Thursday, October 27, 2016

From 350,000 to 27!

Ireen Nyerinda (Sinkhani health worker in Malawi) greets mothers in Chisemphere who
have come to have their babies weighed and to receive information on
immunizations, nutrition, and other ways to benefit their children.
Health workers around the world are to be congratulated on a huge milestone!  The incidence of new polio cases has declined from 350,000 in 1988 (If you are older than 28 this was during your lifetime) to a low of 27 new cases in 2016.  Polio is almost extinct.

The United Nations, UNICEF and other large child advocate groups deserve a lot of credit for making this happen, but a huge high-five goes to the indefatigable volunteer health workers who have diligently worked to make immunizations acceptable to village women.  Myths, traditional beliefs, and erroneous information (plus the fact that some babies do run a slight fever and become fussy after an immunization) have made the health worker's jobs tough indeed.  But persevere they have and now the world is reaping the benefits.  We're marching rapidly toward zero!!! 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

KIT group

Jac and Sherri with some of Chipulukusu graduates
Isn't this a sharp looking group?  These are Chipulukusu graduates now in 8th or 9th grade.  They still come back and visit their teachers so we decided to officially name them the KIT (Keep in Touch) group!
The girls are graduates of the Girls Achievement Program (GAP) which recently shifted to Saturday meetings so the 'graduates' could join the ongoing GAP program. Sylvester, the young man in yellow, received a scholarship for highest academic achievement in 7th grade. There is now a total of 21 graduates on scholarships.  We're hoping 100% of them graduate from 12th grade.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Rai Village, Nepal


HealthEd Connect's volunteers recently trekked to visit Rai village in Nepal.  Rai was completely destroyed by the 2015 earthquake.  Because government aid has not reached these outlying villages, the members of this community are still residing in fragile temporary housing that cannot keep out the cold or the monsoon rains, leading to many health issues.   Our volunteers interviewed the villagers to determine their primary needs, and this information will be the basis for our future projects in Nepal. 

Pinkey Malla reports on the needs in this community:

 "The most need in community is toilets because there are 15 family who are living in temporary  house still in village and only three toilets are there.  In rain and in night there is very much difficult to go toilet and for children and sick persons also its hard. There is school near by but because of not have dress, school bag, copy books, pencil children are not going school."


Thursday, October 13, 2016


All of the soon-to-be health workers who attended the July training in Mwense, Zambia were assigned the task of conducting interviews before they came with mothers in their villages to determine the most pressing health needs.  The Wasaidizi (health workers) in DR Congo shared their results with the group.  It's sad any of these items made it onto the list but especially sobering that malnutrition was by far the biggest concern.

Here's the number of times a illness was named as the mother's #1 concern:

Malnutrition - 30
Diarrhea - 13
Vomiting and Diarrhea - 8
Malaria - 12
Coughing - 10
Measles - 10
Lack of Education - 10
Smallpox - 4 (Interesting since smallpox is now eradicated in the world)
Tuberculosis - 3

Household of 15


Four of our Kafwa, Joyce Ngosa, Joyce Songwe, Grace Mulubwa, and Loveness have "adopted" Maria as one of their clients.  Maria is HIV positive, has tuberculosis and suffers from chest pain.  She lives with her mother and two small children in a modest little mud-brick home that houses 15 people.  The Kafwa monitor her medicines and bring encouragement and hope to the whole family.  When clients like Maria need to go to the hospital and have no money for transportation, the Kafwa draw on their small HealthEd Connect budget (made possible by generous donors) to provide the emergency money needed.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Come on By!

Wish I could give you a personal tour of my school.  But since some of you can't come that far, why not take a look at some really cool pictures?  The HealthEd Connect team recently visited my school, the Zamtan Community School of Peace, and took lots of pictures.  My friends and I love showing off!  So come take a tour and see other pictures of me and my friends at and click on Photo Gallery at the top of the page.  I'll be looking for you!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

International Day of Girl Child

Am I Welcome??
Let's link arms to make sure the world
Welcomes all girls and helps them reach
their potential.

There are 1.1 billion girls today, and according to the United Nations, "their dreams and potential are often thwarted by discrimination, violence and lack of equal opportunities. There are glaring gaps in data and knowledge about the specific needs and challenges that girls face.  One such issue that is standing in the way of girls’ progress is child marriage. The data is daunting—one in three girls in developing countries (except China) get married before they turn 18. Girls who are child brides miss out on education, are more vulnerable to physical and sexual violence, and bear children before they are physically or emotionally prepared. The cycle of violence that begins in girlhood, carries over into womanhood and across generations."

HealthEd Connect is working to change these statistics and mentor girls into adulthood with educational opportunities, character-building role models, and skill sets that empower them.  We are thrilled at the progress we see happening in our 3 schools!  We join in celebrating the International Day of the Girl Child and in so doing pledge to help make the world a more welcoming and safe place for girls!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Heart strings

Kafwa visiting Movet

Movet's leg

Justin shuffling out to greet me
The Kasompe Kafwa have a heart for people with big needs.   The clients they visit weekly obviously appreciate the encouragement and care even if there is no cure.  Two of the clients we visited during our last visit were Movet, a young man who loves music and has suffered from elephantiasis for 16 years, and Justin a 68-year-old man who can barely walk, has few teeth left, and no one to care for him.  A definite candidate for a nursing facility if he lived in the U.S.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

World Teacher's Day

It takes exceptional teachers to inspire students to kneel
down on the playground and voluntarily do their homework before
leaving school for the day.  The pages may get a bit dusty,
but, hey, the information was ultimately intended for their brains!

Let's give a rousing cheer today for teachers the world over for World Teacher's Day!!  What would the world be like without these committed and influential people?  Good teachers make a lasting and indelible impact on the lives of the children they teach and the 21 HealthEd Connect teachers in Zambia are no exception.  Many countries, like Zambia, annually celebrate Teacher's Day with parades, speeches, and a day out of school.

Here are the inspirational teachers at Chipulukusu that have
created a Model School per USAID designation.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

A Journey to Healthcare in Nepal

​Meet adorable three-year-old Permish Gurung and his mother, who live in an outlying village in Nepal. Our Kathmandu Healthcare Worker, Pinkey Malla, tells us his story in her own charming way:

"This week I was so busy with 3 years child came from Gorkha. While he is playing suddenly he fell down and his hand broke. His father is out of Nepal for work. His mother carry him and brought child by 6 hours walking at small city hospital from village. In that she is very nervous.That city hospital  couldn't treat that child and child came to Kathmandu with her mother by whole day bus journey. It is an emergency case. Our volunteer from Gorkha Mr. Ramprasad called me and told me about her so me and Binod went to meet Mother and child and took them at hospital. Doctor did some test and they told that he need operation.  Hospital is very pack so his turn for operation is today so we all waited at hospital but Doctor again told  that in blood child 'Eosinophil " is high.  Normally in blood   ' Eosinophil ' is 6% to 8 % but Child has 16 % so in this case if we do operation then there is probability of death also. Mother is so crying."

Imagine this tired and worried mother's long journey into the noisy, chaotic big city, carrying a small child with a painful broken hand! How comforting to see Pinkey's kind smile and helping hands waiting at the hospital!  Family and friends play an important role in a hospital setting in Nepal because the hospital does not provide food or clean clothing for patients and they are dependent upon others to provide them.


We are happy to report that Permish was given some medicine for the blood disorder and was able to have a successful surgery on his hand!  He is healing nicely and is back at his play!!

Michelle Mahlik
Philosophy Department, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
BOD, HealthEd Connect (