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!
To our supporters:
The IMCRA team is just back from medical nonprofit coordinating meetings in Washington D.C. where we established some excellent collaborations with other organizations working both in the US and in several Pacific Rim nations.
IMCRA has been opening new vistas in East Asian medical education and resourcing with the formal launch of our Phillippine, China, Vietnam and Indonesia portals - and new educational modules by Drs. Sachdeo, Li, Bac and Syulfani. We will continue building these portals over the next few months in response to the most pressing medical needs in these countries. We were also surprised, in response to an off-the-cuff suggestion, to get an outpouring of thank you cards in the form of photos from our East Asian collaborators. Here are a few...
Finally, we are delighted to report that our long-planned workshop on the experience of mobile medical caregivers still seeing patients in the three-year aftermath of the giant East Japan earthquake-tsunami-radiation leak will be held in coordination with MOFA Japanese government programs during the next few months. See http://www.imcra.org/Video.aspx?ContentItem.ItemID=370. Most importantly, one of the outcomes of this workshop and colloquium wiill be publication in the peer-reviewed literature of the priceless experiential data collected by these tireless workers.
Your contributions are especially appreciated for both our Phillipine and Japanese efforts. To honor the 3rd anniversary of the Japanese disaster GlobalGiving will be hosting a matching campaign for IMCRA and other projects working for recovery in Tohoku area. All donations received will be specifically directed toward supporting the efforts and enduring outcomes of the upcoming colloquium and workshop. Starting on March 10th, your donations will be matched 100% by GlobalGiving until matching funds are exhausted. To donate now...and especially then...click on "give now" button below.
During the past two months, IMCRA has mobilized its resources to deal with two stunning challenges, first, the under-recognized epidemic of diabetes in China and then, only 10 days ago, the heartbreaking impact of super-typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines,
Shortly after the Typhoon struck we reached out to local physicians fluent in Tagalog, Dr. Quintos of the Santo Tomas faculty of medicine and Dr. Agustin of St. Vincent Medical Center to record emergency modules on what is likely to be the most devastating impacts of the super-typhoon: dealing with loss - and striving toward recovery. These modules will be available on the IMCRA system shortly to all healthcare workers in the devastated areas, especially Tacloban. Native healthcare and relief workers coping with medical issues for which they are unprepared will be able to interactively consult our faculty about what they are facing and how to best serve the populations hardest hit.
China has experienced a great deal of the medical downside of adopting the consumerist lifestyle of the West. In addition to the pathogenic “hotspots” which have developed in areas subjected to poorly-regulated industrial pollution, consumption of high-fat Western foods has led to a disastrous increase in both juvenile and adult diabetes. IMCRA has attacked this problem through affiliation work with Chinese health organizations like Shenzhen and by launching a new section on Chinese diabetes headed by Drs. Liu, Chang and Nussbaum of Yale medical school for both caregivers and families.
In helping both populations, IMCRA has selected the best of its faculty and its programs. Please assist us in coping with both urgent needs. Your donations will go directly into supporting our outreach efforts and defraying the costs of recording and getting the medical education modules to the people who need them. As always, we, and the physicians and patients we serve greatly appreciate your help.
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