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Impatient Blogger's News of the Day: Haiti, Health on the Frontlines, and College Students

January 12, 2012

Helping Haiti. It's been two years since devastation rained down on Haiti in the form of a raging earthquake and, according to Reuters, aid and development to the country has been slow-going to say the least. Millions remain homeless and living in displacement camps where cholera, a water-borne disease has reached epidemic proportions. But an international alliance has stepped up to address, notes Reuters:

Officials from the Pan-American Health Organization, UNICEF and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said they would join with the Haitian and Dominican governments to develop a plan to eradicate cholera from the island the two countries share by extending clean water and sanitation to stricken areas.

Do College Students in the U.S. Feel Academically Prepared? According to this infographic from GOOD, maybe not. A recent study of high school graduates, conducted by the College Board, notes GOOD, found that 33 percent of incoming college freshmen didn't think so. They had a lot more to say as well - it's worth checking out.

"Millions of Americans driven into poverty." So says a new study, according to the online news site, The Raw Story. The recession has pushed many middle-class Americans into poverty and there are few signs that this will change any time soon. Tavis Smiley, NPR radio host, requested the study. Smiley, Cornel West, Barbara Ehrenreich and others embarked on a "Poverty Tour" across the United States, addressing the issue with Americans, this past summer. The tour was turned into a televised special which airs tonight on C-SPAN and will be broadcast on Smiley's PBS show over three nights beginning January 16.

What is the world waiting for? Today marks the launch of what has the potential to be an utterly momentous campaign to save the lives of women and children around the world. What do you think has the potential to save millions of lives? Actually, you might be surprised to know ( I know I was) that the question isn't "what" but "who." Health workers (or "frontline health workers" - the first and often the only point of contact for millions who live beyond the reach of hospitals and clinics ) are the most cost-effective and immediate way to save lives, around the world. But. The WHO also estimates that there is a shortage of at least one million frontline health workers, particularly in Africa and parts of Asia. Who are frontline health workers? According to the Frontline Health Workers Coalition, which launched today (and includes Save the Children, the White Ribbon Alliance, PSI, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and others):

Frontline health workers are those directly providing services where they are most needed, especially in remote and rural areas. Many are community health workers and midwives, though they can also include local pharmacists, nurses and doctors who serve in community clinics near people in need. Some physicians may also be considered frontline health workers when they serve in local clinics and address basic health needs.

The video  explains, with beautiful clarity, why this issue is so critical to maternal, newborn, and child health around the world. Because, really, what are we waiting for?

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