The Guatemalan Safe Motherhood Project continues to make progress, in spite of the pandemic. We in Canada have been in bimonthly contact via Zoom with our Guatemalan teammates. Because of travel restrictions, teaching in other communities has been replaced with a new clinic, providing prenatal care to local pregnant women and holding prenatal discussion groups, as well as addressing topics beyond pregnancy and birth, including breastfeeding, alcohol and other substance use disorders, domestic violence, nutrition, and supporting teen mothers.
Here in Canada we’ve been having a meeting every 5-6 weeks with a primary focus on trying to find corporate sponsors as well as granting foundations. Our long-term goal is to expand our training courses with more teams. We hope to be able to travel to Guatemala once again in the fall of 2022. Our team will be able to train a number of further trainers to bring our hands-on course to many more remote areas, so as to make a larger impact in fewer years. The need remains huge and more trained teams are needed in order to impact the lives of so many marginalized, poverty-stricken families (primarily indigenous) in Guatemala. With persistence, further funding will allow this.
Rose Charities Canada has sent funds for the Rose Nepal Programs Group under Ms Sarala Adhikari to urgently supply around 3000 medical masks, primarily for people in the Pharping area with a focus on kids. While the protective benefits of mask wearing have become well appreciated in the area, simple lack of having them has been impeding their usage. Great work Nepal Group !
Since 2916 Dr Andrew Macnab’s (Rose Charities Canada / Rose Uganda Support Group) amazing schools based malaria abatement program in Uganda has been delivering outstanding results. The highly endemic disease accounts for thousands of missing days of education in a young population desperate to attain the maximum benefit from school attendance. Teachers are trained to recognize early symptoms and then confirm them with a simple and relatively cheap kit test. Artemsia based drugs (as approved by the WHO ) can be then started immediately in situ, and, being quick acting, take effect early to reduce the childs convalescent absence period from days to possibly only hours. (https://academic.oup.com/ije/article/45/6/1759/2670325 )
Children, teachers, parents all love the program and its success has been attested to now for the last 5 years. A huge success for Uganda, Rose teams but above everything the kids and their families !
We are sad to announce the passing on of Dr. Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Hillman, pivotal figure in the Rose Charities Canada and the whole Rose Charities Family. Liz both contributed in expertise and/or initiated multiple Rose Charities programs (under her special ‘Hillman Fund’ division) both in Africa and Asia. She was always one of Rose Charities topmost mentors and advisors.
Dr Elizabeth Hillman grew up in Northern Ontario with no roads, schools, or healthcare. She and her family lived in a retired railway car that was converted into a schoolhouse; the schoolhouse traveled to a different town each week, where her parents would teach the children of local workers. Dr Hillman went on to graduate from medical school at the University of Western Ontario (UWO) in 1951. She then completed postgraduate training in pediatrics from five different schools in three countries.
For 20 years, Dr Hillman was Director of Ambulatory Pediatrics including Emergency, Management of Child Abuse, and the Poison Control Centre at Montreal Children’s Hospital. For four years, she served in Kenya with a McGill-Kenya CIDA-funded project to develop a pediatric program at the University of Nairobi, alongside her husband, Dr Donald Hillman, and their five children. She and her husband worked as global medical consultants in several Asian and African countries.
Dr Hillman was the first female president of the Medical Council of Canada and both she and her husband led active roles in the Canadian Paediatric Society and the American Academy of Pediatrics. They were both awarded the Order of Canada (C.M.) in 1994 for their commitment to international child health. She was also chair of the Board of the Elisabeth Bruyère Research Institute at the University of Ottawa from 2005 to 2008. In honour of her late husband, Dr Hillman established the Hillman Medical Education Fund which ran as a special division of Rose Charities Canada (and International) to support health education and to foster future leaders in medicine, particularly in East Africa. It did however extend considerably further contributing to Rose Charities initiatives both in Asia as well as Africa.
Liz’s passing on is a great loss to the world. Her life was however full, vibrant and focused, contributing hugely to diffusing education and health care to many who have benefited from it and have themselves then spread it on to others. In this way her influence, and charity have brought wonderful lives to many who otherwise would have remained within the poverty trap.
To Rose Charities, Liz was one of the finest sources of expertise and advice possible and the organization was truly lucky to count her has a mentor. While Africa was her main focus, her experience and advice extended also to S.E. Asia, particularly Indo China which has been one of the main foci of Rose Charities activities for its 22 year existence.
Dr Elizabeth Hillman. The whole of Rose Charities salutes you, lauds and acclaims you, and now, mourns you. We will not forget you and extend all condolences to your family.
