GlobeMed at Columbia University

GlobeMed aims to strengthen the movement for global health equity by empowering students and communities to work together to improve the health of people living in poverty around the world. GlobeMed is an international community of students and grassroots organizations who form long-term partnerships, the heart of GlobeMed's model. Together, the chapter and partner organization implement specific health and development projects, communicating on every aspect from initial design to monitoring and evaluation. In just four years, GlobeMed established chapters at 46 universities across the United States, inspiring thousands of students to become lifelong advocates for global health equity. W...
Apr 18, 2016

Exciting Updates from GWED-G

Our Beneficiary with her Son
Our Beneficiary with her Son

Dear friends, benefactors and supporters,

We hope this message finds you enjoying the first few days of spring. We want to thank you all for your support so far this year. So far, 2016 has been great for GlobeMed at Columbia as we have added many new members to our chapter this semester, and strengthened ties between members who have already been with us. As a chapter, we have sent members to our national global health conference in Evanston, Illinois, successfully hosted our bi-annual Gala, organized a very successful Krispy Kreme fundraiser and worked on many other events that both raise awareness about our project and help fundraise for our project goal. We are excited to share some recent updates from GWED-G below.

As the region of Northern Uganda is moving towards post-conflict recovery, the region is faced with several factors leading to new HIV infection such as general complacency of attitudes and convictions. This has reduced the fear surrounding HIV, and in turn has led to an increase in risky sexual behavior. GWED-G in partnership with GlobeMed at Columbia is emphasizing scaling up HIV preventions integrated with maternal and newborn health to prevent HIV infection numbers from rising. In order to achieve this the GlobeMed-GWED-G partnership focuses on three objectives: 1. Strengthening Awareness on HIV Prevention Strategies; 2. Promoting Maternal and Newborn Health; 3. Conducting Training and Capacity Building for HIV/AIDS Health Workers.

GWED-G has been working very hard to achieve these objectives in the past year. In 2015, the project conducted 22 awareness and sensitization sessions reaching out to an estimate of 9,162 men and women. 582 mothers benefitted from Mama Kits, which include basic supplies the mothers need for a safe delivery. Women who receive mama kits are also better equipped to be treated at health centers, where medical supplies are often in short supply. Thanks to our partnership with health center staff, expectant mothers in the Mama Clubs receive antenatal care and support with living with HIV. Importantly, for those enrolled in the program, the rate of mother-to-child HIV transmission is significantly reduced. In the past two years 422 babies born to HIV-positive mothers in GWED-G`s Mama groups were born HIV-negative!

GWED-G also conducted 4 community dialogues, where mothers were taught about the nutritional needs of their children. These sessions provide the mothers with an explanation of the nutritional patterns their children require and also show them how they can fulfill these nutritional requirements from local resources. In addition to our maternal and newborn health project GWED-G has newly incorporated cervical cancer screenings into its initiative. So far 207 women have been screened for cervical cancer, potentially resulting in early diagnosis and subsequent treatment.

In the past year through GWED-G`s efforts through initiatives such as the Role Model Men groups there was a significant increase in husbands taking their wives to antenatal care services by 35%, as well as an increase in women seeking family planning methods, from 47 to 106 women seeking contraception at health centers every month. There has also been an increase of 46% in the use of condoms by youth in the community. The number of deliveries done in the health facilities around the project area have increased from 20 to 50 deliveries per month, which is likely the result of many sensitizations dialogues encouraging mothers to seek professional medical services as well as donations of delivery kits to pregnant mothers.

As you can see, GWED-G has been working extremely hard to improve the healthcare standards and delivery in communities in Northern Uganda and our partnership remains strong. GlobeMed at Columbia is very grateful for your support and we would like to celebrate the successes we have achieved together. However, we still have a long way to go until the people of Northern Uganda can fully exercise their right to health. We ask for your contribution to and continued support for GlobeMed at Columbia’s project. Feel free to visit our GlobalGiving pageWordpress, and Facebook pages or follow us on Twitter.

In solidarity,

GlobeMed at Columbia

Jan 12, 2016

Updates from GlobeMed and GWED-G

VHTs in Amuru Health Center and the GROW 2015 Team
VHTs in Amuru Health Center and the GROW 2015 Team

Hello family, friends, and supporters!

We hope this message finds you healthy and warm in the new year. GlobeMed at Columbia University would like to thank you for your support in 2015. In the past semester our chapter hosted the annual global health HillTop conference, multiple fundraising and awareness events and we are finishing this year`s global giving campaign strong thanks to you! We are excited to announce that our chapter will be led this year by our two new co-presidents, Veronica Handunge, who has previously been our amazing head of the small fundraisers campaign team, and Francesca Polycarpe, who was our wonderful communications co-chair.

