Supporting PATH and stopping diarrhea

A woman in a blue jacket stands in front of wooden tables where women and children are seated, listening.

The mothers’ group in Chorm Trach meets to discuss preventing and treating diarrhea. Photo: PATH/Anne Aumell.

PATH’s Anne Aumell, a member of our Development team, traveled recently in Southeast Asia, where she saw some of the innovative work our generous donors have made possible. Here’s her report from Cambodia on our efforts to help mothers protect their children from potentially deadly diarrhea.

When I plan a trip, I think a lot about my shoes. They need to be solid for city sidewalks, sturdy for muddy and dusty roads, and fashionable in case I decide to wear a dress. And I must have red Mary Janes whenever possible.

Last week, when I was in Siem Reap, Cambodia, a man offered to clean my shoes. They needed it, but I declined. I wanted the dust and mud to be with me a little bit longer. I wanted this evidence of meeting the people of Xem in Vietnam and Kampong Thom Province in Cambodia to remain.

Meeting the mothers’ group

Young girl places her hand over her upper arm where she's received vaccination, with the words "Share the health: donate now for 1:1 match."A few days earlier, I stepped out of a PATH truck in the Cambodian village of Chorm Trach. I was there to attend a mothers’ group, a quarterly meeting led by the village leader, who in this case is also the village health worker. My PATH colleagues, Vichit Ork, Thunvuth Nop, and Mary Prum, stepped easily into the wooden building with the corrugated metal roof and took seats on the opposite side of the room. I hesitated because, frankly, I was overcome with emotion: I was actually attending a mothers’ group in Cambodia. Continue reading »

Why give? Our donors know

Young girl places her hand over her upper arm where she's received vaccination, with the words "Share the health: donate now for 1:1 match."It takes dedication and determination to transform a good idea into global change. That’s what PATH does every day: turning innovative ideas into workable solutions and ensuring they reach those who need them most.

The dedication and determination are not just ours. It’s people like you who make sure that every idea gets a chance to succeed. Gifts from families who share our vision of equity in health worldwide provide the funding that drives our most innovative and transformative work.

Don’t take it from us. Find out from our donors why they’ve chosen to invest in PATH, and please consider joining them by making a gift today. Right now, you can double the impact of your support: gifts we receive toward our goal of raising $275,000 will be matched dollar for dollar between now and Dec. 31.

Give to get the most impact from your gift

Five members of a family pose with arms around each other.

“There is so much need in India and the other countries where PATH works, and PATH is doing amazing work to meet those needs. It’s clear to my family that our gifts to PATH are valuable.”

–Neha Jejurikar, Washington, DC Continue reading »

What support for R&D can do

A smiling health worker reaches for three vials of vaccine.

A circle on vaccine vial labels turns color to indicate when the vaccine has been exposed to damaging heat. Photo: PATH/Umit Kartogulu.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) is the nation’s lead foreign assistance agency. Throughout its 50-year history, USAID has worked with other government agencies, the private sector, and nongovernmental organizations to support the development and introduction of affordable health products appropriate for addressing diseases and health issues in developing countries.

Our colleagues at the Global Health Technologies Coalition have launched a new blog series highlighting the impact of USAID’s commitment to global health research and development (R&D). Today, Ted Prusik, senior vice president of Temptime, a New Jersey-based company that has made a huge impact in global health with support from USAID, answers a few questions.

Q: Temptime has a long history of working with USAID to improve global health.  How did this partnership begin, and what have been some of the global health research successes you’ve achieved with USAID support?

Temptime’s history is a wonderful case study on the effectiveness of US investments in efforts to solve critical global health problems. In the early 1980s, Temptime (then called Lifelines) developed a unique technology that gradually changes color when exposed to time and temperature. The original idea was to use this unique chemistry for food spoilage applications.

At the same time, the World Health Organization (WHO), USAID, and the global health nonprofit PATH identified a pressing need to improve the effectiveness of immunization programs in the developing world. Vaccines are heat sensitive. Exposure to excessive heat can result in the loss of efficacy, leaving children who are vaccinated with heat-damaged vaccines vulnerable to disease. But vaccines are stable enough to withstand some exposure to heat. Immunization program managers faced the following issues:

  • How to better protect children from receiving a heat-damaged vaccine that was no longer efficacious?
  • How to prevent the wastage that is common in immunization programs when health care workers presume that a vaccine is heat damaged even when it is not?

USAID, WHO, and PATH recognized that the answer was a time-temperature indicator, put on each unit of vaccine, that would clearly signal when the vaccine had been exposed to a predetermined heat load. The technology that Temptime was working to develop for the food industry was a potential solution for this application: scientifically based, predictable, easy to read, and cost-effective.

The application of the Temptime technology to the need identified by USAID, WHO, and PATH resulted in the development of the vaccine vial monitor, or VVM, specifically designed for oral polio vaccine. The VVM is a small circular indicator that is applied on each vial of vaccine and clearly indicates whether or not that specific vial has been exposed to excessive heat.

Read more on Breakthroughs, the blog of the Global Health Technologies Coalition.

