Identifying the Single Largest Gap in West African Care
Numerous challenges are faced by West African Doctors working in hospitals with varying amounts of resources and expertise. Many of these challenges in providing state-of-the-art medical care require large efforts and resources to effect individual, institutional, and governmental change. Humanity First, however, has focused its attention on helping to rectify what we believe would have the greatest impact on the outcomes of patients treated within every aspect of the medical system: nutrition.
Humanity First’s Nutrition Centers Initiative
The relationship between infectious diseases which are widespread and malnutrition is well-established. In order to combat malnutrition in the hospitalized patient, Humanity First has committed to laying the foundation for nationwide systems designed to stem the tide of malnutrition within hospitals by providing the knowledge and access to resources to help provide intravenous and oral nutrition to admitted patients.
Malnutrition & Infectious Disease: A Deadly Combination
It is well known that malnutrition is widespread within the African population. However, in the setting of a hospitalized patient who is sick with illness while being malnourished, this is a well established formula for a poor, if not fatal medical outcome. The malnourished patient is at high risk for infectious disease. Take malnourishment and infection together and we have the two factors that are responsible for the vast majority of adverse medical and surgical outcomes in West Africa. In children, the synergistic combination of infectious diseases and malnutrition is the single greatest cause of child deaths in Africa. The specific infectious diseases that affect children include malaria, measles, diphtheria, and pertussis. Unfortunately, the problem of chronic undernutrition along with its effects among residents of West African countries are multifaceted and have roots in socioeconomic, cultural, and political factors.
Humanity First is registered in 43 countries across 6 continents, and has been working on human development projects and responding to disasters since 1994. These have included the earthquakes in Turkey, Pakistan, Japan and Iran, floods in Africa and Latin America, hurricanes (Katrina and Rita) , tornado's (Kansas) and wild fires (California) in the USA, Indonesia and Bangladesh, and conflicts in Eastern Europe.
Since its inception and IRS registration in 2004, Humanity First has been focused on spending most of the raised funds on direct program related expenses. As a result, more than 90% of its funds are in that expense category. This is achieved through dedicated volunteers in its management, and program operation teams.