Author: Earlene Barnes

Former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Joins Africare as Honorary Chair

|

Former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Joins Africare as Honorary Chair

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 18, 2018) – President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia, has been appointed as Honorary Chair to the Africare Board of Directors.

 

“I am delighted to welcome President Sirleaf as Honorary Chair,” said Steve Cashin, Chair of the Board of Directors for Africare. “She brings a valuable perspective having worked tirelessly in Liberia to rebuild the nation. Our board is looking forward to benefitting from President Sirleaf’s vast experience as we move forward to expand our impact strengthening communities in Africa.”
President Sirleaf was the first woman elected head of state of an African country. She served as President of Liberia from 2006 to 2018. During her time as President, she dedicated herself to developing institutions, infrastructure and an open society where freedom of speech, religion, and association are promoted. President Sirleaf joined an elite group of former presidents of African countries in February 2018 when she was awarded the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership.

“I am grateful for the progress we have made in Liberia. However, much work remains to be done in Liberia and all across Africa. There is one organization that continues to help us make progress – Africare. For almost 50 years, Africare has been in the forefront of the effort to help Africans build strong and resilient communities that can withstand the inevitable challenges that face developing countries,” noted President Sirleaf.

Africare works in partnership with African people to build sustainable, healthy and productive communities. Established in 1970, Africare is the oldest, most experienced, non-profit international development organization focused exclusively on Africa. It has a reputation for excellence in program implementation, especially in the areas of health, nutrition, agriculture and food security, youth and women’s empowerment, and humanitarian assistance.

“I am honored that President Sirleaf will join the Africare family,” noted Robert L. Mallett, President of Africare. “Africare’s programs and projects in Liberia save and improve lives. The work Africare does is critical in addressing development challenges and building vibrant futures for communities. President Sirleaf has much wisdom to share about the need for our work across Africa. President Sirleaf is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc. sorority, which is a long-term partner of Africare and we are thrilled about that synergy.”

[More]

Monsanto Fund Helps Africare Address Malnutrition in Kenya

 

 

Monsanto Fund Helps Africare Address Malnutrition in Kenya

Turkana County, Kenya is in the throes of a critical food emergency.  Record malnutrition rates, erratic climate and a disruption of traditional food sources have led the World Health Organization to designate the area as an Acute Food and Livelihood Crisis.  But, thanks to a grant from the Monsanto Fund, Africare will soon start helping pregnant women, new mothers, infants and young children live healthier lives by increasing access to nutritious foods and nutrition education.   

 

The Improved Approach to Community-based Nutrition in Turkana (IMPACT) Project aligns the Monsanto Fund’s Food and Nutrition strategy and its commitment to addressing malnutrition and alleviating hunger.  To read the full press release click here  

[More]

Africare’s Malaria Prevention Initiative in Nigeria

Africare in Nigeria will convene a stakeholder summit on April 12th in Abuja to release the results of a six-year malaria prevention program in Nigeria that was implemented with the support of ExxonMobil.

The Africare MAPS-C project has helped advance our goals of working with partners to provide malaria prevention therapies to communities in Nigeria and helping to improve health infrastructure,” said Kevin Murphy, president of ExxonMobil Foundation.   “We were proud to support Africare in training health workers in electronic data capture and timely sharing of health information.”

The Malaria Prevention in Mobil Producing Nigeria Supplier Communities (MAPS-C) project ran from 2011 through 2017 and was focused on four local government areas in Akwa Ibom and Rivers States (Eket, Ibeno, Bonny and Ogu/Bolo) reaching over 90,000 people.  Beneficiaries included children under five and pregnant women in households within these communities.

Among the top-line results of the evaluation of the MAPS-C project, it was found that:

  • The percentage of under-five children who received Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy (ACT) as a treatment for malaria increased from 21% at the start of the project, to 74% in 2016
  • Percentage of persons with suspected malaria that were tested increased from less than 30% at the start of the project, to more than 90% in 2016.
  • Overtreatment reduced from 97% in 2015 to 2% in 2017
  • Awareness increased from about 30% to over 80% (the target in the National Malaria Elimination Strategy for Nigeria)

For more details and statistics on Africare’s work, click here Africare-2pgr-v3MAPS-C Nigeria Digital

[More]

Africare’s New CD

 

Faith Akovi Cooper, Country Director – Liberia and Ghana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is my privilege to announce that Faith Akovi Cooper will join Africare as Country Director for Liberia and Ghana.

She has a demonstrated history of leadership, experience, and strong relationships. She is an international development and global health practitioner with extensive experience working in 38 countries, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa, South East Asia, Latin American and the Caribbean.

She recently served as Regional Advisor and Lead Coordinator for the West Africa Disaster Preparedness Initiative (WADPI). In that role, she served as a crucial link between the US Government partners, International Organizations and African Government partners. Faith directed operations and technical implementation of projects across the ECOWAS Member States, 15 countries and select countries in Central Africa.