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Double your gift’s impact

“Every baby should have its toes kissed,” says psychologist and writer Valerie Tarico. “The question is, how do you create the conditions so that when children come into the world their parents are ready to kiss their toes and celebrate them?”

Young girl places her hand over her upper arm where she's received vaccination, with the words "Share the health: donate now for 1:1 match."Excellent question.

For Valerie, the answer includes giving every woman access to family planning “so she can take care of her family rather than having another baby when she doesn’t feel ready.”

For Brian Arbogast, director of the Water, Sanitation & Hygiene program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (and Valerie’s husband), those conditions include addressing lack of access to sanitation, “which leads to half of all hospitalizations in the developing world.”

For both, it means supporting PATH, because we’re working on these issues and more.

What can we achieve together? Watch our video and find out.

Right now, conditions are right for taking inspiration from Valerie and Brian and making a year-end donation to PATH—a generous donor is matching every dollar that we receive between now and December 31 toward our goal of $275,000.

Double the power, double the impact

Man, woman, and two girls posing in front of a palm tree.

Through PATH, Brian Arbogast and Valerie Tarico, and their daughters Brynn and Marley, are helping families thrive. Photo: Courtesy of Valerie Tarico.

Brian and Valerie believe in the power of doubling your support. When their daughters Brynn and Marley make a donation to a favorite cause, for example, they match the funds.  “We’re investing in helping them discover how exciting it is to be part of a community that makes things better,” explains Valerie.

And they encourage you to be part of PATH’s community of donors. “One of the reasons that we’re excited about supporting PATH is there’s a very high return on investment,” says Brian. “The outcomes are big and aspirational. And if you give now you get double your return.”

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How your support helps save lives

Smiling man stands on the side of a very muddy road. People in the background walking.

PATH’s Dr. Pham Trung on the road to Xem, Thanh Hoa Province, Vietnam. Photo: PATH/Kate Bagshaw.

PATH’s Anne Aumell, a member of our Development team, is in Southeast Asia seeing some of the innovative work our generous donors have made possible. Here’s her report on a project that’s making sure newborns receive a lifesaving dose of vaccine against hepatitis B at birth.

Young girl places her hand over her upper arm where she's received vaccination, with the words "Share the health: donate now for 1:1 match."Here’s what I know about PATH donors: you often make your first gift because you attended an event or heard about us through Charity Navigator. Here’s what I love about PATH donors: when you take the time to really get to know our work, you give and give again.

PATH’s work is complex, and it takes time to accomplish what we set out to do. I tell donors, “PATH’s in this for the long haul, and I know you are too. Let’s see what we can do together.”

Protection from disease as life begins

In Vietnam, I got to see up close the big work we’re all doing to increase the number of newborns who receive the hepatitis B vaccine birth dose.

By “all,” I mean Dr. Vu Minh Huong, senior team leader, vaccines and immunization, who has advocated tirelessly on behalf of the birth dose for years, and Dr. Pham Trung, the program officer who leads the project. I mean the myriad health officials we met: the secretaries of the National Expanded Programme on Immunization, the community leaders, and the village health workers in Thanh Hoa and Hoa Binh provinces. And I mean PATH donors, particularly Elizabeth Martin and Dr. Ken Fabert, who first learned of this effort when he traveled on a PATH Journeys trip to Vietnam in 2008. Ken and Elizabeth serve as trustees of the Martin-Fabert Foundation. They help make this work possible.

A wooden home perched on the edge of a green hillside, with a laundry line filled with colorful clothing.

A home in Xem, which is about 30 rough miles from the nearest district hospital. Photo: PATH/Kate Bagshaw.

The people of Vietnam have an 8 percent prevalence rate for being infected with the hepatitis B virus. If infected early in life, children have a 90 percent chance of becoming chronic carriers of the virus, putting them at high risk of death from cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer. If given the vaccine within 24 hours after birth, 80 to 95 percent of mother-to-child transmissions of the virus can be prevented. Pretty straightforward, right?

Wrong. Continue reading »

Five reasons to give to PATH today

Young mother with a baby swaddled on her back smiles for the camera.

Your support helps us create a world where all mothers have the chance to kiss their babies. Photo: PATH/Deborah Atherly.

You gave thanks. You got some great deals (or you skipped the shopping). And now here it is: Giving Tuesday, a day for giving back. The perfect day to take action for a healthier and more equitable world by making a gift to PATH.

Why give to PATH? Here are five reasons:

1. Like us, you believe that no child should die of a preventable disease and no mother should die in childbirth. Your support of PATH fuels our work to create a world where all mothers get to hug their babies and all children have the potential to thrive.

A woman stands next to her household water filter and lifts a cup of water to drink.

Double your donation! Every dollar contributed toward our $275,000 goal will be matched through December 31. Photo: PATH/Gabe Bienczycki.

2. Right now, you can double your impact. A generous donor is matching every dollar PATH receives toward our goal to raise $275,000 between now and December 31. That means your gift will go twice as far.

3. A gift to PATH has lifesaving impact. Mothers and babies surviving childbirth. Vaccines and drugs for malaria, meningitis, pneumonia, diarrheal disease. Safe water in people’s homes. Contraceptives that put protection in women’s hands. And 118 million people reached last year alone. Need we say more?

