Friday, June 20, 2014

Good coming from Maternal, Newborn and Child Health

My mother told me to always give credit where credit is due. Today I am doing that.

Today's credit goes to Stephen Harper and the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health summit held May 28-May 30.

Don Hutchinson also wrote about the Summit which he attended about this iniative.

This initiative has funded University of Guelph's Chris Charles "Lucky Iron fish". This is just one of many projects that has come out of the government's Maternal, Newborn and Child Health initiative.
"The little “Lucky Iron Fish,” now in growing use by cooks in Cambodia, has proven effective in reducing rampant iron deficiency among women – the cause of premature labour, hemorrhaging during childbirth and poor brain development among babies. Initial local reluctance to using a loose piece of iron in cooking pots was overcome by a clever design tapping into Cambodian folklore about a fish species that brings good fortune. In partnership with small businesses across Cambodia, plans for this year and next call for production and distribution of 60,000 lucky iron fish, made from recycled material at a cost of about $5 each, which provide health benefits for roughly three years."
From  the CBC:
"The Lucky Iron Fish is a grassroots project from an Ontario-based company started by PhD student Chris Charles at the University of Guelph. 
Cooking food with an iron fish helps reduce anemia, and in Cambodia this is meeting with more acceptance than iron supplements. (Grand Challenges Canada/Flickr) 
"I was visiting Cambodia and saw first-hand the far-reaching effects of how anemia had crippled the country," says Charles, who developed the project as his PhD thesis and lived in Cambodia for almost five years during the initial studies and attempts to distribute the fish to villages."
Watch the video to see how Charles came up with his idea of the Lucky Iron Fish.

The Lucky Iron Fish was funded through "Grand Challenges Canada".
"Grand Challenges Canada is dedicated to supporting Bold Ideas with Big Impact® in global health. We are funded by the Government of Canada and we fund innovators in low- and middle income countries and Canada. The bold ideas we support integrate science and technology, social and business innovation – we call this Integrated Innovation®. We focus on bringing successful innovation to scale, catalyzing sustainability and impact. We have a determined focus on results, and saving and improving lives. 
And what's really exciting about this initiative, is that this is only one of many life saving initiatives funded through this group, Grand Challenges Canada. There are many others.

I'm not usually supportive of government funded anything. But this is different. Why? Because it brings together amazing ideas that real people have for saving lives in developing countries. And it links those people with organizations who will then fund their initiative. So organizations are investing in these developing countries as well as the taxpayer. This means the tax payer's portion of the funding is used to leverage companies' investment--up to 30 times. Impressive.

How Funding for the Lucky Fish came about.

The Lucky fish instructions come in the language of the country receiving it.

Instructions below in English

And no, we aren't funding abortions in these countries. We are improving and saving the lives of babies and their mothers. That too is impressive.

No comments:

Post a Comment