Battling Neglected Tropical Diseases through Research: HPC Fellow, The Task Force for Global Health

Henry Emisiko is a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow working with The Task Force for Global Health. At The Task Force for Global Health, Henry researched River Blindness, a Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD). As part of the team, he oversaw sample management, specimen handling, data management, routine laboratory management, and actively participating in running the ELISA and RDT tests. In his blog, Henry reflects upon his time at The Task Force for Global Health.

Battling Neglected Tropical Diseases through Research
By Henry Emisiko

Becoming a Research scientist is a goal I have passionately nurtured over time. When I applied for the Hilton Prize Coalition fellowship I was full of anticipation and excited to realize this dream. As a graduate in the diverse field of research science, rising to such a platform to work with the Task Force for Global Health thrilled me not only by giving me a chance to apply my knowledge in this field but also by giving me a chance diversify my expertise.

Onchocerciasis, commonly known as river blindness, is a Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) and the second leading cause of blindness worldwide affecting 25 million people, 0.8 million of whom are visually impaired. Onchocerciasis control programs (OCP), which were founded in the year 1974, have seen the elimination of this disease as a public health problem and aim to break transmission through vector control and mass drug administration treatment. Despite a commendable reduction in the number cases, most sub-Saharan African countries are still endemic for Onchocerciasis. The struggle out of this predicament cannot be ignored given the physical and psychological trauma among infected persons not to mention the negative economic and social impacts within the affected populations.

I was enrolled to work with the Task Force for Global Health in partnership with the Kenya Medical Research Institute laboratory team spearheading the Onchocerciasis mapping in selected African countries, including Kenya, Malawi, and Burundi among others as part of monitoring and evaluation of the disease. My fellowship was preceded by a laboratory training for testing techniques by facilitators from the Centre for Disease Control (CDC).

We applied the OV 16 Antigen Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (OV 16 ELISA) and the Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) when running Dry Blood Spots (DBS) samples from various countries. These tests detect the circulating IGg4 antibodies, which are specific to the recombinant antigen of 16kDa from Onchocerca volvulus, the parasite which causes Onchocerciasis.

As part of the team, I was tasked with sample management, specimen handling and logging, data management, routine laboratory management, and actively participating in running the ELISA and RDT tests for the numerous samples involved. With such a supporting team, I was acquainted with advanced laboratory skills and nurtured the spirit of coordination, team work, accountability, and resilience given the magnitude of the work involved.

Through the fellowship, I was able to develop at both a personal and career level by gaining hands-on experience with scientific work attributed to researching and career profiling. The PMD Pro training and financial management equipped me with focal skills to handle research projects and humanitarian work. They also extended my knowledge and understanding of navigating other related life settings.

Even as I conclude my fellowship, I am humbled to be part of the efforts in fighting NTDs and determined to continue working with the various partners in ensuring the objectives of these projects are met and help secure the African continent from Onchocerciasis and other Neglected Tropical Diseases. Collectively, the last mile of NTDs eradication can be achieved!

In a nutshell, I sincerely wish to thank the Hilton Prize Coalition and The Task Force for Global Health for giving me a chance to work in research as well as for giving me support and mentorship.

(Photos courtesy of the Task Force for Global Health)

About The Hilton Prize Coalition

The  Hilton Prize Coalition  is an independent alliance of the 23 winners of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, working together to achieve collective impact. Through three signature programs—the  Fellows Program, the  Collaborative Models Program  and the  Storytelling Program—the Coalition leverages the resources, talents and expertise of each of its members to innovate and establish best practices that can be shared with the global NGO and donor communities. Working in more than 170 countries, the Coalition is governed by a board comprised of the leaders of the Prize-winning organizations led by an Executive Committee and a Secretariat,  Global Impact.

To learn more about the Hilton Prize Coalition, visit  prizecoalition.charity.org, or contact  prizecoalition@charity.org. Follow  the Hilton Prize Coalition on  Twitter and  LinkedIn, and “Like” us on Facebook.

Update on the Hilton Prize Coalition Humanitarian Wellbeing Project

In the spring of 2018, The Task Force for Global Health and Heifer International were awarded a Collaborative Models grant from the Hilton Prize Coalition for their Humanitarian Wellbeing Project. This project had its origins in the recognition that the stresses inherent in humanitarian work in settings of human deprivation, suffering, and trauma can lead to burnout, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Such experiences can negatively impact employee wellbeing, and in turn, limit the effectiveness of humanitarian organizations.

Humanitarian Wellbeing Project
By: Dr. David Addiss and Dr. Deirdre Guthrie

To better understand these stresses, inventory current practices to address them, and identify opportunities for Hilton Prize Coalition members to improve employee resilience and psychological health, The Task Force for Global Health and Heifer International collaborated with anthropologist Deirdre Guthrie, PhD, at the Keough School of International Affairs, University of Notre Dame. Eleven Hilton Prize Coalition member organizations accepted the invitation to participate: Aravind Eye Care System, ECPAT International, Heifer, icddr,b, IRCT, Operation Smile, Partners in Health, PATH, The Task Force for Global Health, Tostan, and Women for Women International.

This project included interviews with CEOs, Human Resource leaders, and front-line staff members. These interviews, along with organizational responses to an online survey,  assessed policies and practices that support organizational and employee wellbeing, as well as perceived challenges to wellbeing.

