Over the last two months, in addition to our Ebola work, IMCRA has held several meetings with the regional medical authorities in Shenzhen China regarding the issue of pediatric diabetes.
Shenzhen is a microcosm and a model for what is happening in Westernizing nations all over the world. Once traditional diets and levels of physical activity are traded for the fast food and consumerism perceived as particularly attractive in emerging nations, there is a concommittant decline in basic health. This accompanies an increased incidence of lifestyle-related conditions like heart disease, some cancers, and especially diabetes.
In January and again in March IMCRA staffers met with representatives from the 4th People's Hospital in Shenzhen to design a pilot program for diabetes awareness and prtevention, aimed not just at schoolchildren and their parents, but at general practitioners in local communities who are generally unaware of the signs of pre-diabetes in children and adolescents.
The IMCRA program, in collaboration with regional health authorities, reaches out to both these target groups with compelling interactions on lifestyle choices, health threats, long-term health implications, and finally treating fully-emergent disease. Lessons learned in this program are applicable not only to China but to emerging nations everywhere - as well as domestically. When children are victimized by a fully-preventable condition, the fault lies firmly with us if we do little to help them.
And here's where and why your help and partnership are so important. This program will take place, and will spawn similar programs, but as ever we are faced with web-hosting costs, venue and travel expenses, materials dissemination and even an occasianal honorarium for especially devoted medical faculty.
Think of it this way, your kind support will be a form of long-term insurance for providing our children with a healthier, and ultimately more satisfying life.
The IMCRA Team
It's been the same old problem. A disaster occurs...the international clinical and control teams sweep in...21st Century Western medicine puts on a high impact show...and then they leave; and things go back to normal.
We cannot afford that with infectious diseases like Ebola. IMCRA's mission to make certain that we hit the problem hard at the epicenters of disease. We aim for the places where a poor understanding of nutrition, resistance, hygiene and medical care is common among the people and substandard techniques of diagnosis, isolation, surveillance and treatment are frequent among their caregivers.
In late September we began working with IMANI house in Liberia to reach clinics around Monrovia in areas like Jahtondo Town, Brewerville and the Po River district. IMCRA faculty are experts in infectious disease and and containment and will make themselves accessible via our interactive instructional programs and apps for the hand-held devices in use in some of the more remote regions. Your donations now will help make these programs blossom and continue and will help our firends at IMANI house extend their educational services in regions with a high potential of being impacted by Ebola.
We've also entered into an operational partnership with Research Associates Laboratory and Biopttica to deploy rapid, multisample DNA/RNA Ebola detection devices to field clinics in Liberia, Guinea and Senegal. These systems provide:
As always, it is your donations that will help us carry through these critical programs. Ultimately these efforts must reach beyond western Africa. In a world where highly infectious diseases can be carried globally in hours, education and containment are our most powerful weapons.
In late July of this year IMCRA was contacted by representatives of the United Nations Foundation with an invitation to join the Every Woman Every Child initiative. This program is spearheaded by the UN's Secretary General Mr. Ban-Ki Moon and aims to mobilize and intensify global action to improve the health of woman and children around the world.
Since IMCRA has a particular and growing focus on early childhood and perinatal health in China, Vietnam and Indonesia we were selected to expand our offerings to address particular medical issues impacting pregnancy, childbirth and the the first year or two afterward.
Among the issues determined by the United Nations to be seriously in need of remediation are: a) poor clinical practice by doctors seeing pregnant women, b) cultural and personal behaviors deleterious to successful childbirth and child rearing such as smoking, poor diet and overwork, c) use of commercial formulas rather than breastfeeding.
IMCRA is committed to providing healthcare workers with updated, native-language expert advice on best clinical practice for pregnant women, recently-delivered women, and their young children. Although joining the UNFPA team officially on 25 September improves our reach and effectiveness, it is your financial help that will enable us to both revamp our website appropriately and successfully recruit and utilize expert faculty to deliver the messages that are so badly needed globally.
Your help in this very important work with even a small donation will go far.
George and the IMCRA Team
It has now been an incredible month and a half since the almost incomprehensible tragedy of the Sewol ferry disaster near Jeju Island in South Korea. Officially 288 people are confirmed dead, the majority being high school students on a field trip and their teachers. The negligence and disorganization of those responsible for the safety of passengers is particularly disturbing as it compounded the inability of the young to comprehend the deadliness of their situation as they laughed, texted each other and planned facebook posts.
