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IMHO
In a world of rapid population growth and social and financial inequalities among different populations, the need for access to healthcare is ever-present. The International Medical Health Organization, or IMHO, seeks to maintain a world where health care is accessible to all.

Founded in 2004 as an international humanitarian organization, IMHO focuses on “developing and improving healthcare services and infrastructure in disadvantaged and needy regions worldwide.”

Health care professionals created the nonprofit in an effort to recognize the need for health care in impoverished communities. Specifically, the organization focuses on those affected by poverty, conflict or natural disasters. It places an emphasis on empowering communities to become proactive in their health and healthcare systems.

“We believe in the transformative power of education and the role this plays in improving the overall health and well being of people everywhere,” the organization says.

Through collaborations with local and international NGOs, IMHO focuses fundamentally on primary care and public health, education and training and capacity-building for those in need.

Despite being only 10 years old, IMHO maintains a record of success. The nonprofit assisted with the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, the Pakistan earthquake and Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Burmese cyclone Nargis in 2008. All three disasters displaced thousands of individuals and cost many lives.

As a part of one of over 180 NGOs of InterAction, the largest coalition of United States NGOs, IMHO is also a registered Private Voluntary Organization with the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Many developed countries continue to outspend developing nations substantially in healthcare expenditures. In fact, the U.S. notably sees billions of dollars spent on healthcare expenditures annually.

Since poverty is considered by many to be one of the underlying causes of inadequate healthcare, efforts by IMHO and other similar organizations will likely continue to be a sorely needed asset.

Ethan Safran

Sources: The International Medical Health Organization 1, The International Medical Health Organization 2, The International Medical Health Organization 3, Business Insider
Photos: Hoolauna

ugandaschools
One of the nonprofit leaders in global health education, Child Family Health International, announced it will extend its educational programs to Uganda, starting in 2014.

Since 1992, Child Family Health International  has worked at the grassroots level to promote global health by addressing community-specific needs. The program places health profession students along native community physicians in developing countries to better understand the reality of global health.  As of now, Child Family Health International has programs in Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, India, Mexico and South Africa. The organization is known for its approach of developing innovative ways to provide quality healthcare in impoverished, resource-poor communities.

Child Family Health International’s Executive Director, Dr. Jessica Evert, explained the unique nature of the program site in Uganda. “We are partnering with a self-identified ‘activated community’ that is working at the grassroots level to address multifaceted interactions between poverty, ill health, lack of education and the need for empowerment in sub-Saharan Africa.”  These programs in Uganda focus on nutrition, sustainable agriculture and HIV and women’s/children’s health.

A recent study of the organization’s impacts, featured in American Association of Medical College’s Journal of Academic Medicine, shows improvement in understanding of culture, public health, community medicine and the overall struggle in achieving global health. This small, yet unique, program, tackles the issue head on and through the efforts of education, gives aid to communities and people in need.

– Sonia Aviv 
Sources: All AfricaChild Family Health InternationalWorld Health Organization
Photo: Global Highered

Top 10 Global Health Blogs

Interested in global health? Check out this list of global health blogs!

1. http://blogs.plos.org/globalhealth/

PLOS Blogs covers a wide range of science and health topics but has a particular blog devoted to global health. Their Translational Global Health blog gathers knowledge and blogs from emerging knowledge leaders around the world. Most recently they highlighted the TEDMED 2013 conference. This blog is full of interesting information and is updated regularly which is why it took a spot on the top 10 list.

2. http://www.cgdev.org//globalhealth

The Center for Global Development has a blog specifically dedicated to Global Health Policy.  Writers post on issues related to global health policy and changes going on within that arena. The articles are relevant and contain solid, evidence-based research and topics.

3. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/en/

This is the media center for the World Health Organization. While not exactly a blog in the truest sense of the word, the media center offers news, events, features, stories, and resources on world health. It is comprehensive and contains a wealth of knowledge on global health which is why it made the list.

4. http://blogs.cdc.gov/global/

The official CDC blog contains all things related to global health.  The blog has a nice list of categories on the side and provides interesting and relevant information for the public relating to global health.  The CDC blog is a well-rounded source of global health information and resources.

5. http://capsules.kaiserhealthnews.org/

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation is another excellent resource for world health.  They work through advocacy and policy to help change global health.  Within their health news section, they have a blog with short posts on news and events in both national and global health.

6. http://ghcorps.org/fellows/blog/

The Global Health Corps works with activists and leaders under the common vision that health is a human right. Fellows in the program work all over the world in various global health fields and blog about their experiences. The blog provides both information and a personal component highlighting the experience of the fellows as they work in global healthcare.

7. http://www.publichealthnewswire.org/

The American Public Health Association blog was chosen for its focus on advocacy and change. While the focus on global health is small, the organization has some great tips on advocating for change and activities one can do to get involved in advocacy and policy change.

8. http://www.unfoundation.org/blog/

The United Nations Foundation plays a significant role in global health. From eradicating polio to providing mosquito nets, the UN works hard in the arena of global health.  The blog is not especially focused on global health but covers an array of UN topics.  It can be narrowed down to global health topics and is a great resource for global development in general.

9. http://globalhealtheducation.org/SitePages/Home.aspx

The Global Health Education Consortium made the list because of the extensive list of resources available to educators.  The resources tab under the home pages has units, PowerPoint presentations, and handouts on global health geared towards the classroom.  It is a great place to get students started in advocacy and awareness of global health issues and ways to get involved in global action.

10. http://www.ghi.gov/

Closing out the Top 10 list is the U.S. Global Health Initiative blog.  The GHI works to engage in global health through strategic engagement with foreign countries. Sustainability is key in the programs the GHI funds as well as the overall impact on global health. The blog provides updates on key programs and initiatives as well as news relating to global health.

– Amanda Kloeppel
Photo: Twitter