Although not statistically representative in terms of our sample, initial interview and survey findings reveal several patterns that are consistent with the literature on burnout. Initial findings suggest that across Hilton Prize Laureate organizations stress is ubiquitous, burnout is not uncommon, and resources for wellbeing are inadequate. These stresses differ depending on whether the organization is primarily engaged in medical missions, community empowerment, research, or providing psychosocial support. In particular, gender impacts staff experiences of personal safety, burnout and other work-related stressors. For example, women report concerns related to safety and security of travel, as well as challenges related to competing responsibilities of work, family, and community. Additional challenges relate to the office contexts of many humanitarian organizations, including tensions related to real and/or perceived differences in compensation and opportunities available to local and international staff. Employees report a strong sense of calling and commitment, which provides a sense of meaning and purpose and may be essential for this kind of work. However, the high degree of self-identification with work also makes it difficult for staff to adequately attend to their own needs for personal and relational wellbeing. Participants reported inadequate self-care, even when organizational leaders care deeply about employee wellbeing.

Reflecting on the Collaborative Models grant, Dave Ross, CEO and President of The Task Force for Global Health, remarked, “the Collaborative Models grant provided us an excellent opportunity learn more about the common challenges that we face as Hilton Prize Laureates, as well as how, collectively, we are addressing these challenges. By making challenges to employee wellbeing more visible and sharing information about current practices with the Hilton Prize Coalition, the project aims to provide Coalition members with information to strengthen and improve their organizations’ employee wellness initiatives.”

Dr. Guthrie and colleagues at The Task Force for Global Health and Heifer International are working on the final report, which they expect to complete in early 2019.

(Photos courtesy of The Task Force for Global Health)

About The Hilton Prize Coalition

The  Hilton Prize Coalition  is an independent alliance of the 23 winners of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, working together to achieve collective impact. Through three signature programs—the  Fellows Program, the  Collaborative Models Program  and the  Storytelling Program—the Coalition leverages the resources, talents and expertise of each of its members to innovate and establish best practices that can be shared with the global NGO and donor communities. Working in more than 170 countries, the Coalition is governed by a board comprised of the leaders of the Prize-winning organizations led by an Executive Committee and a Secretariat,  Global Impact.

To learn more about the Hilton Prize Coalition, visit  prizecoalition.charity.org, or contact  prizecoalition@charity.org. Follow  the Hilton Prize Coalition on  Twitter and  LinkedIn, and “Like” us on Facebook.

Human Trafficking Awareness Day: ECPAT Fellows Make a Difference

January 11 is Human Trafficking Awareness Day, a day of raising awareness to combat trafficking. Human trafficking is a crime in which force, fraud, or coercion are used to compel a person to perform labor, services, or sex. And it affects all populations, including children.

For Human Trafficking Awareness Day, we recognize all that ECPAT International has done to combat the trafficking of children for sexual purposes. Hilton Prize Coalition member ECPAT International is a worldwide network of organizations with one common goal: to end the sexual exploitation of children. ECPAT works at all levels, from supporting shelters for survivors to influencing Heads of States and conducting cutting-edge research on the issue.

To further ECPAT’s mission, the Hilton Prize Coalition has provided resources to staff six Fellows placements at ECPAT International since 2015. Here are the Fellows who have made an impact at ECPAT and beyond through their Country Reports on legal procedures related to trafficking children.

Learn more about the Hilton Prize Coalition Fellows Program and all our Fellows do.

Fellow Snapshots

Chloe Baury

Research: National laws related to the sexual exploitation of children

Geographic Focus: Cambodia and Mauritania

Biggest lesson at ECPAT? The sexual exploitation of children happens everywhere, and can take many forms: sex tourism, pornography, trafficking, child marriage, prostitution. Children—girls and boys—are at risk in low, middle or high-income countries. No child is immune, and no country is untouched.

Kevin Ryu

Research: Preventive measures and cooperation mechanisms

Geographic Focus: Japan and South Korea

Biggest lesson at ECPAT? It is not only children in vulnerable situations or from developing countries who are targeted, but that every child in the world has the potential to be sexually exploited.

Adaiana Lima

Research: Child protection laws and policies

Geographic Focus: Europe and Asia

Biggest lesson at ECPAT? Unparalleled access to best practices.

James Eckford

Research Interest: Economic Inequality

Biggest lesson at ECPAT? The elements of working in an NGO: the constant struggle for funding, diplomacy with governments, collaboration with other NGOs, engagement with the public, and project management.

Daniela Muenzel

Scope: Communications; World Tourism Day campaign

Geographic Focus: Global, 104 worldwide member organizations aim to end child trafficking globally

Biggest lesson at ECPAT? It is crucial to take active approaches such as providing information in an accessible way, without technical jargon, and to give people something they can actually do something with to support the cause, instead of numbers that might shock them for a moment before they move on with their lives.

Sunethra Sathyanarayanan

Research: Ethical principles of research on sexual exploitation of children

Geographic Focus: Bosnai, Herzegovina, Iraq

Biggest lesson at ECPAT? Learning from teams in the field.

About The Hilton Prize Coalition

The  Hilton Prize Coalition  is an independent alliance of the 23 winners of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, working together to achieve collective impact. Through three signature programs—the  Fellows Program, the  Collaborative Models Program  and the  Storytelling Program—the Coalition leverages the resources, talents and expertise of each of its members to innovate and establish best practices that can be shared with the global NGO and donor communities. Working in more than 170 countries, the Coalition is governed by a board comprised of the leaders of the Prize-winning organizations led by an Executive Committee and a Secretariat,  Global Impact.

To learn more about the Hilton Prize Coalition, visit  prizecoalition.charity.org, or contact  prizecoalition@charity.org. Follow  the Hilton Prize Coalition on  Twitter and  LinkedIn, and “Like” us on Facebook.

