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Malaria Epidemic in Indonesia Women Fight
Global organizations have made significant strides in fighting the malaria epidemic in Indonesia by focusing on the health and welfare of pregnant women and children.

In an article published by IRIN, William Hawley, a malaria expert with the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF), highlighted the importance of malaria treatment and prevention against the disease.

“Pregnant women and children are especially vulnerable to malaria, and modern malaria diagnosis and prevention can be delivered via existing maternal health and immunization services in a symbiotic way,” Hawley said.

World health organizations such as UNICEF have been working closely with Indonesian government agencies and world health programs to provide free and affordable care to women and children in the region.

“The malaria program, the antenatal care program, and the expanded program on immunization all benefit, but most important — women and kids benefit,” Hawley said.

According to the article by IRIN, nurses and midwives have been helping pregnant women and infants fight malaria by providing diagnosis, treatment and information regarding the disease. In response, more women have been provided antenatal care and more children have been immunized against malaria.

The Harsh Effects of the Malaria Epidemic in Indonesia

Malaria is a disease spread by mosquitoes causing symptoms including fever, exhaustion, vomiting, and headaches. Severe cases generally include yellowing of the skin, seizures, coma, or, in the most extreme instances, death.

The disease can be more dangerous to pregnant women and infants causing stillbirths, low birth weight, abortion and infant mortality. Malaria can also cause severe respiratory problems in both adults and children.

According to a report published by the World Health Organization (WHO), out of a population of close to 260 million, 190 million people were reportedly malaria free in 2015. This comes after a significant number of cases were reported between 2009 and 2012.

With the help of finances provided by the Global Fund, WHO, and UNICEF, residents of Indonesia have access to preventative measures against the disease in the form of mosquito nets, insect repellents, and insecticides. Residents are also taught the importance of mosquito control measures such as draining water to prevent reproduction.

According to a report by the CDC, with funding from UNICEF, USAID, the Gates Foundation and the Ministry of Health (MOH), many preventative programs have been integrated into immunization and prenatal care programs in five provinces in eastern Indonesia.

These organizations hope to expand to all areas where the disease continuously occurs to help fight the malaria epidemic in Indonesia.

Drew Hazzard

Photo: Flickr

Charities That Fight Poverty
The Borgen Project’s quest to end extreme poverty is shared by countless people and organizations. A truly overwhelming number of non-profits are working to end poverty, and it can be hard to know where you should donate money. Here’s a list of 10 charities that fight poverty that all received 4-star overall ratings from Charity Navigator, a well-known charity watchdog organization.

 

Top Charities that Fight Poverty

 

1) K.I.D.S. (Kids in Distressed Situations): This large organization improves the lives of children living in poverty around the world. They provide new clothes, toys, books, and other products, as well as shelter and medical care. They’re also extremely well-run, spending 99.5% of their budget on programs, rather than fundraising or administrative overhead.

2) Concern Worldwide US: This non-governmental organization has been working towards the elimination of extreme poverty since its founding in 1968. Work, including emergency response and long-term development, is mostly focused on countries ranked in the bottom 40 according to the UN Human Development Report.

3) International Rescue Committee: This enormous organization directed over $350 million to those in need in 2011. They provide emergency aid in 42 countries, aiming to permanently improve life for victims of violence and oppression.

4) SIGN Fracture Care International: This non-profit works to provide orthopedic treatment to trauma victims in the developing world by training and equipping local surgeons. Proper treatment minimizes the financial burden placed on trauma victims and their families, giving them hope and fiscal security.

5) InterAction: This is a coalition of U.S. based NGOs that are aiming to eliminate poverty on an international scale. The partnerships allow each individual organization to multiply its impact by providing important connections, insight, and capital.

6) International Child Care: The Christian health development organization is working to alleviate many of the causes of poverty in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. By providing vital medical care for children and their families, ICC allows them to lead happier, healthier lives in less danger of falling into poverty.

7) Fistula Foundation: This organization funds the treatment of obstetric fistulas in the developing world. Obstetric fistulas occur when labor is obstructed during childbirth. They leave women incontinent, which can ruin her life. Her husband, family, and community often abandon her because of her smell. This injury is common when women give birth at home without access to trained medical help, and can be fixed with $450 surgery.

8) VillageReach: Since 2000, this organization has worked to improve the developing world’s access to healthcare by partnering with businesses, governments, nonprofits, and other organizations. They aim to strengthen local infrastructure in underserved rural areas, and facilitate the delivery of medical supplies. This effort specifically helps fight rural poverty by allowing remote communities to lead better, more fruitful lives.

9) Action Against Hunger (ACF-USA): This organization’s efforts are primarily aimed at ending global hunger. Their work saves lives by fighting malnutrition, especially in times of crisis or conflict. Programs are integrated with local and national systems to ensure long-term solutions that tackle the underlying causes of malnutrition.

10) Life In Abundance: This interdenominational Christian organization aspires to empower the local Church to end poverty in Africa’s developing areas. Their programs aim to create holistic community improvement by focusing on health, financial security, education, and social participation. By encouraging and enabling local Church leadership, long-term transformation is achieved and African families rise out of poverty.

– Katie Fullerton

Sources: Charity Navigator, Life in Abundance

Myanmar Leader Takes Steps to Fight Poverty
The history of Myanmar is one that allowed poverty to thrive and its people to suffer. However, in the past two years, the newly elected democratic government has been taking strides to lift the country from the depths of poverty and destruction to which it had sunk. President Thein Sein made a commitment Sunday to fight poverty and rebuild Myanmar’s economy.

Myanmar has ample water resources, an efficient labor force, an advantageous climate, and abundant natural resources which make economic development a natural reality. President Sein acknowledged this foundation in his speech in Yangon, the former capital of Myanmar. He also acknowledged that Myanmar is one of the poorest among the LDC’s (least developed countries). It is going to take hard work, coordinated efforts, and top priorities to lift Myanmar out of poverty.

Poverty alleviation is a priority with the new government. Myanmar was at one time a country full of hope and economic prospects. It was a bright light in Southeast Asia prior to the years of military control that caused Myanmar to fall far behind its neighbors. According to the Asian Development Bank, a quarter of the population of Myanmar lives below the nation’s poverty line.

The plan to alleviate poverty launched by President Sein’s government includes micro-finance loans as a tool to help rid the nation of poverty. Those loans worth several million dollars will be given to households and workers who can utilize the loans to lift themselves out of poverty.  It is a step in the right direction and a glimmer of hope in a nation that has been dark for so long.

– Amanda Kloeppel
Source: Channel News Asia