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Tag Archives: health care

Uganda: The “Pearl of Africa”

I recently had the great fortune of spending over a week in Uganda with a friend. She was considering working at a hospital located in the Bwindi region in the southwest corner of the country, and she asked if I wanted to join her in a scouting trip of the hospital.

My answer? “I’m packing my bags right now!”

For a photographer like myself, the opportunity to see “the pearl of Africa,” as Winston Churchill once described Uganda, was one I could not pass up. I was also excited to visit the Bwindi Community Hospital which, I learned, bordered the Impenetrable Forest. With a name like that, I imagined magical and wonderful things must happen there. But what I experienced in Bwindi was beyond my wildest imagination.


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Keeping kids safe from polio in Iraq

I’m often saddened by how little the conflict in Iraq shows up in the news these days. It was already fairly underreported, and then the election and financial crisis knocked it even farther off the media radar. The good news is that there actually is less violence in Iraq to report these days. The country has stabilized quite a bit from when I was a reporter there in 2004.

But it’s still a very dangerous place. And the daily UNICEF operations briefs I read almost always include some disheartening news from Iraq. (Two recent ones contained subheads Five killed, one injured north of Baghdad and Iraq violence leaves 14 dead.)

© UNICEF/NYHQ2007-2321/Michael Kamber
IRAQ: Children follow American soldiers as they patrol the streets of a neighborhood in the town of Falluja. The levels of violence in the city have fallen dramatically over the course of the year. But critical shortages of medicines and vaccines have left nearly one-third of children in remote areas without basic services. One in five Iraqi children has stunted growth, 1 in 13 is underweight, half are missing routine vaccinations and 1 in 5 girls is not in school.

I sometimes think that one of the reasons we Americans don’t want to know too much about the situation in Iraq is that it’s just so complicated. There are a lot of different combative groups, and it can feel as though it’s sometimes hard to know who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. But for UNICEF, it’s simple: kids are always the good guys.

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Hope for Zambia, despite challenges


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World Breastfeeding Week

I often joke with my friends that my daughter was born hungry.

Immediately after being born, the nine-pound little porker wanted to eat. A kind nurse at the hospital who noticed how exhausting labor was for me thought I could use a break and offered me formula. It was tempting, but I chose to breastfeed instead, which has been one of the best decisions I’ve made as a mother.

Breastfeeding comes with so many benefits. It creates a special bond between a mom and her baby. It helps raise a baby’s IQ level. And

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New TV series staring Ewan McGregor raises awareness for UNICEF


A new television series, “Long Way Down,” featuring actors Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman, makes its US television premiere on Fox Reality Channel this Saturday, August 2 at 9 pm (ET/PT). Check local listings for details.

UNICEF is the official charity for “Long Way Down.” During their journey from Scotland to South Africa, Ewan and Charley stopped off to visit UNICEF projects to raise awareness and funds for children.

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Somalia: Keep spreading the word

UNICEF Ambassador Clay Aiken recently returned from Somalia, where UNICEF provides children in the war-torn nation with health care, education, nutrition, clean water and sanitation. This is the second in a series of blog posts he will write about his experience in the field.

For children in Somalia, the situation is dire. But, it’s just amazing to me that UNICEF is still able to make a difference in children’s lives in one of the most dangerous places on earth.


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