In her role as Country Director for Liberia and Ghana at Africare, Faith will be responsible for oversight of the country offices as well as managing and growing a diverse portfolio of development projects. Faith will be an integral member of Africare’s Leadership Team in the field.

Faith has in-depth knowledge and firsthand understanding of what it takes to direct successful development programs on the continent. She brings a fountain of energy, enthusiasm, commitment and passion to Africare and the people we serve in Africa.

Please join me in welcoming Faith to the Africare family.

[More]

Drink Malawi Study Aims to Reduce Childhood Deaths

Every year 750,000 children die from diarrheal disease.  This means in Malawi, nearly one out of every five children will not live to see their fifth birthday.   What compounds the tragedy is that these diseases are preventable and treatable.

Most diarrheal disease-related deaths are due to dehydration.  Since 1978, there has been a standard Oral Rehydration Solution or “ORS” – a mixture of clean water, salt, and sugar to replace fluids and electrolytes.  This mixture is safe, effective, and inexpensive, and it can be administered quickly and easily with no special training.

So, why are so many children still dying?   It may be because mothers cannot get their children to drink ORS, because it tastes very salty, describing it as “drinking the ocean in glass.”  Many sick children reject the life-saving drink, too young to understand the fatal consequences.

Africare and the University of Malawi have teamed up to find a solution.  Through the DRINK MALAWI Project at The Institute for Child Wellness in Africa, and with support from the Jackson Kemper Foundation, TICWA investigators are assessing a fortified new formula* that is more pleasant-tasting and therefore likely to save more children.  The unique balance of salts and sugars with fast-absorbing citrate gives it a pleasant taste.  Through DRINK MALAWI, we believe that Africare and TICWA are on the brink of revolutionizing dehydration treatment and saving hundreds of thousands of children from a cruel, preventable death.

 

*In partnership with the DripDrop Foundation

[More]

Helping Children’s Brains as well as their Bodies Recover from Malnutrition

Millions of children in Africa go hungry every year. These children suffer during the formative years of their physical and mental development.  Tragically, when a child’s body and mind are denied essential nourishment, they can face many consequences, from stunting to decreased IQ and learning challenges to death.

Health workers and researchers who have watched children suffer from life-threatening malnutrition, specifically severe acute malnutrition (SAM), have armed themselves with emergency treatment tools.  One such tool is Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food.  RUTF, as it is referred to, revolutionized the treatment of SAM for children in Africa a decade ago, saving an estimated 25 million lives to date.  Its widespread use doubled recovery rates from 45% to 90% for what often was a terminal condition in small African countries like Malawi.  When RUTF was developed, the emphasis was on reducing deaths and creating a food with a stable shelf life that promoted recovery and could be used at home.  RUTF was made from locally available crops – peanuts, palm oil, and soybeans.  Today, 3 million children with SAM are treated with RUTF annually.

While RUTF has proven effective in improving children’s physical recovery, recently the same Malawian investigators who developed RUTF believe that the current standard formula is inadequate to stimulate brain recovery.

Africare is working in partnership with Project Peanut Butter, Washington University, Cornell University, University of Texas, and the University of Malawi at The Institute for Child Wellness in Africa to test a new RUTF formula that can support physical growth and provide the fatty acids necessary for brain development. The clinical trial, funded by Unorthodox Philanthropy, Open Society, and Washington University, is testing a slight adjustment in the formula, using newly-available non-GMO high-oleic peanuts. The findings of this study could change the management of malnutrition around the world to emphasize mental development, as well as physical recovery, and create a new global protocol –protecting children’s bodies and minds from the life-long repercussions of malnutrition.

[More]

Africare and Merck Partner to Build a Better Future for the Children of Africa

Africare and Merck & Co., Inc.* collaborated this year to continue our commitment to building bright, vibrant futures for Africa’s children.

Through the MSD Fellowship for Global Health, three Merck employees spent three months in Malawi with Africare to focus on the development of a five-year strategic plan for The Institute for Child Wellness in Africa (TICWA).   With expertise in strategic planning, clinical research, and communication & stakeholder engagement, the Merck Fellows developed a clear roadmap to accelerate TICWA’s success.

“After speaking to over fifty officials from local Ministries, academic institutions, NGOs, and the funder community, we were heartened to learn that the experts that live and breathe in this space see a tangible, palpable need for TICWA to fill in a large gap in global efforts to advance child development and wellness in resource-limited settings.  Africare, through TICWA, is uniquely positioned to drive important translational research to improve child wellness in Malawi and throughout Africa”.   – David Hauben, Merck Fellow.

Thanks to Merck, Africare has a stronger strategic plan to ensure that TICWA is well positioned to advance its mission to keep children well and help them thrive.  Our heartfelt thanks go out to Merck Fellows Shobhna Gopal-Truter, David Hauben, and Susie Wood for their invaluable contributions in Malawi.

 

* Known as MSD outside U.S. and Canada

[More]
12
Next