Africare In the News

Africare Awarded for Innovative Mobile App Developed to Measure Anemia

Africare’s Mwanzo Bora Nutrition Program (MBNP) team received one of three USAID’s Global Development Lab’s “Innovation to Action Awards” last week in Washington, D.C. The award recognizes the impact this innovation will have: breaking the cycle of malnutrition and anemia passed from mother to child, and engendering good nutrition and health in the crucial first 1,000 days of life, ensuring children grow, learn, and thrive.

The Africare-developed Hb Meter is a mobile device app for Android® smartphones developed to help program staff measure anemia levels in communities in Tanzania. It can tell if a person is anemic within 15 seconds without drawing any blood. Simply put an index finger on the device and the camera’s flash is able to filter through the skin to measure relevant blood levels, categorizing the result as “severe”, “mild”, or “no anemia” in line with World Health Organization standards. The app provides the results electronically on site, and can feed the data directly into health systems databases and dashboards, codified and anonymized to protect the privacy of each individual.

MBNP Testing at Muhimbili Hospital, Tanzania

Before the app trained staff has to draw blood, run a test, and read the results to diagnose anemia; this process took several minutes and was dependent on the individual being comfortable with having their blood drawn. The breakthrough of this invention means easy, fast identification of anemia without specific clinical training requirements, needles, or test kits; especially useful when working with infants or vulnerable adults, and in remote areas.  The cost of the test was also greatly reduced from about 62 cents per individual to 1 cent per individual.

An indicator of poor nutrition or underlying illness, anemia results in poor health, including loss of energy and reduced physical capacity. In Tanzania, over half of all pregnant women, and more than 1 in 3 women are likely to be anemic. Anemia in pregnancy is associated with illness and death of both the mother and baby, including increased risk of miscarriages, stillbirths, premature birth, and low birth weight. Africare’s Mwanzo Bora Nutrition Program, funded by USAID and implemented in Tanzania, aims to eliminate 20% of all anemia in the first 1,000 days of life using social and behavior change communication to improve nutrition.

Throughout the continent Africare has been recognized for its program implementation excellence. As a top global innovator in Senegal, Africare received the Innovative Solutions Award to Prevent Infant/Maternal Deaths at the “DevelopmentXChange” Saving Lives at Birth Conference for a groundbreaking ICT platform to improve care in pregnancy, delivery and right after childbirth for both mother and baby in remote areas of Senegal.

Africare’s MBNP team was honored for this breakthrough mobile app at an award ceremony during Global Innovation Week held at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center in Washington D.C.

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Pi Kappa Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Are Champions for Africare

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Members of Pi Kappa Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority put the Africare donation link on its chapter web page to encourage donations. They say: “This is such an easy way to get the word out and we can donate from our smart phones and computers.  We know every dollar counts as we overcome poverty, hunger and illness in many African communities. We are excited that other chapters will follow our lead and become Africare champions.”  Africare and the AKA sorority have a long and special history. Pictured are members making personal contributions. 
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Africare salutes Stephen D. Cashin, Chairman of the Board

Africare is proud to salute him as our Chairman and for his life’s work in devotion to the people of Africa.

Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia, conferred the honor of Knight Commander into the Most Venerable Order of the Pioneer on Stephen D. Cashin, Chairman of the Board of Africare.  He was honored for his work as an investor and philanthropist in Liberia for the past twenty years.  Mr. Cashin invested in a number of companies soon after the war in Liberia, principally the International Bank of Liberia and the Insurance Company of Africa, both of which have become leaders in their respective fields.  He has supported many causes in Liberia, including Africare’s efforts to establish birthing centers, the John F. Kennedy Hospital, and Think Liberia—an initiative to support at-risk girls.  He has also supported numerous education projects, including the reconstruction of the Elizabeth Tubman Institute and the Liberian Education Trust.  As part of his involvement with the Jesuit Refugee Service, he has supported the efforts of the Jesuits in Liberia in building the Holy Family Parish in one of the areas most affected by the war.  For his work with the Jesuits, Mr. Cashin received a special commendation from Pope Francis.

Africare is proud to salute him as our Chairman and for his life’s work in devotion to the people of Africa.

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Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre Scales Up Africare’s Mwanzo Bora’s U.S. Government-supported SBCC Kit

Approximately 40 participants from 15 different organizations came together for a national Training of Trainers (TOT) training conducted by the Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre (TFNC), co-facilitated by Africare’s Mwanzo Bora Nutrition Program (MBNP), to scale up the project’s Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) Kit—Mkoba wa Siku 1000. The kit uses peer support learning to replace negative nutrition behaviors with positive nutrition behaviors.

