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Save the children

Alison Donnelly on the aftermath of the floods in Pakistan

1 Feb, 11 | by BMJ Group

Save the Children logoWhenever I drive through the province of Sindh in southern Pakistan, I’m struck by the vast expanse of once-thriving farmland that now lies barren. Standing water from last year’s catastrophic floods has ensured there will be no harvest here  – in Pakistan’s agricultural heartland -  for some time to come.  Six months after the flooding began, many of the families who fled their villages are returning to their houses. But being away from their homes and livelihoods with limited access to food, clean water, and healthcare has caused an alarming number of children to become malnourished.  That is why I am here. more…

Abhay Bang on saving children’s lives

25 Jan, 11 | by BMJ Group

Abhay_BangIn 1945 my father had just been released from prison after taking part in India’s freedom movement and wanted to travel to the US to study economics. One week before he was due to leave he went to see Mahatma Gandhi and asked for his blessing. The old man looked at my father for a few seconds and then uttered just one sentence: “If you want to study economics go to the villages of India.” My father quietly left and tore up his travel documents and admission papers. Within a month he was living in a village in the same district. Forty years later when my wife Rani and I returned to India from the US as trained public health doctors, Mahatma’s words were still ringing in my ears: “Go to the villages of India” and that is exactly what we did. We selected a poor, remote district, Gadchiroli, for our life mission and named the small organisation we started “SEARCH.” We were literally searching for the path. more…

Greg Ramm: Living with dignity in Haiti’s earthquake camps

20 Jan, 11 | by BMJ

Save the Children logo
It was difficult to know exactly what to expect as I arrived in Haiti one year after the terrible earthquake. There had been so many reports – some of them contradictory – and I looked forward to seeing things for myself. Stepping off the aircraft and into the warm morning air of the capital city, Port-au-Prince, what struck me first was the vibrancy – the music, smells and general hum of Haitian urban life. more…

Simon Wright: Europe’s development days are not delivering

13 Dec, 10 | by BMJ

The European Development Days have become an annual tradition, organised by the European Commission and the governments of Europe, to showcase the way they are supporting developing countries. I attended the first one in 2006 but had not been back until this year. They have certainly grown in size, in profile and the status of speakers. Unfortunately, it would be hard to argue that Europe’s commitment to developing countries has grown at the same pace. more…

Barbara Bale: reaching sick children in remote rural areas in China

6 Dec, 10 | by BMJ Group

Barbara Bale We are here in a remote mountainous village in Yunnan to understand more about what happens when a baby or young child gets sick. We already know too many die from illnesses that could be prevented or easily treated. more…

Alice Fay: Living with HIV in the Democratic Republic of Congo

1 Dec, 10 | by BMJ Group

Alice FayI was in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) recently and met a young man, Jean Claude (not his real name), aged 17, who is living with HIV.

We are starting a new programme in the DRC about responding to HIV and I was very keen to have people living with HIV involved right from the beginning, so we invited some people, including Jean Claude, who are open about their HIV status to join us for our start-up workshop. It was very enriching for everyone to have them with us and to help us to understand much more about the realities of living with HIV and the implications it has on day to day life. more…

Simon Wright: How do we make health systems sexy?

22 Nov, 10 | by BMJ Group

Simon WrightThrough all the changing fashions in donor attention, Save the Children has always pointed out that building a functioning health system must be the basis of development work. Then it does not matter if a condition or a health threat facing a community is HIV, maternal mortality, malaria, (which have attention from donors) elephantiasis, chagas, or river blindness (which do not). more…

Sarah Jacobs on cholera in Haiti

19 Nov, 10 | by BMJ

Sarah JacobsI’ve never thought that much about water. I’m vaguely aware I should drink more of it. But that’s about it. Like most people who have the luxury, I take it entirely for granted.

In Haiti everybody is thinking about water. All the time. Water here has suddenly started killing people. And it’s everywhere. Bucketing down in evening storms, lying in wait in puddles and dripping from broken taps.

more…

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