 

Collaborative Models: Training Surgeons in Rwanda

Together, Operation Smile and Partners in Health were able to build surgical capacity by providing training for general and plastic surgery residents for a selected cohort of trainees. Addressing the lack of reconstructive plastic surgeons in Rwanda, Operation Smile, in conjunction with the University of Rwanda, formalized a three-week surgical rotation template, identified target trainees, and began putting curriculum in place for plastic surgery residents, general surgery residents, anesthesia residents, nurses and hospital staff.

Training Surgeons in Rwanda
By: Andrew Karima, Operation Smile Rwanda Coordinator

Despite a large NGO presence and many interventions, Rwanda still faces a huge problem: Within the country’s population of 12 million people, there are only two reconstructive plastic surgeons and 18 anesthesiologists. Many Rwandan citizens suffer from trauma and burns that require surgical intervention, but there are simply not enough surgeons to help.

Drawing on a history of medical missions and surgical programming in Rwanda that dates back to 2010, Operation Smile recognized that the country’s surgical needs extended far beyond cleft conditions. Operation Smile thus revitalized its relationship with the University of Rwanda to begin hosting new surgical training rotations in October 2015 with the goal of closing gaps in the national health care system related to cleft care and plastic surgery.

Most health care professionals in Rwanda are concentrated around Kigali, the capital city of this very densely populated nation. However, once Operation Smile volunteers began working at Rwinkwavu District Hospital with Partners in Health/Inshuti Mu Buzima in the region, an opportunity emerged for Operation Smile to support targeted surgical training at that site. The effort started informally with small teams of volunteers in anesthesia and nursing both at Rwinkwavu District Hospital and Butaro Hospital in Rwanda’s northern region before focusing on surgical training. The partnership grew, especially as both Partners in Health/Inshuti Mu Buzima and Operation Smile realized that they could treat, successfully and effectively, the backlog of cleft patients in Rwanda while impacting the surgical capacity for an entire country.

The idea of a formalized surgical training rotation then took hold after a chance meeting with Rwanda’s Minister of Health. The Minister questioned the sustainability of such surgical training. After an explanation of existing partnerships and program strategy, the Ministry of Health signed on as a partner with Partners in Health/Inshuti Mu Buzima at Rwinkwavu Hospital, with Operation Smile as the designated training organization. In conjunction with the University of Rwanda, Operation Smile formalized a three-week surgical rotation template, identified target trainees, and began putting curriculum in place for plastic surgery residents, general surgery residents, anesthesia residents, nurses and hospital staff.

Most recently, Operation Smile conducted a three-week surgical training rotation with Hilton Prize Laureate Partners in Health at the Rwinkravu Hospital in October 2018. Together, Operation Smile and Partners in Health were able to build surgical capacity by providing training for general and plastic surgery residents for a selected cohort of trainees. Partners in Health/Inshuti Mu Buzima contributed expertise and resources throughout planning and execution of the rotation that included identifying and mobilizing patients, transporting patients and medical team volunteers, clearing medical cargo through customs, providing food for the team and lending logistic support. Our trainees and Operation Smile volunteers were able to treat 73 patients, with procedures ranging from burn contractures and critical wounds to tumor excisions and cleft surgeries.

Under the leadership of Partners in Health/Inshuti Mu Buzima former Medical Director, Dr. Alex Coutinho, and now with the current leadership of Dr. Joel Mubiligi, Operation Smile credits its significant impact in Rwanda to the positive and growing contributions of resources deployed by Partners in Health/Inshuti Mu Buzima.

Operation Smile fills system gaps with specialized training and additional programming that includes Wound Care workshops; nutritional counseling and treatment of malnourishment with Ready-to-Use-Therapeutic nutritional food supplementation; American Heart Association (AHA) life support training courses and ongoing equipment and biomedical training for hospital staff.

Operation Smile’s previous Regional Program Manager for East Africa, Roy Kariuki, says, “In 2015, Rwanda was a beautiful country, filled with hope and promise of a sustainable health care system for her people, but was staggering under a huge population who could only access two plastic surgeons in the entire country. Through sheer drive, hard work, and the resiliency of amazing partnerships, we can now proudly say Operation Smile Rwanda has launched the country’s first ever plastic surgery program. I am so proud to have been part of the Operation Smile team that led the charge in making this a reality.”

The training of Rwandan anesthesiologists is led by Dr. Paulin Banguti, who completed much of his medical training in the Democratic Republic of Congo before returning to Rwanda in 2004 to make an impact on the nation’s health care system. “If we can train 60 active anesthesiologists by 2024,” he says, “we’ll see if we can get to 100 or 120 anesthesiologists by 2030 — then we will be closer to the goal.” As noted by all involved, the goal is for Rwanda to produce enough doctors and trained health care professionals to meet the nation’s surgical needs.

Operation Smile continues to stand with the World Health Organization in recognizing access to safe and effective surgical care as a fundamental right for all people. While approximately one third of medical illnesses are surgically treatable, and as many as 5 billion people lack access to safe, effective, and timely surgery. Operation Smile remains committed to working with its partners, and especially the Hilton Prize Coalition, to meet this surgical gap, particularly for low-and middle-income countries.

