It's been a big week for Health Bridges. We hit our stride with the end of the Capital Campaign - exceeding our goal and raising over $60K in support for the boys living in the Casa Girasoles homes.
We've also got a number of activities underway - with Karen facilitating another round of data collection in the communities of Alto Cayma (Arequipa) for the anemia project; Carmen supporting an international intern who is learning about global health and helping with data collection for the Ines Project; we facilitated our first online course in Global Health for American College of Eduction School of Nursing and Universidad Catholica Santa Maria; and we're busy preparing a new Memorandum of Agreement to facilitate the next phase of our ongoing program with the College of Midwives in Perú to train all providers in the country in neonatal resuscitation. A busy week.
However, this week has also been marked by significant tragedy. A young women we've been supporting in Arequipa, Karen has been a true saint, with a rare form of cancer has been deteriorating. Her situation is grave. It's really difficult because her current situation could have been easily averted with good quality healthcare. Her deterioration has been really hard on the team, as Karen has been so involved in helping to arrange consultations with oncologists and specialists in the U.S., advocating with the Peruvian physicians, meeting with partners to help align care for the young woman, and deeply building relationship. I have so much respect for Karen and her heroic efforts. I know she does not do this work for recognition, and - she deserves so much recognition.
On Monday afternoon I received a message from a partner NGO - that a young boy we were also helping, passed away. I wrote about him a few weeks back. His case was extremely complicated - made even more complex because of number of social, economic and cultural challenges. His death hit me hard. We were working to get him linked into speciality care in the city of Lima, as access to pediatric-neurologists is very limited - actually, non-existent - in Cusco. We were too late. I feel very saddened - for the families loss, for the premature end of such a precious life, and for the failures of the health system. There loss feels so senseless. Just like the desperate challenges Marta is experiencing in accessing the care she so deeply deserves.
This week has been filled with a number of great lessons. Perhaps the greatest is learning to never give up and keep persevering The challenges that face the world today are complex. They will not be solved with simple solutions. They require equally complex and sophisticated solutions. Our work is to keep pushing. To stay engaged. Our work is to keep learning.
The HBI Blog is a rotating journal from our staff. Our Blog is a series of messages from the field, insights from our work, and lessons in service.