Malaysia from specifically donated sources.  No Rose Charities charitable donation funds have been used for the conference or meeting, unless specifically given by donor(s) for that purpose.

Training to save babies in Haiti Dec 2011. An instructor writes…

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Haiti for me was an emotional rollercoaster. A land of despair, poverty, mayhem but also a land of hope, optimism and pride. These last 3 sentiments are what stick with me as I reflect on my experience. After all, it is the people that leave an impact on you.

When I was planning the trip I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I had never travelled to a 3rd world country before, let alone one that has been
devastated by a massive earthquake and is still struggling to recover.  The airport was a typical chaotic scene for a small carribean country, but as I travelled into the Heart of Port-au-Prince I was struck by the massive tent cities, line ups at watering stations, chaos of the driving, etc. Yet throughout this atmosphere was the continued activity of daily life. The boys and girls coming home from school neatly dressed with colorful clothing, the merchants on the street selling fruit, etc. Haiti was continuing on despite much of the damage from the earthquake still obvious almost 2 years after the fact.
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The teaching our team carried out, filled us with hope and optimism for the future. Nurses and physicians travelled from across the country every day to participate in our teaching sessions on how to become instructors in newborn resuscitation, followed by them teaching the sessions themselves. The students were not shy about jumping in and taking control of a situation. Their passion was evident in how they imparted knowledge to their colleagues. The pride on their faces was clear.
The most touching moment for me was at the end of the teaching one day when the students (now teachers themselves) sang us a song. Then a senior nurse came over to us and said:   ”Thank you. Thank you for not just giving us some fish, but for teaching us HOW TO FISH.”  That’s when I knew that our team had made a difference, perhaps small but real nonetheless.

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Access for All Disability Awareness Campaign

Rose Charities Access for All project in Cambodia provides housing for disabled women in close proximity to education. A unique aspect of this program is the Disability Awareness Campaign, where the residents of the home carry out a program in the surrounding villages to break stereotypes about disability. There is a lot of discrimination in Cambodia against people with disabilities. This program allows these girls to show the community what they are capable of – everything!

In December the girls were able to carry out this campaign in two locations. One was conducted at Prey Veng provincial pedagogy.  There were 116 people in attendance, 32 females and 84 males. Of these people, 18 were from District office of education, 10 were school directors,1 was from the health department, 3 from provincial dept of education, 3 from POSVY, 19 disabled students from the University, 10 Disabled students from High School and 50 Disabled teacher from Prey Veng province.

The second was a drama conducted at Svay Ath Chhun Chim Preliminary and Secondary school, to show the attendees what life is like for a disabled person, and also showing them that they are mentally capable of anything the attendees are. There were 596 (Female 307 and Male 289) participants  attended included students, teachers, school directors, Village leaders, Commune leader, POSVY, SHG’s members, Federation leader and villagers.
These outreach programs are integral to changing the stigma towards disabled persons in Cambodia. These young women have an amazing opportunity to change the way Khmer society treats future generations.
To help fund these programs, please donate! (http://rosecharities NULL.us/get-involved/donate/)

Village screening for eye disease in rural Cambodia

(http://www NULL.rosecharities NULL.org NULL.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/camb-screen1 NULL.jpg)The Rose Charities Sight Centre (http://rosecambodia NULL.org)  is back in action in the Villages, screening for eye disease an curable blindness.  In 2002 Rose Charities owned several vehicles and had an active outreach program but its vehicles were stolen and the Eye Centre looted of all equipment. Now however, thanks to the dedication of Drs Hang and Natalia Vra, and donors from Canada, New Zealand the UK and USA, the program is back in action again.

On this occasion, some 300 villagers were screened, and over 100 referred to the Sight Centre for sight restoration or blindness prevention .

Despite the events of 2002 the Sight Centre has treated, surgically, medically or optometrically over 100,000 Cambodians since that time, the vast majority too poor to be able to afford treatment by the medical system.

The sight center is still in need of funding for these outreach trips, please donate (http://rosecharities NULL.us/get-involved/donate/) so we can keep them going.

Access for All resident Ka Lek receives Scholarship!

Ka Lek is studying a Bachelor Degree of Accounting at the Chea Sim University of Kamchey Mear in Prey Veng Town. She is able to attend this institution because of the Access For All project which allows women with disabilities to move in to a “Supportive Home” in the town which is in closer proximity to higher education than the girls’ home villages. Lek’s recently received a generous scholarship from  Kerrie Anson of Australia. Many other students like Lek need funding for education. University in Cambodia costs around $300 USD a year, click here to sponsor a child. (http://rosecharities NULL.us/get-involved/donate/)

After Lek’s first year of study her family was struck by tragedy when her father died. Lek’s sister became the head of the household. She had two children and her husband soon left to remarry. Lek’s sister also died and Lek was then left to look after her sister’s two children and her mother alone. With sponsorship Lek feels like she can study and gain employment  which would provide a stable and more sustainable future for her family.

Lek was born with her left leg missing below the knee and could only crawl – at the age of 17 months her father made her an artificial leg from thread spools and kapok branches – with some difficulty, Lek managed to walk with the aid of the home-made prosthesis for 5 months. At this time, Lek’s parents heard about the Calmette Hospital in Phnom Penh and made the arduous and expensive trip to the city to try to get a proper prosthesis fitted.