(Photos courtesy of Operation Smile)

About The Hilton Prize Coalition

The  Hilton Prize Coalition  is an independent alliance of the 23 winners of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, working together to achieve collective impact. Through three signature programs—the  Fellows Program, the  Collaborative Models Program  and the  Storytelling Program—the Coalition leverages the resources, talents and expertise of each of its members to innovate and establish best practices that can be shared with the global NGO and donor communities. Working in more than 170 countries, the Coalition is governed by a board comprised of the leaders of the Prize-winning organizations led by an Executive Committee and a Secretariat,  Global Impact.

To learn more about the Hilton Prize Coalition, visit  prizecoalition.charity.org, or contact  prizecoalition@charity.org. Follow  the Hilton Prize Coalition on  Twitter and  LinkedIn, and “Like” us on Facebook.

2018: A Year of Impact

2018 was an impactful year for the Hilton Prize Coalition. With five Collaborative Models Programs and 32 Fellows placements, Hilton Prize Coalition members led humanitarian programming in 15 countries, ranging from  Myanmar and Liberia to Thailand and Guatemala. A snapshot of the Coalition’s year illustrates how collaboration and investing in the next generation of humanitarian leaders yields more dynamic results. This year, Coalition members went farther, together.

Fellows Program

The Hilton Prize Coalition Fellows Program seeks to develop a robust pipeline of leaders who value collaboration in humanitarian work and understand its importance to increasing effectiveness throughout the sector. Through mentorships and placements across the globe, Hilton Prize Coalition Fellows work alongside one or more Coalition member organizations, developing concrete subject matter expertise as well as soft leadership skills under the guidance of some of the most prestigious NGOs in the world.

This year 17 Coalition members hosted 32 Fellows, spanning 22 cities and representing 20 different nationalities. The work of Hilton Prize Coalition Fellows Izehi Oriaghan and Shazzad Khan can be found below.

Izehi Oriaghan

Izehi Oriaghan came to Landesa as a graduate student and Rotary scholar at the Clinton School of Public Service, University of Arkansas. During her fellowship, she worked with Landesa’s Global Advocacy Team to research, design, and craft messaging for an emerging women’s land rights campaign that sought to elevate land rights on the global agenda. She also supported a New York event co-hosted by the United Nations and Landesa. The event reviewed how countries are tracking toward the SDGs in relation to land use. After completing her Master of Public Service, Izehi intends to pursue a public service career in international development and women’s empowerment.

Shazzad Khan

Shazzad Khan came to Aravind Eye Care System after working at BRAC as Team Leader, Interaction Design, Social Innovation Lab. While at Aravind Eye Care System, Shazzad applied human-centered design to enhance the effectiveness and efficiencies of Aravind’s hospitals. He interviewed over 60 patients, doctors, and staff and visited seven hospitals to inform his recommendations. To move his recommendations forward, Shazzad supported the development of an Innovation Council Group to strategize and implement the human-centered design recommendations. He also started a monthly innovation talk at Aravind Eye Care System to spur further human-centered design change.

Collaborative Models Program

The Collaborative Models Program provides organizations with the opportunity not only to receive catalytic funding, but to begin to explore how they may build on one another’s strengths in order to develop a new, collaborative project or to enhance an existing single-organization project. This year saw five Collaborative Models projects come to fruition.

Surgeon training in Rwanda 

Co-Lead Organizations: Operation Smile and Partners in Health

Operation Smile, in partnership with Partners in Health, the University of Rwanda, and the Rwanda Ministries of Health and Education, aims to train surgery residents in Rwanda in order to increase the country’s surgical capacity. This training will prepare residents to deal with current surgical needs in Rwanda, better equipping them to serve the population. The program will also pilot a nutrition intervention program for malnourished patients who otherwise would not be eligible for surgery as well as provide hands on life support training and wound care.

Humanitarian Wellbeing Project

Co-Lead Organizations: Heifer International and The Task Force for Global Health

Recognizing the challenges that international aid workers face, The Task Force for Global Health and Heifer International will conduct research and deliver recommendations to help improve the resilience, emotional health, and psychological wellbeing of aid workers who often experience burnout, depression, and PTSD. These recommendations will aim to improve the lives of aid workers and the quality of aid services delivered.

Disaster Risk Reduction Trainings in Myanmar

Co-Lead Organizations: HelpAge USA and Humanity & Inclusion

Through their partnership, HelpAge USA and Humanity & Inclusion will provide Disaster Risk Reduction trainings to help protect vulnerable groups and train government officials on how to respond during disasters The project focuses on a region of Myanmar that has been prone to climate disasters in the past. The goal of this collaboration is to improve disaster plans and policies for older people and people with disabilities, creating a more inclusive approach to disaster risk reduction.

Landscape Analysis and Collaboration Assessment

Co-Lead Organizations: BRAC and Landesa

Viewing land rights as a critical factor in agricultural productivity, BRAC and Landesa will create a program to assess the landscape of Grand Gedeh, Liberia. The resulting program report will include findings and recommendations on delivery mechanisms for closing the gaps on land rights. It will also include a broader addendum that will feature mutual learnings and challenges faced by BRAC and Landesa throughout the project as well as provide lessons learned to help structure future collaborative projects.

Non-Communicable Diseases Storytelling Project

Co-Lead Organizations: HelpAge USA and PATH

HelpAge USA and PATH will collaborate to address global inequity in access to treatment for non-communicable diseases—inequity which leads to a disproportionate amount of NCD-related deaths in lower to middle income countries. The lack of urgency and understanding that has prevented a stronger response to this issue will be addressed through a storytelling project that will document the realities and challenges of those seeking treatment for NCDs. The storytelling project will include crucial, but often neglected voices, such as the perspectives of older people.

