Global Heart Network wants to welcome all our readers back from a wonderful weekend of spending time with their family. We hope everyone had a chance to reflect and find the things that they are really thankful for. Here are Global Heart Network we are really thankful for all of our wonderful members and their participation in working towards are cause of global collaboration between stakeholders working to increase access to cardiac surgery in low to middle income countries.
#GivingTuesday Travel Fund Campaign
GHN is especially grateful to all of its members that partook in this day of giving allowing us to raise $675 though our partner’s Razoo crowd source fundraising site, enough to cover 70% of the travel cost to get 1 child access to the surgeries. Overall, our goal is to raise $10,000 for our travel fund for pediatric cardiac patients to get access to the surgeries they need. As we discussed in previous weeks blogs, with this initial fundraising goal, we hope to get 10 children in need of heart surgery from Nigeria, Liberia, and Tanzania to the General Hospital in Yaounde Cameroon where world-renowned surgeon Professor Kalangos will conduct their surgeries with the belief that no one should ever be denied because of where they were born.
We may not have been able to reach fundraising our goal, but without a doubt this campaign has been a success. Global Heart Network is still young organization and one of its goals for this campaign is to gain exposure for our work and our mission. The #GivingTuesday campaign did that exactly. By having our organization highlighted on this day, we were able to increase our following, which will turn increase use of the Global Heart Network collaboration platform and increase the amount of core member following allowing future fundraising campaigns to be an even bigger success.
GHN winner of the Razoo Video Challenge
Last week our video highlighting our travel fund campaign went live on the Razoo video challenge website. On #GivingTuesday the judges decided that Global Heart Network’s video provided the most captivating representation #GivingTuesday campaign and we were chosen as the winners of the 2013 Razoo Video Challenge. As the winners Global Heart Network was awarded $2000 to go towards our travel fund giving us a total of $2675 towards our fundraising goal of $10000. With these funds we will be able to provide travel expenditures for approximately 3 children who will be able to benefit necessary cardiac surgeries. If you missed out on participating in the #GivingTuesday campaign you can still support us by visiting our #GivingTuesday page http://givingtuesday.org/partner/global-heart-network/ and donate to the cause through our partners Razoo http://www.razoo.com/story/The-Travel-Fund-Campaign-Givingtuesday .
Founder Networks at World Health Organization’s Second Forum on Medical Devices
November 22-24 GHN founder, Annabel Lavielle, participated in the WHOs second Forum on Medical devices where she was able to make numerous connections with stakeholders and gain exposure for GHN. During her time there she was able to make dozens of key contacts that will be able to collaborate with GHN in the future by becoming key contributors to the Global Health Network collaboration platform by contributing to resource posting using their extensive access to medical devices.
During her time in Geneva Annabel was also contacted by funders interested in funding surgeries for 5 cardiac surgery patients, a generous donation that will get GHN to their fundraising goal of $10,000 for their travel fund. Additionally, she met with key officials in countries where the cost of a heart surgery will be greatly reduced in hopes of collaborating with them to increase the number of countries able to provide surgeries in sustainable cost-effective ways. Though we cannot release specific details of the connections that Annabel is making we think it is important to highlight Annabel’s hard work in expanding the reach of Global Heart Network.
At the conference itself Global Heart Network managed to highlight some of the needs of our network members including projecting a film from Nigeria about Beatrice (seen link above) needing a small medical device sent by Dr. Fidelia Bode Thomas, pediatrician in Nigeria and a powerpoint deck of needs from Dr. Sreemathi Seshadrinathan, cardiac surgeon in Chennai India. This was huge for Global Health Network because it allowed us to show that key members utilizing the website to request the needs increasing stakeholder use in our online collaboration platform. Our hope is that one day we will have enough user buy in that the GHN website become the default place to go post resources and needs in the world of Global Heart Surgery.
Children’s Heart Nation
When Annabel was in Europe she also met with Paul Chaumont from Children’s Heart Nation to congratulate them on their year trip writing about children’s heart disease in Low to Middle income countries. GHN had been in contact with this wonderful dynamic and young team helping them prepare their trip in 2011/12 and during their trip arranging for meetings with surgeons, cardiologists and health care professionals alike throughout their trip. Please take time to read some of their articles, they are most insightful. As you know we are highlighting some of their articles in each blog. This week we are discussing their meeting with Professor Kalangos:
Three Questions with Professor Kalangos
10 days after our return to France, we wish to honor Professor Kalangos, Head of Cardiovascular Surgery of the University Hospitals of Geneva by including him in our series of three questions. Almost a year to this day we met in Geneva. This encounter was the first of our long journey. It will undoubtedly able to motivate us and contribute to our commitment to deepen reflections on pediatric cardiac surgery in the world.
We met there almost a year, at the beginning of our adventure. What has changed this year in the field of cardiac humanitarian medicine?
You know, in terms of action, there has not been much change. But in June, the overall 8th forum of cardiac humanitarian medicine was held in Geneva. On this occasion, we presented the project Global Heart Network with Annabelle Lavielle. We had very positive feedback and we are conducting a collaboration with various NGOs. We will try to make this platform more functional, its launch is the good news of the year. There was also the launch of a project in Burma to help the population. We observed that there was a lot of exchanges between the various humanitarian organizations, it demonstrates the value of the project at the international level and usefulness of our platform to help stakeholders communicate.
Can you share with us an experience, an encounter that you particularly marked during your humanitarian missions?
I recently started humanitarian missions in Greece, where the economic situation complicates medical interventions. It is a country that can now be regarded as developing, despite what health authorities suggest. As a Greek, I am very touched by the problems of my country and following discussions with families of children with congenital heart defects, I realized that there was a lot to do even within countries of the European Union. Yesterday I finished a mission and before you go to Baku, Azerbaijan, I had the great joy to learn that ten children that I treated were in good health. It is an honor for me to be able to help where the country is in trouble especially in the field of pediatric cardiac surgery. In Europe, we are all vulnerable, member countries of the European Community consider themselves part of the developed countries, but you can see that with the economic crisis, nobody is immune and others may be affected the same way.
Challenges ahead of humanitarian medicine seem to pass through the collective effort and network, as seems to develop Global Heart Network? Why?
It is essential in my opinion. We have limited financial and human resources, so it is necessary that we can optimize their use, we need to coordinate our efforts. When I see the exchange of letters between the various associations that help the project in Burma, I think there is a problem. They are at least a dozen organizations involved, but unfortunately there is no coordination and communications and exchanges are not optimized. If the various NGOs could walk hand in hand, we would save a lot of time and money. There are people who send the equipment on site, I think all NGOs could use this equipment and to provide their qualified human resources to enable better optimization of the number of children treated. The whole area of humanitarian needs platforms like ours needs to be able to help people work together and communicate better. Today, it is difficult to know who is doing what, what is the scope of each project. This must be done in collaboration and with the support of governments; it is the sine qua non. Without it, we can not move forward on the humanitarian and the battle is already lost.
To view the Children’s Heart Nation in French click the link below.
Follow GHN on our social media platforms
If GHN’s cause appeals to you or you feel like you can contribute to the network, I encourage you to follow us on our Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Weekly Blog. Every person that joins the GHN network makes takes us one step closer to our goal of global collaboration, so please encourage friends and family to join us in our cause. GHN encourages users to submit content the on how GHN can or has helped their cause. If you or a friend has a story you want to share, please do not hesitate to send it to Gabriel@globalhealthnetwork.net and we will highlight it in on our weekly blog.