An estimated 2.7 million Tanzanian children under the age of five suffer from stunting, a measure of chronic malnutrition. But investments in nutrition activities by the Government of Tanzania and its partners have begun to turn the tide, with childhood stunting declining sharply in Tanzania between 2010-2014. During this period, the Mkoba wa Siku 1000, developed by MBNP in close collaboration with the TFNC, has been part of this reversal. Since the project’s inception in 2011, MBNP has contributed to significant reductions in stunting in Dodoma (56 percent to 36.5 percent); Morogoro (44 percent to 33.4 percent); and Manyara (46 percent to 36 percent). These gains have been made been possible through the use of the Mkoba wa Siku 1000.

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Letter from the President: March 31, 2017

Africare President and CEO, Robert L. Mallett

Africare President and CEO, Robert L. Mallett

A little more than three months ago, Donald J. Trump, was sworn-in as the 45th president of the United States.  His status as a political outsider was certainly refreshing to many people who just wanted someone to go to Washington and make things work and help to make life better.  President Trump has brought an interesting and unconventional style of governing to the country.  His campaign theme, “Make America Great Again”, which resonated with many on the campaign trail, is now, with his first budget outline submitted to Congress, about to be translated into policy practice.

However, many are concerned that a more nationalist agenda will mean a retreat from America’s traditional leadership role abroad in development and humanitarian assistance for Africa and other less developed regions of the world.  The Administration’s budget proposals would slash the international affairs budget by up to 31 percent or about $17 billion.  A cut of this magnitude, if approved, is likely to have a devastating effect on Africa.  With just over half of Africare’s revenue coming from the U.S. government, a funding cut like this would significantly impact our programs and the many individuals and communities that benefit from our work in Africa.  So, we, like many other NGOs, are concerned deeply about how the Administration’s budget proposal will affect overall development assistance, and we have joined with others to voice those concerns.

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Africare, Robert L. Mallett, and Evelyn B. Simmons Featured Online This Month

Not only was Africare recently featured in Black Coffy, an urban affairs & news blog, but two interviews of Africare executives have also been published online this month:

Africare President Robert L. Mallett discussed his distinguished career, the people who have inspired him, and his guilty pleasures in this interview by the Dubrof Group consulting firm, and Africare’s Chief of External Relations & Partnerships, Evelyn B. Simmons discussed public-private partnerships and the path that led her to Africare in this Q&A with Inside NGO.

Black Coffee article on Africare: http://blackcoffy.com/2017/03/09/arfricare/
Robert L. Mallett interview: http://dubrof.com/portfolio_page/robert-mallett-201703/
Evelyn B. Simmons interview: https://www.insidengo.org/blog/member-profile-evelyn-boyd-simmons-africare

Africare’s President and CEO, Robert L. Mallett

Robert L. Mallett, President

Evelyn B. Simmons, Chief of External Relations & Partnerships

 

 

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Africare’s Power Forward project highlighted in Nigeria’s “Daily Trust” newspaper

Copied from the Daily Trust website, view at the original source here  

Group to sensitize IDPs, students on lifesaving skills

Group to sensitize IDPs, students on lifesaving skills

Internally displaced persons (IDPs), students and vulnerable communities in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), are part of the 10,000 people targeted to benefit from Africare Nigeria’s  Power Forward project on public health and life saving skills this year.

Country director, Africare Nigeria, Dr Orode  O. Doherty made this known yesterday in Abuja during a stakeholders meeting to launch its 2017 strategy.

She said the non-governmental organisation will be carrying out the Power Forward project in partnership with Exxon Mobil and National Basketball Association (NBA) .

“The strategy is to reach more indirect beneficiaries with public health and life saving skills learning, supplies distribution and behavior change interventions.

“This will be achieved by expanding programming into IDP camps, providing hand washing stations in 20 schools, planting of trees project amongst others,” she said.

Also speaking, Mrs Victoria Uno George, deputy director, Secondary Education Board, Abuja, said the 2017 strategy will give opportunity to more children.

“Africare’s 2017 strategy is wonderful because the schools are actively involved, and now, more children who don’t have opportunities will be reached.”

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Africare mourns Callisto Madavo, a giant in African development

Callisto Madavo, longtime Africare Board Member

Dear Africare Family,

It is with a heavy heart and deep regret that we must inform you of the passing of Africare Board Member Callisto Madavo. Callisto’s longstanding commitment to the people of Africa lives on in his contributions to the work of Africare and his many other worthwhile undertakings.

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/washingtonpost/obituary.aspx?n=callisto-madavo&pid=183604064

Our thoughts and prayers are with Callisto’s family at this time.  Please help us share the news of this great loss by forwarding this message to others who may have had the good fortune to have known him.

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