(Photos courtesy of  Aarón Blanco Tejedor)

About The Hilton Prize Coalition

The  Hilton Prize Coalition  is an independent alliance of the 22 winners of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, working together to achieve collective impact. Through three signature programs—the  Fellows Program, the  Collaborative Models Program  and the  Storytelling Program—the Coalition leverages the resources, talents and expertise of each of its members to innovate and establish best practices that can be shared with the global NGO and donor communities. Working in more than 170 countries, the Coalition is governed by a board comprised of the leaders of the Prize-winning organizations led by an Executive Committee and a Secretariat,  Global Impact.

To learn more about the Hilton Prize Coalition, visit  prizecoalition.charity.org, or contact  prizecoalition@charity.org. Follow  the Hilton Prize Coalition on  Twitter and  LinkedIn, and “Like” us on Facebook.

HPC Fellow: Jose Miguel Guzman, IRCT

Jose Miguel Guzman is the Executive Director of the Centre for Mental Health and Human Rights (CINTRAS), based in Santiago, Chile. He is also a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow with IRCT (International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims) in which CINTRAS is part of the network. For over 30 years, CINTRAS,  has worked to provide holistic psychosocial support and medical treatment to survivors of torture and their families in Chile, helping rebuild lives and communities. In his blog, Jose overviews the history of torture in Chile, informs us of where Chile stands today in regard to rehabilitation of torture victims, and shares how he played a role in delivering recommendations to the UN Committee against Torture in Geneva, Switzerland.

Caring for Survivors: Chile Can Do Better

In July 2018, Jose Miguel traveled to Geneva to brief the UN Committee against Torture on the obstacles survivors face to creating a life after torture in Chile. His testimony significantly influenced the Committee’s recommendations to the Chilean government. Jose’s full think piece can be downloaded here. An excerpt from his research, work, and experience as a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow follows.

Rehabilitation in Chile Today

To its credit, the Chilean state has implemented one of the world’s few nationally mandated torture rehabilitation programs. Popularly known by its Spanish acronym, PRAIS, it consists of multidisciplinary teams of medical doctors, psychologists and social workers whose task ostensibly is to design a holistic health intervention to address the trauma caused by torture. Anyone who is a family member of a disappeared or summarily executed person as well as to those registered under the National Commission on Political Imprisonment and Torture has access to its services.

Despite these laudable efforts, there are currently serious practical impediments that prevents PRAIS from accomplishing its stated aims. First, waiting lists can often be extremely long. Second, the multidisciplinary teams that provide the services vary widely in professional formation, with some being very knowledgeable in the field of torture rehabilitation, and others with almost no training or knowledge. As there is no continuous or standardized training provided by the State, access to quality services can therefore often be down to pure luck as treatment varies significantly depending on the training and knowledge of the service provider. Third, the multidisciplinary teams constantly rotate meaning that healthcare professionals work in a PRAIS team, before being sent to another department. Fourth, with existing resources, the program cannot meet the current demand for its services.

These issues have very practical ramifications. Many of CINTRAS’ clients wait for years to access services and some recount with bitter disappointment the treatment they received under PRAIS. Repeatedly having to recount traumatic experiences to potentially untrained staff who lack the expertise to treat them, is not only a failure to provide care, but also potentially retraumatizing.  Torture rehabilitation is a specialized medical field requiring not only specific medical training in the sequelae of torture, but also a considerable degree of empathy and commitment on behalf of the clinician. Without this, the process can potentially retraumatize the victim and cause damage to their well-being and to their families.

In July 2018, the UN Committee against Torture scrutinized Chile’s record on supporting victims of torture. During a comprehensive review, the Committee recommended that Chile enact concrete measures to increase funding and services of PRAIS as well as to avoid excessive staff rotation and to provide specialized training in torture trauma to all PRAIS staff.

The government should heed these recommendations and work with local partners to implement them. Resolving these problems must be an urgent priority as, on average, victims of torture from the dictatorship are on average 67 years old. Worryingly, preliminary results from a recent study by the School of Health of the University of Chile shows that life expectancy of victims of the dictatorship is reduced by an average of 17 years for men and 20 years for women when compared to the rest of the population.

To continue reading, download Jose’s full piece.

(Photos courtesy of Carlos Candia via CINTRAS)

About The Hilton Prize Coalition

The  Hilton Prize Coalition  is an independent alliance of the 23 winners of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, working together to achieve collective impact. Through three signature programs—the  Fellows Program, the  Collaborative Models Program  and the  Storytelling Program—the Coalition leverages the resources, talents and expertise of each of its members to innovate and establish best practices that can be shared with the global NGO and donor communities. Working in more than 170 countries, the Coalition is governed by a board comprised of the leaders of the Prize-winning organizations led by an Executive Committee and a Secretariat,  Global Impact.

To learn more about the Hilton Prize Coalition, visit  prizecoalition.charity.org, or contact  prizecoalition@charity.org. Follow  the Hilton Prize Coalition on  Twitter and  LinkedIn, and “Like” us on Facebook.

HPC Fellow: Jenny Elibeth Gómez Medina, Casa Alianza Honduras (Covenant House)

Jenny Elibeth Gómez Medina is a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow working with Casa Alianza Honduras. At Casa Alianza, Jenny worked in the program dedicated to comprehensive care for street children; she also had the opportunity to work alongside the fundraising team at Casa Alianza. In her blog, Jenny reflects on the model for comprehensive care for street children. 