Charity Navigator4. PATH is an excellent steward of your gifts. We’ve been awarded Charity Navigator’s highest rating for sound fiscal management for nine years in a row! Only 1 percent of rated charities can say the same.

5. You’ll join our powerful community of donors. Our supporters believe in the power of innovation. They’re reaching out from communities around the world to help us save lives. Meet some of them and learn their stories.

So much depends on health—education, empowerment for women and girls, financial opportunity. With just a click, you can invest in the world we dream of—and help our year-end campaign get off to a strong start.

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Innovation on the street in DR Congo

People backlit by headlights stroll down a city street at night.

Street life late at night in Lubumbashi. Photo: PATH/Felix Masi.

Our president and CEO Steve Davis recently returned from the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he traveled with PATH staff working to improve health services among some of the country’s most vulnerable people. Here are some of his observations.

It was almost midnight in Lubumbashi, and as we walked up the street, the sound of Congolese dance music mixed with the clink of beer bottles. I was visiting PATH’s innovative nighttime outreach program, which offers HIV counseling, testing, and referrals to some of the people most at risk of infection—including truckers, sex workers, and men who have sex with men—at an urban hot spot known as Kamolondo.

Two women sit in blue plastic chairs in front of a tent atop a trailer. Inside the tent, a man in a lab coat is visible. One woman wears a black tank top, the other a white health worker's shirt and cap.

Mobile HIV testing brings services to nighttime hot spots. Photo: PATH/Felix Masi.

These nighttime HIV services provide a more convenient and anonymous way for at-risk people to be tested and, if HIV-positive, to be referred to services. I saw firsthand the powerful social dynamic between people who come to the testing site and trained educators, who encourage their peers to be tested, wait for the results with them, and then support each other, whatever the outcome. Continue reading »

Turn awareness into action

Group of eight young children standing near an open door.

What if we used commemorations such as World Pneumonia Day and World Toilet Day to take action for children? Photo: PATH/Lesley Reed.

Guest contributor Erin Fry Sosne is PATH’s government affairs officer for child health, advocacy, and public policy.

November is a busy time for child health. The month hosts major worldwide awareness days focused on some of the biggest threats to children’s health, including World Pneumonia Day (the number one killer of young children), World Prematurity Day (a leading cause of child death), and World Toilet Day (which emphasizes diarrhea, a leading cause of preventable child death).

Yet global awareness days should be more than a mark on a calendar. While awareness is a critical component of action, it’s just the start. Global awareness days pose opportunities to take stock of our progress and chart a path forward. Continue reading »

JE vaccine to reach at-risk kids

Group of young children holding their vaccination records.

New funding for vaccine means millions of at-risk children will be protected from Japanese encephalitis. Photo: PATH/Julie Jacobson.

Just over a month ago, we celebrated a huge public health win. The World Health Organization (WHO) put its crucial stamp of approval on a lifesaving Japanese encephalitis (JE) vaccine, a milestone achieved largely through the efforts of an innovative cross-sector partnership between PATH and the vaccine’s Chinese manufacturer, Chengdu Institute of Biological Products (CDIBP).

WHO’s approval, called prequalification, means leaders of country immunization programs and groups that fund vaccine purchases can be confident that the vaccine meets international quality and safety standards, and it sets the stage for purchase and use of the vaccine for populations most at risk of this deadly disease.

This week, we have another cause for celebration. As part of its vaccine investment strategy, the GAVI Alliance announced funding to bring widespread JE immunization campaigns to poor countries that otherwise can’t afford the vaccine. With GAVI’s support, PATH’s continued engagement, and CDIBP’s commitment to ensuring a supply of high-quality vaccine, millions of children will be protected. Continue reading »

For World Toilet Day, a tour de toilettes

Corrugated steel outhouse with the initials "V.I.P." painted in yellow on the side.

At one time or another, all of us have encountered a Very Important Toilet. Photo: Erin Hohfelder.

Our colleagues at PATH’s DefeatDD know how to have a good time in support of an important cause: clean water and sanitation. To mark World Toilet Day, they invited photographers to submit their favorite images of this humble yet essential tool for a 2014 calendar they’re calling, “Oh, the Places We Go.” You can download your own version on the DefeatDD website. But before you do, learn the thinking behind the whimsy from PATH’s Hope Randall, and check out more photos on Facebook.

In the sanitation sector, VIP stands for “ventilated improved latrine.” But as this photographer notes, when it comes to toilets, VIP takes on a whole new meaning.

Outhouse against an orange and blue sunset.Almost half of the world’s population lacks a safe, clean place to “go,” and as a result, thousands die each day from preventable diarrhea. Open defecation is also a cause of other problems, from gender-based violence to school absenteeism among girls.

DefeatDD exists to break the taboo around poo—and the loo! If we can’t talk about diarrheal disease—and if we can’t celebrate the simple solutions that save lives—we can’t defeat it. Creativity and humor can be powerful vehicles for sparking conversation; why not begin with the topic of toilets?

We hope this calendar inspires you to cause a commode-tion and raise your voices for the unsung hero of health and development.

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