Many girls across the world are unable to attend school when they have their periods as they have no access to affordable menstrual care. Days for Girls is a US non-profit that has developed reusable kits that solve this problem. Their aim is to develop sustainable solutions that remove limitations for women and girls. Thanks to a partnership between Rose Charities and Disaster Aid Canada( a distributor for Days for Girls) 50 menstruation kits were sent from Vancouver to two of Rose’s projects in Uganda – Stand Tall School and Smiles Scholarship program. The kits had quite the journey! Made by volunteers on Vancouver Island, they were brought to Vancouver on the ferry, then transported in a hockey bag to Kampala where they were delivered to the girls.Along with some education about menstrual hygiene these kits will enable the young women to attend school without interruption each month. This is such a basic need for young women – access to products that allow them to continue with their lives whatever time of the month.
Last week, a team of 3 Canadian health professionals from Rose Haiti Healthcare Education conducted a training on #neonatal resuscitation with 31 members of our staff. They did an initial training with 3 senior nurses and 3 pediatricians, who then assisted with training through the week. These 6 HAS employees will train the remainder of the staff
and run practice scenarios every 1-2 months to maintain their competency. We are grateful for the knowledge and skills Rose Haiti Healthcare Education shared with our team! Our nurses and physicians are better equipped to save the lives of our tiniest patients.
2017 marked the 15th year of the Safe Motherhood Project in Guatemala. To recap, the Safe Motherhood Project is an educational project to train traditional Mayan Midwifes (Comadronas) in safe birthing techniques and emergency skills in caring for women who have their babies at home. Each course is 5 days long. We now have a competent team of 3 Guatemalan midwives who do the bulk of the teaching. We strive to conduct 3 to 4 courses per year each course attended by 30 Comadronas and/or Paramedics. The Canadian members of the project comprise 2 midwives, 1 family physician, and 1 maternity nurse. We Canadians visit at our own expense
once a year in February to make sure the project is on track or to provide practice updates. To date we have taught over 1000 Comadronas in various communities in many parts of the country.
Since our last report, the team has made 2 visits to Chisec, in the department of Alta Verapaz and has been able to teach 3 courses and a total of 100 comadronas in this municipality. Educational space and meals were generously provided by Karen and Rocky of Compelling Love Ministries, a couple from Kamloops who have acquired a small acreage in Chisec to provide community health education programs and to create a children’s nutritional center. As I write this report, our Guatemalan team will be teaching for 2 weeks, roughly 60 students, in Chichicastenango, a large market community in the highlands of the department of Quiche.
Efforts have been made to connect with local Guatemalan NGOs to collaborate materially and financially on this project. Unfortunately, while we receive lots of approval and verbal support, material support at a local level has not been forthcoming. I believe the reality for this project in Guatemala, as with much of the health and education infrastructure in the country, is a dependence on foreign donations for sustainability. A positive development in this country strapped for health dollars is that the Comadronas have been recognized since 2014 as an essential part of the health care system. The government has made efforts to credential Comadronas who receive formal training. We have received official recognition of our course from several levels of government.
This coming February 2018, the Canadian team members will return to Guatemala for 2 weeks of courses. The community is to be determined. However, the popularity of our course has increased by “word of mouth” and there are several communities requesting our presence. The need is still there for this educational program. We are proud that we have been able to continue this project for 15 years and look forward the project continuing for many more years to come.
Consultants, Linda Robers (Charit Rose 2014) and Professor Andrew Macnab (Chari. Rose 2012) gave the first Rose Charities Canada ‘TED-style’ presentations of the new mini-forum format to great acclaim.
Andrew spoke on the success of his amazing new rapid malaria diagnosis and on-site treatment program currently implemented with wonderful result in rural Ugandan schools. The program is currently being assessed by the Thai Government for implementation in rural regions of their country. Andrew had just returned from consultations at Mahidol and other Thai centers with view to such development
Linda, who is a council member of the Rose Charities International Council as well as one of Rose Charities Canada’s leading consultants, delivered an important presentation on child and human rights and ensuring their proper implementation across all Rose Charities direct and linked programs. The superb presentation lead then to considerable audience discussion .
The new ‘mini-forum’ format had been instituted and planned by the Rose Charities Administration Committee, and now having shown to be enormously successful will be repeated. On this occasion the forum was held in the fireside room of the United Church Centre for Peace hall on 16th and Burrard, Vancouver, an excellent venue.
Malaria is being tackled in rural Ugandan schools with Dr Anrew Macnab’s remarkable early rapid diagnosis and treatment program delivered by trained school ‘malaria hero’s’, school staff especially trained. Implemented by Rose Charities Canada’s Dr Andrew and HEDA Uganda, the program is giving hugely successful, recorded results, cutting the absenteeism through sickness much hated by student and teacher alike. Please click here to see the most recent paper on the marvellous results.
This enormously successful visit organized by ike Webber (GNZM) Optometrist of Wanganui NZ , and funded by generous NZ donors resulted in a major upgrade of retinal surgical capacity in the excellent facilities of the new international standard hospital built by Dr Vra. The original Kieng Khleang clinic remains to help meet the huge demand in Rose Cambodia’s services to the poor