Comprehensive Care for Homeless and Runaway Youth
Jenny Elibeth Gómez Medina

In Honduras there are many social problems, such as poverty, migration and unemployment, causing child abandonment, child labor, trafficking in children for labor and sexual exploitation, and teenage pregnancy for sexual abuse. Over the last five months, I have had the opportunity to be at Casa Alianza de Honduras (CAH) as a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow, and I have come to know these problems more closely.

Casa Alianza de Honduras (CAH) is the largest privately funded agency in Honduras providing shelter, food, immediate crisis care, and an array of other services to homeless and runaway youth aged 12–18.

Receiving a donation to celebrate Children’s Day.

In my first week at CAH, I had the opportunity to learn about the different programs. My first experience was in the program of comprehensive care for street children, which consists of going to different streets and avenues of Tegucigalpa to invite children and adolescents to leave the streets by decision and their own conviction. Once the children choose to leave the streets, CAH initiates an educational and rehabilitation process in the Residential Home of CAH. This intervention is done through games and talks with children to gain empathy, to establish a relationship that carries a message of trust and respect. My visit was in a market in Tegucigalpa, where children work collecting garbage for sale and to use it in recycling. To start contact with them, I played a game, and as we played, together with the CAH team, we invited them to visit CAH and explained that being at home would give them food, clothing, shelter, and education.

Then I met the residential home of CAH, this is where children are helped to overcome the crisis, to have emotional stability, their rehabilitation, and their social reintegration, helping them to live free of violence, robbery, and drugs. I had the opportunity to see the work that psychologists do with children and adolescents, such as group therapies. I knew the work of educators to guide children in their training process.

And the last of the programs was the family reintegration program, where the children and adolescents are visited by the family for the reintegration of the children into their family nucleus, helping to generate a favorable environment and, above all, good family communication. During my visit, I had the opportunity to visit two of the many families to whom CAH has helped, and I could observe how they showed interest in creating a change in their family and improving communication and treatment for their children so that they can become better people.

After having this great experience in the programs, I began to work on a fundraising strategy to be able to attract more national and international funds. I also had the opportunity to support the preparation of proposals for new projects that benefit the children that CAH serves daily in each of the programs. In the same way, I cooperated in collecting donations for the celebration of the Children´s Day, and I participated in several meetings of bilateral cooperators.

Personally I am grateful to the Hilton Prize Coalition for the opportunity it has given me to know the great work done by CAH. I am also grateful to CAH for hosting me these months and letting me learn a lot from the great work they do to improve the lives of thousands of children and adolescents of the nation. This experience has allowed me to see the true reality that many children and adolescents live. A reality that before I only read it in national newspapers.

(Photos courtesy of Casa Alianza Honduras)

About The Hilton Prize Coalition

The  Hilton Prize Coalition  is an independent alliance of the 23 winners of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, working together to achieve collective impact. Through three signature programs—the  Fellows Program, the  Collaborative Models Program  and the  Storytelling Program—the Coalition leverages the resources, talents and expertise of each of its members to innovate and establish best practices that can be shared with the global NGO and donor communities. Working in more than 170 countries, the Coalition is governed by a board comprised of the leaders of the Prize-winning organizations led by an Executive Committee and a Secretariat,  Global Impact.

To learn more about the Hilton Prize Coalition, visit  prizecoalition.charity.org, or contact  prizecoalition@charity.org. Follow  the Hilton Prize Coalition on  Twitter and  LinkedIn, and “Like” us on Facebook.

HPC Fellow: Daniela Muenzel, ECPAT International

Daniela Muenzel is a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow working with ECPAT International. At ECPAT International, Daniela worked alongside the communications team on their social media channels. In her blog, Daniela reflects upon how her work and ECPAT’s World Tourism Day campaign inspire ECPAT’s audience to take action against child exploitation. 

How to spend all day on Facebook and get work done
Daniela Muenzel

After 8 months of working with an NGO in Nepal, I knew I wanted to continue my career in international development work. But the desire to continue doing work where I could directly engage with communities and everyday people, coupled with a sense of inadequacy when I went on fieldtrips where I could contribute little due to the language barrier, had me wondering about how I should proceed. Whilst very aware of the issues of both brain-drain and need for more localized skills development and utilization, being of Japanese and German heritage and having moved around the world since I was 2 years old, I never knew where I would pursue a career in my “own context”.

But from marine engineering to psychology, public health, and then child rights, the one thread that has been running through my personal and career lifespan had been my interest in people. Having worked with the elderly, disabled people and other marginalized communities and individuals, I learned how to build relationships and communicate with a wide range of people. Over the years I have realized that my ability to connect with individuals from various backgrounds and cultures was a unique strength that I should build on in my professional career.

In the midst of such reflection and contemplation, I was offered the placement as a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow with ECPAT International’s Communications Team.

Communications with the public is a key component of charity and international development work. It is not only a tool for awareness raising, advocacy, fundraising, or network building, but should be employed for public mobilization and involvement in planning, implementation, and improvement of the work organizations do. But often research findings, policies, and other crucial information are limited to high level, technical language, and even though efforts are ongoing to reach the masses through campaign efforts, a lot more can be done to fully engage and involve those communities to whom it matters most.

From my previous experience in advocacy and community engagement, I learned that it is crucial to take active approaches such as providing information in an accessible way, without technical jargon, and to give people something they can actually do something with to support the cause, instead of numbers that might shock them for a moment before they move on with their lives.