Earlier this semester we hosted GlobeMed students from universities around the country at our annual HillTop Conference. This year's theme was HEAL: Humanitarian Efficacy, Aid, and Leadership. We got the chance to network with GlobeMed alumni and hear from some incredible speakers working to further the cause for global health equity. This semester we've also had so many successful fundraisers on campus! From Dollar for a Donut to our Semi-Annual Gala, the Columbia community has consistently come out to support our fight against HIV/AIDS. We have also launched a new way to support the work GWED-G does to empower Ugandan women to become self-reliant agents of change through our new Etsy Page! On this page we are selling pop-tab bags handmade by local HIV-positive mothers in Northern Uganda. 100% of the proceeds go directly to these women to support their livelihood.

GWED-G has also had a very successful past few months. In November GWED-G has been working on a health awareness campaign across the multiple health centers with GlobeMed supporting GWED-G`s efforts by sending a short message of our own. Currently, GWED-G is compiling data on HIV beneficiary mothers that our project has reached across multiple parishes and particularly the data on healthy babies born to HIV positive mothers looks very promising. In the past year GWED-G has worked tirelessly to improve access to healthcare in many communities through integrated health activities, where people were encouraged to undergo testing to be aware of their status. These activities included counseling sessions, where the counsellors individually discussed the results with the patients. In fight for elimination of mother to child transmission the organization has been continually disseminating information on HIV prevention in the communities through strong collaboration with the district health center staff.

As you can see, both GWED-G and GlobeMed at Columbia finished 2015 strong! We are grateful for your support in 2015 and would like to celebrate the successes we have achieved together. However, we still have a long way to go until the people of Northern Uganda can fully exercise their right to health. We ask for your contribution to and continued support for GlobeMed at Columbia’s project. Feel free to visit our GlobalGiving page, Wordpress,Tumblr, and Facebook pages or follow us on Twitter.

Wishing you a very happy new year!

GlobeMed at Columbia

Oct 12, 2015

Exciting Updates and New Initiatives from GWED-G

GWED-G Beneficiaries
GWED-G Beneficiaries

Dear family, friends, and supporters,

We hope this message finds you well and enjoying the beginning of fall. We would like to thank you for all your support so far this year and hope that you continue supporting our cause in the future. With the beginning of a new academic year Globemed at Columbia has added around 15 new members to our chapter and strengthened ties between members who have already been with us. For this semester the chapter has many events planned including the bi-annual gala, the Hilltop conference, and many other events to help fundraise. We will end this calendar with an Individual Giving Campaign, where we hope to raise funds for our hard-working partner organization, GWED-G. We are thrilled to share some recent updates from GWED-G below.

Preventive activities conducted through sensitization campaigns and community level education are some of the most important aspects of the GWED-G and Globemed at Columbia partnership. These activities target families in 8 parishes of the Gulu district and include voluntary HIV counseling and testing, community sensitization programs and dialogue meetings with men that increase their knowledge on protection against HIV and their role in promoting maternal and child health.  In the past quarter 504 people were tested for HIV as a part of the voluntary HIV counseling and testing program, which aims to ensure easy accessibility of health services to communities, encourage people to know their HIV status, create strong relationships between health workers and communities to improve referral mechanism and follow up on clients with poor adherence to treatment.

In our fight to eliminate mother to child HIV transmission and the stigma of being HIV positive GWED-G has continued conducting sensitization sessions, where it disseminates appropriate information about HIV and reproductive health in the low resource communities. Recently, ante and postnatal care along with referrals for further medical attention were also incorporated into these sessions. GWED-G managed to reach out to over 640 people through their sensitization program. Additionally GWED-G has also conducted community dialogue meetings for men and women. In 4 interactive learning sessions pressing problems such as the high increase of GBV (gender based violence), which often correlates with HIV infection, were addressed. The topics discussed helped in addressing the causes of GBV in relation to HIV/AIDS within the communities. It also helped the communities understand that reporting cases of GBV is one of the ways in responding to and preventing GBV cases from happening in the future. 

In the last few months GWED-G has also added some new initiatives to the project including nutrition counselling and cervical cancer screening for women in adaptation to the needs of the communities it serves. Based on a malnutrition assessment done in the second quarter by trained VHTs, the results suggested a need for nutrition support in some families. As a result GWED-G conducted a dialogue session that educated mothers on the best choice of food for their growing children. In the course of this quarter, GWED–G also conducted cancer screenings resulting in a total of 207 women being screened. Due to this initiative one women was detected to show early signs of cervical cancer and was able to be referred for appropriate treatment and timely intervention.

The GWED-G and Globemed at Columbia partnership remains strong, but there is still a long way to go for the project, so we hope for your continuing support in making the people of Northern Uganda able to fully exercise their right to health. Visit our page at GlobalGiving and our Wordpress for more information about our project. To learn more about our experience in Uganda, please check out this grassroots change video we made for GWED-G and our GROW 2015 blog.

In solidarity,

Globemed at Columbia

 
   

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