Lek is very proud of her prosthesis and wears it all the time, she is now not hindered by her disability and can carry water, climb trees, plant rice, fish, ride bicycles, tend cattle and go to school as well help with household chores like any other Cambodian child.

Ka Lek before her prosthesis was fitted by VI in 1997

 

 

 

 

 

Ka Lek cooking her lunch after returning from school at the Supportive Home in Prey Veng Town

Cancer in developing countries needs greater intervention…

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Cancer incidence in developing countries is increasing at a staggering rate. The disease now kills more people in those countries than malaria, AIDs and tuberculosis combined.   But a Global Task Force  on Expanded Access to Cancer Care and Control in Developing Countries  (GTF.CCC) released a report in November (2011) showing that by using affordable and readily available drugs, more than 2.4 million lives could be saved each year.

While medical effort have increased survival from infectious diseases in developing countries, this has not been the same for cancer where  the increased survival has meant a greater predisposition to contracting the illnesses of the richer countries, cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

According to the report of GTF.CCC, 26 out of 29 key drugs that could treat the most prevalent and curable cancers are now off-patient. People could receive a course of treatment for less than $100.

In Canada the survival rate for childhood leukemia is around 90%, In low-income countries it is around 10%. Access to drugs would increase this dramatically.  A couple of  hundred million dollars (the cost of 100 cruise missiles) would treat all of these childhood leukemias.

Kids Enjoy the New Rubber Flooring at Rose Cambodia Rehabilitation Centre

It first began a long time ago, in May 2010, when plans for the construction of a safe therapeutic area for children and other patients with physical rehabilitative needs became a reality. Things shot off to a quick start with the construction of the roof and cement floor occuring within a month or so. In October, there was the Mural Project. Three vibrant young students with hearing impairments ventured to Takhmao from Epic Arts Kampot and worked with young people with disabilities here at the Centre to paint the amazing, bright wall mural that continues to capture the attention of all who enter the therapy area. Since then it has been slow and steady progress with more equipment gradually added to the floor area, and the wet season coming in and highlighting the need for small alterations to manage the water creeping in. This year was a particularly wet wet season, and we are really happy with how well the therapy area, given it’s open plan design, held up.
Finally, the area became ready for the safe rubber flooring to be laid. Fortunately, we were successful in receiving funds from the Direct Aid Program (DAP) at the Australian Embassy, to implement a project finishing off our building establishment and purchasing resources for the education and training of hospital staff and the community in physiotherapy and disability awareness.Rose Rehab Floor

Funds were received on the 21st October 2011 and laying of the floor began on the 26th. After a bumpy start, change in glues, cars breaking down, challenging lumps in the cement floor, workers being away, long lunches, late starts and varying shades of floor squares, we now have a wonderful, large, safe area for providing therapy for children and adults.
Money from a fundraising dinner held in Kadina, South Australia, Joanna’s (RCRC physiotherapist) hometown in early 2011, has been used to supplement the DAP funds to finish the floor area – we under-estimated the amount of rubber tiling required. These funds will also be used to tile the entrance, a cost not included in the grant proposal.
The flooring area has already proven a hit with the kids! In true Cambodian collective group therapy style, children flock into the Centre when we open the gate (funded by Kadina dinner), just to run around and play on this new, strange, soft but firm, rubber flooring, spontaneously rolling around on the floor. Fantastic for disability awareness, children and adults have been joining in on therapy sessions and getting some insight into life for those with disabilities and how they can play and join in activities too.
The flooring has created a safe environment for rehabilitation and therapy and has stimulated a great interest from the community and hospital in physiotherapy, disability and rehabilitation.
We have been invited by hospital Director, Dr Kong Chhunly, to present to hospital staff again on physiotherapy and its benefits and encourage referrals and integration of physiotherapy into the hospital system.
The development and progression of the physiotherapy area will continue – we are looking to build a storage room (we have no space for equipment such as standing frames, wheelchairs and other mobility/therapy aids), a waiting area, and will fix up the rough entrance. Many thanks to all donors, especially DAP (Australian Embassy) and the people of Kadina for these latest developments.

You are what you eat…

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 New evidence has shown that gentic material that we eat in food survives digestion without breakdown and and cirulates through the body.  Furthermore some of these gene fragments, are known to muffle gene expresson which lead to measurable biochemical changes.  (Cell Research, DOI:10.1038/cr.2011.158).

 The study, by Cheu-Yu-Zhang, of Nanjing University showed that  plant RNA’s from the cabbage family, along with rice, brocoli, and possibly all the plants you eat can change the behaviour of your genes in ways previously unkown to science.   Among other things, the study looked at cholesterol levels in the blood and found that they could be influenced by the gene affecting affect of the  RNA plant fragments.

The studies have yet to be followed up and further validated. However, in the least case they will very likely result in a swell of research into the effects of food DNA and RNA on our health.  They may demonstrate both unknown adverse as well as advantagious affects and lead to the developent of new drugs.

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