ECPAT’s 104 worldwide member organizations aim to end child trafficking and sexual exploitation globally.  The communications team at ECPAT uses various methods such as social media streams, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, as well as media and relationships with member organizations, to strengthen partnerships, awareness raising, public mobilization, and advocacy efforts worldwide. Striking the balance between communicating and engaging with impact, while maintaining a sensitive approach to a topic as dreadful as child sexual exploitation can be a challenge. Highlighting trends and news on child sexual exploitation on a daily basis can be mentally exhausting, and with our success measured by the number of likes, shares and comments, it is sometimes difficult to grasp the ground level impact my work has.

But when I think about how our most recent World Tourism Day campaign, which aims to raise awareness among tourists and travelers on how to recognize potential victims and motivates them to report potential cases, I get a sense of what can be achieved by hours spent developing creative, attention grabbing content, and running those campaigns on Facebook. If even a handful of the nearly half a million people who we reached through the campaign are now more likely to speak up, and could remove even one child from a life of exploitation, that already makes my work incredibly rewarding.

I am grateful to the Hilton Prize Coalition and ECPAT International for the opportunity. The training opportunities such as the “Social Media in Emergencies” webinar provided by the Hilton Prize Coalition have been particularly helpful, allowing me to further learn how communications could be applied in various contexts. The experience has given me the base for an important step to come up with a focused aspiration to develop my professional skills and experience in communications, allowing me to integrate my multicultural background, passion for interpersonal relationships and people, and writing and creative abilities, to find my role within international development work.

(Photos courtesy of ECPAT International)

About The Hilton Prize Coalition

The  Hilton Prize Coalition  is an independent alliance of the 22 winners of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, working together to achieve collective impact. Through three signature programs—the  Fellows Program, the  Collaborative Models Program  and the  Storytelling Program—the Coalition leverages the resources, talents and expertise of each of its members to innovate and establish best practices that can be shared with the global NGO and donor communities. Working in more than 170 countries, the Coalition is governed by a board comprised of the leaders of the Prize-winning organizations led by an Executive Committee and a Secretariat,  Global Impact.

To learn more about the Hilton Prize Coalition, visit  prizecoalition.charity.org, or contact  prizecoalition@charity.org. Follow  the Hilton Prize Coalition on  Twitter and  LinkedIn, and “Like” us on Facebook.

Refuge: HelpAge International

The Refuge series, a production of the Hilton Prize Coalition Storytelling Program, chronicles how Coalition members are addressing the global refugee crisis. The second film in the four-part Refuge series features HelpAge’s work to improve the lives of older Syrian refugees and host communities in Lebanon. To see how HelpAge makes an impact, watch the film in the series, Refuge: HelpAge International and read the article below by Kate Bunting, the CEO of HelpAge USA. In her reflection, Kate describes the unmet health care needs of older people in local communities and how HelpAge fills this gap.

What it’s like to be an Older Syrian Refugee.
By Kate Bunting

Today, there are 25.4 million people who are refugees. Within this population, there is great diversity—not just in terms of nationality and socioeconomic background, but also in terms of age.

Older people are not commonly thought of as refugees. But increasing life expectancies and the protracted nature of many humanitarian crises should force us to rethink assumptions about who is displaced. These are important realities to consider because people in later stages of life have specific health and care needs.

It’s why HelpAge’s work in Lebanon to support Syrian refugees and host communities is so important. In a joint study with Humanity & Inclusion, we found that 77% of older Syrian refugees have specific needs and that one in seven is affected by a non-communicable disease (NCD). Many refugees, however, lack access to medicine and treatment for these conditions.

Amin’s story is a case-in-point. He is a 62-year-old Syrian refugee who has lived in Beirut, Lebanon, for the past five years. He has hypertension, but his medicine is no longer available at the local health center. He now experiences constant headaches and trembling as a result. Because he can’t afford the fee for medical appointments ($1.30 USD), he doesn’t go see the doctor. “It’s hard to say, ‘I don’t have money,’ so I’m not doing any tests or taking any medication.”

It’s precisely because so little was being done to address this urgent need that HelpAge made it our focus. HelpAge works with local partners to provide health care for older people like Amin who have an NCD, including medical consultations, laboratory tests, and medication. HelpAge supports local organizations to be more inclusive of older people—as opposed to establishing our own facilities—because we know that for change to be sustainable, it must first be endemic. We began bringing health services to the camps for this same reason—not only to increase access to care, but also as a way for refugees (who may be too afraid or unable to leave the camps) to engage with the outside community.

The challenges of being an older refugee, not to mention the life-altering change and trauma many have experienced, are overwhelming. As a result, many older refugees have health needs beyond just their physical wellbeing. In response, HelpAge provides psychosocial support activities such as peer counseling sessions, referrals for specialized mental health services, and recreational activities. These are some of the most important programs to older Syrian refugees—it’s one of the clearest messages that comes across in Refuge: HelpAge International, the second film in the four-part Refuge series.

We are so grateful to the Hilton Prize Coalition for helping us tell the story of older refugees. It’s as much a story about inclusion as it is about dignity, because for us, the two are deeply connected. The support services we provide are not just critical for health and well-being, they also help restore a sense of humanity to those whose belief in it may be shaken. But, don’t just take our word for it. Together with the Hilton Prize Coalition, we invite you to see it for yourselves when it’s released in early November.

(Photos courtesy of HelpAge USA)

About HelpAge USA

HelpAge USA is the U.S. affiliate of HelpAge International, a global non-profit dedicated to promoting the well-being and inclusion of older people. In a time of unprecedented demographic change, HelpAge advocates for health systems and policies that meet the needs of an aging world. Our programs provide older people and their families with resources and services to manage their health including screenings for non-communicable disease and eye exams to prevent blindness. In Lebanon, HelpAge has provided care and treatment to 4,000 people and trained over 600 care providers on early detection of NCDs. To learn more about HelpAge programs as well as the health challenges of an aging world, visit www.helpageusa.org.

