December 27, 2011 | The Editors

How you change health for the better

If you’re like many of us, you spend the last few days of the year figuring out how to make the most of your charitable giving. Dawn McCarra Bass of our Donor Relations team has been asking PATH staff members to explain the importance of individual donation. On Friday, we saw how your support has helped improve nutrition in Kenya and tuberculosis control in Tanzania.  Today, more staffers talk about the impact of your gifts to PATH’s Catalyst Fund.

Through the end of the year, a match from a group of our supporters means we can double all gifts to the Catalyst Fund. Please consider making a gift before midnight on December 31 and help us meet the $150,000 challenge.

Treatment for diarrheal disease

Two women give a little boy rehydration fluids from a green cup.
Finding fast treatment for diarrheal disease. Photo: PATH/Sara Watson.

Evan Simpson is a program officer working on child health and diarrheal disease. In Western Kenya, he helped re-introduce oral rehydration therapy corners—ORT corners for short—where children with severe diarrheal disease can quickly get rehydration solution and other lifesaving care.

“The Catalyst Fund helped transform an idea into a reality for saving children who become severely dehydrated as a consequence of diarrhea—the second leading cause of death for children in Western Kenya. The idea is to set up simple stations, called ORT corners, where children in remote villages can get care without traveling long distances to a hospital.

“With support from the Catalyst Fund, we set up a dozen ORT corners to prove the idea works. Now more than 50 have been established, and other groups are expanding the project. Isn’t that what a catalyst means?”

 A condom for women

Shannon Mills works on PATH’s woman’s condom project, which has developed a new a female condom. The goal is to give women in poor countries an additional option for protecting themselves against pregnancy and HIV. The woman’s condom was recently licensed for commercial production in China.

“The Catalyst Fund keeps technologies moving forward from one stage of development to the next during gaps between bigger funding opportunities. The project would have slowed down or even stopped without that bridge funding.”

Immunization in Cambodia

Smiling mother and child.
Protecting children in Cambodia. Photo: Heng Chivoan.

Gizelle Gopez is program associate for our team in Cambodia, where PATH has supported the government in introducing basic childhood vaccines.

“The Catalyst Fund helped us ensure that children in Cambodia are protected against diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, hepatitis B, and influenza. By supporting the training of health providers and the distribution of information materials, the Catalyst Fund made possible the nationwide introduction of an essential vaccine against all five diseases.”

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