The impact of this disaster is profound, not only for the parents and families of the lost, but for the survivors as well, all of whom will bear these deep emotional scars for decades. In order to approach one avenue of long-term help, IMCRA has recruited the services of several New-York area and Korea-based psychotherapists specializing in post-disaster therapy to help ease the pain and suffering of the survivors. To date, Dr. Benedict Sungho Kim, Dr. Simon Shin and several other Korean medical specialists have either completed or are in the process of completing outreach modules on the IMCRA system in both English and Korean. These resources are targeted at both survivors and families - as well as physicians and psychosocial specialists who may find themselves being consulted.
As IMCRA faculty have pointed out, the impact of this tragedy is much greater than the Sewol because it brings up underlying currents of unresolved disquiet in the Korean psyche associated with memories of war, the North and living under multiple threats. To date the IMCRA Korean program has been accessed by nearly 2000 users. We are committed to involving more experts and extending the program to be as useful as possible. Any support you can provide to this undertaking will help us accomplish this . The program can be accessed at http://www.imcra.org/Video.aspx?ContentItem.ItemID=412 The new access page for the system is shown below. Thank you.
Today, we'd like to share three stories out of the many lives you have changed by supporting IMCRA's work in Tohoku Japan
Yumiko was returning from her daughter’s school in Fukushima when the earthquake struck at 2:46 PM on Friday 11 March 2011. “I first thought the road was being repaved because the car ride became very bumpy.” But within seconds, I knew it was an earthquake and a very big one.” She continued: “I didn’t know how bad it actually was until I saw the entire slope of a hill across the road slide down into a ravine, carrying three or four houses with it. My first thought was about my daughter and how I could get to her”.
Yumiko and her daughter were among the lucky ones. They were reunited within hours and their home was only lightly damaged. Unfortunately, the worst was yet to come.
“Then we heard that the TEPCO reactor nearby was damaged and emitting radiation…and this is when the real nightmare began. My daughter wants to have children. I don’t want to die of cancer. I was scared to death what this would do her and what the radiation would do to me. We could not get any good answers from the government. First they said there was no problem, then that there was, and then the rumors began. My friends in Tokyo began to act strangely toward us.”
Some months later Yumiko heard about IMCRA and its public colloquium and outreach program. “A friend told me that he had heard about this free IMCRA program and website. I logged on and found that there would be a large workshop addressing many of the fears we had been feeling for some time.” “I attended the workshop and for the first time got most of the answers we needed and found medical and scientific people who really cared about us and answered our questions objectively and without fear. Dr. Niwa was kind and interested in the worries of everyday people. Dr. Hedberg also worked hard to be sure everyone was heard. I check back with their site to see what is new often. I asked my daughter to hold this sign to thank these people for their hard and continuing work.”
"I was in our law office in Tokyo on March 11th when the building started shaking and people began screaming. We weren’t badly affected, but that night I saw on the news how terrible the earthquake and tsunami were and wanted to do something. On an internet search I heard about the International Medical Crisis Response Alliance and thought that what they were trying to do by educating doctors, nurses and people was very, very important, so I decided to help.” “Last year IMCRA set up an outreach center in Miyako and Kesenuma and worked with the Kokoro-no-care group in Soma. Later, they held a meeting devoted to helping old people throughout Tohoku. My grandmother has since passed away, but she was very elderly at that time and very frightened by what was happening so what IMCRA has been doing is very important for all of her friends and others like her. I want to say “thank you” to all the people at IMCRA and ask that you keep up the good work, especially the Caregiver Workshop later this year.” Sincerely, Yuki
“Dear Dr. Hedberg, It is cold again now and snowing, like it was 3 years ago, but I want you to know that my doctor said he learned a lot about how to care for my old parents and other people in Tohoku by logging on to your free website. My father has a heart condition, but he felt so much better when the doctor told him he would be fine and that he had heard some important things, especially about his condition, from heart experts in New York in Japanese! I hope this help will not only be short term. I don’t know how long we will really need it, but it’s good to know that there is always reachable help available. I took this picture on a cold day to help me remember how bad it was, and how much you have helped. My family thanks you and your friends again. Yours, Miyuki"
To commemorate the 3rd anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, GlobalGiving is hosting a matching campaign for recovery projects in the Tohoku area. Starting today, your donations will be matched 100% by GlobalGiving until matching funds last. To donate, click on "give now" button below. Thank you for supporting this project, and for helping to tranform the lives of many people!
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