About The Hilton Prize Coalition

The Hilton Prize Coalition is an independent alliance of the 22 winners of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, working together to achieve collective impact. Through three signature programs—the Fellows Program, the Collaborative Models Program and the Storytelling Program—the Coalition leverages the resources, talents and expertise of each of its members to innovate and establish best practices that can be shared with the global NGO and donor communities. Working in more than 170 countries, the Coalition is governed by a board comprised of the leaders of the Prize-winning organizations led by an Executive Committee and a Secretariat, Global Impact.

To learn more about the Hilton Prize Coalition, visit prizecoalition.charity.org, or contact prizecoalition@charity.org. Follow the Hilton Prize Coalition on Twitter and LinkedIn, and “Like” us on Facebook.

 

HPC Fellow: Adrien Gaussen, Aravind Eye Care System

Adrien Gaussen is a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow working with Aravind Eye Care System. At Aravind Eye Care System, Adrien worked alongside individuals at Aravind’s internal consulting and training division to set up the infrastructure necessary for properly creating, testing, implementing, monitoring, and updating patient educative materials. In his blog, Adrien reflects upon Aravind’s operational efficiency and patient education model. 

Including the Patient in the Fight Against Needless Blindness
By Adrien Gaussen

Within the world of Ophthalmology, regardless of the country, everyone regards Aravind as a leader in the struggle to eliminate avoidable blindness. The impact Aravind has had both directly and indirectly on eye care in emerging markets is incredible. As my Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow colleague, Shazzad Khan, accurately describes in his blog, Aravind is well on its way to one day preventing needless blindness.

While many factors have contributed to Aravind’s ever growing achievement of offering eye care to millions of patients in such a short period of time, the way Aravind is run and its operational efficiency has allowed it to make leaps and bounds, whereas so many other non-governmental organizations have struggled. Aravind treats thousands of patients a day, using the revenues from paying patients to finance those receiving care for free. While many NGOs rely highly on outside financing (whether it be external aid, grants, or subsidies) especially in the realm of healthcare, where costs are so high, Aravind has reached a point where the sheer number of patients that they see makes the institution profitable and completely financially self-sufficient.

And while Aravind could very well rest on its laurels, the organization still runs on all cylinders to try and grow in new ways so that one day no person be needlessly blind.

During my time at Aravind, I worked on structuring the process of developing, maintaining, and advancing patient education. As with any fast growing company, the need for a structured method in carrying out any operation becomes increasingly important to ensure quality and uniformity across the entire organization.

India remains a country where many people are unaware of the importance of visiting an ophthalmologist and receiving care. And yet patient education in ophthalmology is incredibly important, especially given that it is a therapeutic area where most diseases are non-curable. What this means is that, even after providing some of the best eye care in the world (Aravind’s complication rate following cataract surgery is lower than many US or EU hospitals at 1.01-1.11% [1], depending on the surgery type) in many cases, if a patient waits for symptoms to manifest before going to see a doctor, treatment will not restore the lost vision.

Working alongside individuals at Aravind’s internal consulting and training division (LAICO), we went about setting up the infrastructure necessary for properly creating, testing, implementing, monitoring, and updating patient educative materials. The first month and a half saw me travel across a variety of different Aravind hospitals to speak to all different types of stakeholder; from mid-level ophthalmic personnel (MLOPs) who help in screening patients to counselors who answer patient questions to doctors to Heads of Departments to C-level executives. During this time, I was able to see how educative materials are currently made and discover the difficulties in creating effective materials. I also was able to truly see how Aravind functions as an organization.

After getting a firm grasp of how Aravind operates and the current norms and infrastructure in place for creating patient educative materials, we went about creating a set of protocols that could easily be followed to ensure patients are adequately educated through the use of posters, videos, brochures, or any other medium.

Since I had lead this initiative, my biggest fear was in ensuring what had been created would not fall by the wayside after I had gone. Therefore, my last month with Aravind was dedicated to setting up a team that would champion and be responsible for patient educative materials. Over the course of the month, I worked alongside a team, made up of a Doctor, a Counsellor, and someone from the design department, to familiarize, implement, and test the protocols that we had created.

I cannot emphasize enough how much I have valued my time at Aravind. It is truly an amazing company filled with people who are dedicated to dealing with one of the most debilitating disabilities in the world: blindness.

[1] Haripriya, Aravind, et al. “Complication rates of phacoemulsification and manual small-incision cataract surgery at Aravind Eye Hospital.” Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery 38.8 (2012): 1360-1369.

(Photos courtesy of Aravind Eye Care System)

About The Hilton Prize Coalition

The  Hilton Prize Coalition  is an independent alliance of the 22 winners of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, working together to achieve collective impact. Through three signature programs—the  Fellows Program, the  Collaborative Models Program  and the  Storytelling Program—the Coalition leverages the resources, talents and expertise of each of its members to innovate and establish best practices that can be shared with the global NGO and donor communities. Working in more than 170 countries, the Coalition is governed by a board comprised of the leaders of the Prize-winning organizations led by an Executive Committee and a Secretariat,  Global Impact.

To learn more about the Hilton Prize Coalition, visit  prizecoalition.charity.org, or contact  prizecoalition@charity.org. Follow  the Hilton Prize Coalition on  Twitter and  LinkedIn, and “Like” us on Facebook.

 

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