Health and Hope

Uploaded by globalhealthcatalyst on 02.03.2010

Every life matters, and every human being deserves to be healthy enough to go to school.
Every human being deserves to earn a living, to raise a family, and to look to the future
with hope. PATH’s vision is a world where innovation puts health within reach for everyone,
no matter where they live. And PATH puts this vision into practice every day, focusing the
power of human ingenuity on enormous challenges: AIDS, TB, malaria, and more. Diseases that
sicken and kill millions needlessly. Our innovations, smart health technologies,
better health systems, and ways to encourage healthier choices are improving lives all
around the world. At Kiambu District Hospital in Kenya, Nurse
Gladys Wombu treats a steady stream of tiny patients. For years, she and her fellow health
workers struggled to get life saving medicines all the way from modern factories in Europe
to the most remote clinics in the poorest regions, keeping them cold the entire way
to protect their potency. But now she depends on a product developed
by PATH and a company called Temptime, a sticker that turns color if the medicine gets too
warm and spoils. The stickers are so important that UNICEF
requires them on every vaccine it delivers. And so today PATH touched the lives of baby
Alex, baby Samuel, baby Moriah, and many more, giving them a healthy start.
For so long in Cambodia, children fell desperately ill and often perished from polio and diphtheria
and other diseases we never suffer in the US because we’re immunized against them.
But now PATH’s partnership with the Cambodian government is making sure more babies like
three-month-old Tawarius get the same protection as our own children.
PATH saw the problems that made immunizations so tough for people to get and developed ways
for Cambodia to solve them. The results are stunning. In just five years, the number of
Cambodian children fully immunized against childhood diseases jumped by nearly 75 percent.
And infant deaths, they fell by 40 percent. Sometimes, innovation is needed within a health
system in planning, procurement, distribution. But progress is always measured one life at
a time. And success looks just like this. In Western Kenya it is a tragic truth: coffin
making is a booming business. AIDS ravages families and creates more orphans every day.
In some places, unimaginable poverty forces women to sell their bodies for food and risk
HIV infection every time. HIV exists very much linked to sexuality and,
um, in our communities it’s like it’s a sensitive topic. It’s immoral. It’s
a taboo to talk about that culturally. So PATH pioneers ways to ease the taboo and
to start conversations that can save lives. In PATH’s magnet theater, dedicated, local
volunteers act out common dilemmas about relationships and about sex, AIDS, and making better choices.
The drama really starts when the actors stop. They ask the audience, “What should happen
next? What should this woman do? This man?” The community chimes in. It’s a lively debate
about making the healthiest choices. Even choices that challenge them; that challenge
the whole community. Nelson Sakwa first saw magnet theater back
in 2002. But magnet theater made him think.
Finally awakened to the risk to himself and his wife, Nelson went for testing. What a
relief to find out he was HIV negative. Since then, Nelson opened his own restaurant.
He is faithful to his wife. He even hands out PATH booklets to customers and neighbors;
booklets that tell them about how to prevent HIV. Nelson is a changed man.
This program has opened our eyes and we now have PATH. PATH is bringing us hope that we
can be able to solve our own situation in our own community.
This is PATH, giving families and communities powerful tools to solve their own problems,
smart technologies, better health systems, healthier choices. With women’s groups,
at truck stops, in classrooms, with church groups, PATH stands with those facing the
most dire health challenges, in places where the need is greatest. Advances in health belong
to all of humanity, to these children as surely as our own.
Through PATH you can touch lives, and together we can shape a world where good health is
within reach for everyone. That’s why we ask you to join us at PATH, because every
life matters.