Health Initiatives

Sierra Leone has some of the highest maternal and infant mortality rates in the world, with 1 in 8 women perishing in childbirth. SHGO’s partner community in Guatemala does not even have one healthcare professional in its midst. In Haiti, there linger health issues from the 2010 earthquake with nowhere to turn for proper care. 

Although health is a basic human right, many in low-resource settings suffer a burden of preventable ailments and lack adequate health services due to issues of affordability; access; medical facilities, materials and providers; and cultural barriers. Through international partnerships for health and healthcare, SHGO advocates for ‘healthcare for all’ through supporting clinics, healthcare providers, training and outreach, education and community promotion.

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Promote Healthcare

In seven rural communities outside Tema, Ghana, there are no healthcare facilities or providers. When medical care is needed, it is simply not accessible. For dire emergencies, community members must travel long distances by foot or boat to the nearest health facility, located many miles away – that is, if they can afford the trip. Simply put, healthcare is effectively absent in these remote villages; and yet, medical and public health issues are ever-present as community members struggle to survive and thrive in these low-resource settings.

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Fight Maternal Mortality Rates

All over the world, women risk their lives in childbirth. All over the world, children don’t survive to reach age 5. The sad truth is: most maternal and infant deaths and other pregnancy complications are preventable. However, myriad barriers to accessing primary, preventative, and skilled birthing healthcare exist in low resource settings – from lack of access due to seasonal challenges and lack of transportation infrastructure, to inability to pay even nominal medical bills, or various socio-cultural barriers.

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Shipping Essential Medical and Health Supplies

From an unassuming warehouse based in Massachusetts, USA, medical shipments are sent across the world to communities in need of basic health and medical supplies. Inside the 40 ft-long containers lie full medical ‘suites’ on shipping palettes, containing everything needed for a given exam room, clinic administrative office, surgical room, or other clinical space – from exam tables to gauze, rubber gloves to waste baskets. The International Medical Equipment Collaborative (IMEC), in partnership with SHGO, hopes to supply comprehensive medical materials to health facilities around the world, putting tools in the hands of international providers just waiting for the right supplies to deliver the essential healthcare so desperately needed in global communities.

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Rural Nutrition and Feeding Center

Malnutrition, specifically in infants and pregnant mothers, is epidemic in Sierra Leone. Despite the fact that tropical and infectious diseases persist, and healthcare services face serious challenges, malnutrition remains the most troubling and prominent health issue in the Bo region. The solution is simple, and 2-part: (1) Educate families about feeding and nutrition to promote good health and balanced nourishment; and (2) Provide emergency nutritional relief and treatment for those suffering or at-risk with malnutrition.

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Rural Health Promotion Training Program

For the first time, in May 2012, 40 community members gathered on the Rural Health and Education Campus of Bandawa, Sierra Leone for a 12-day workshop at the local health clinic. Participants trained under professionals from nearby Njala University and Zion Ministries’ healthcare clinicians to build their own capacity to promote health information within their communities; the training emphasized basic public health for rural community settings, such as sanitation, water, maternal and infant health, and hygiene. Throughout the training course, budding health promoters collaborated and learned together, with the aim to ensure a spiritually, socially, mentally and physically well-balanced life for those in their remote rural communities.

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Slum School Clinic for Girls

In the slums of Bangladesh, adolescent girls face further challenges than widespread poverty and lack of social support services. The specific needs and obstacles of girls in Bangladesh are closely tied with issues of gender bias, sexual violence, prostitution, pregnancy and women’s health, and more. RUSTIC, in partnership with SHGO, is working towards the opening of a Slum School and Vocational Center for Girls to serve brave adolescent girls as they strive to break damaging cycles of poverty and subordination with education and skill-training. And yet, health must be an essential piece of this puzzle, to ensure that as female students nurture their skills and intellect, healthcare is also provided to support a framework for basic human rights and enhanced capacity.

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Mobile Clinic Outreach

In seven rural communities outside Tema, Ghana, there are no healthcare facilities or providers. When medical care is needed, it is simply not accessible. For dire emergencies, community members must travel long distances by foot or boat to the nearest health facility, located many miles away – that is, if they can afford the trip. Simply put, healthcare is effectively absent in these remote villages; and yet, medical and public health issues are ever-present as community members struggle to survive and thrive in these low-resource settings.

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Rural Maternal and Child Health Clinic

In Sierra Leone, 1 in 8 women die during childbirth, and 1 in 10 children die before the age of 5 (World Fact Book, CIA; 2010). In rural areas, these statistics are even more severe than national averages. Maternal and child health in rural Sierra Leone is truly in crisis. To combat these startling statistics, SHGO and Zion Ministries operate a Maternal-Child Health Clinic on a comprehensive campus in the rural area of Bandawa, serving a catchment area of 17 villages of over 10,000 individuals in need of care. The clinic facilitates access to care in remote rural regions, while offering healthcare free of charge – recognizing health as a basic human right worldwide.

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Healthcare for Today, Tomorrow, and a Lifetime

The community of Fonfrede, Les Cayes is a remote rural area in the south of Haiti. In a nation mired in poverty and the threat of natural disaster, healthcare is expensive and inaccessible. Basic needs such as sanitation, education, literacy and hygiene are often left unmet. With this, preventable and treatable health issues persist – such illnesses as malnutrition, malaria, TB, cholera, and more.

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Sponsor a Global Healthcare Provider

As the familiar adage goes, “If you don’t have your health, then you don’t have anything.” And yet, despite modern advances and medical technology, children and adults around the world continue to lack access to quality health services. From hardships such as lack of transportation and infrastructure, to socio-economic barriers related to gender, culture, religion and more, to the simple inability to access a health facility due to lack of access or funds – the globe’s most vulnerable populations, typically poor women and children, find healthcare just out of reach.

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