Hundreds Receive Sight-Restoring Surgery: Imagine having sight-restoring surgery after spending much of your life blind. That amazing, life-changing dream became a reality for hundreds of people in the Millennium City of Mekelle, Ethiopia, in November 2009, thanks to the Himalayan Cataract Project, which works to eradicate preventable and curable blindness through eye care and education globally. HCP has since conducted thousands of cataract repair surgeries and corneal transplants, provided hands-on ophthalmological training for physicians across multiple Millennium Cities and has led and secured USAID financing got two Centers in Excellence in Eye Care, in both Mekelle and Kumasi, Ghana.
Kumasi Area Medical Professionals Learn to Conduct Obstetric Ultrasound, Dramatically Improving Maternal and Neonatal Care: The UK-based International Society for Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology, which trains professionals in the use of life-saving ultrasound technology, partnered with the Millennium Cities Initiative to further maternal and child health in Kumasi, Ghana. Since 2010, ISUOG has conducted three intensive annual trainings for doctors, midwives and nurses at three Kumasi hospitals, with hundreds of expectant mothers and other females benefiting from the screenings.
Neonatal Survival Training Program Examines Keys to Newborn Survival, Saving Lives Along the Way: Responding to unacceptably high neonatal mortality rates, the Millennium Cities Initiative carried out a neonatal survival training program this past year in Ghana’s two largest cities. Based on the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Helping Babies Breathe,TM protocol, the training provided life-saving skills to more than 100 medical professionals, who in turn passed on essential information on newborn health and hygiene to participating mothers. MCI is now taking this successful pilot to northern Ethiopia, to be replicated in both the Millennium City and Millennium Villages projects.
Patients Receive Urological Treatment: With only one urologist serving all of Western Kenya’s Nyanza Province, a catchment area of five to seven million people, patients with urological problems regularly go untreated. Yet in the spring of 2010, a team of three U.S-based urologists, accompanied by F. Bruce Cohen, CFO of United Therapies and Founder of the Knock Foundation, used their skills to train other medical professionals and to help those in need – making a last impact in the process. The Knock Foundation led an additional trip to Kisumu, as well as a highly successful mission to Mekelle in 2012.
Education and Gender Equality
Girls’ LitClubs Teach Literacy Skills and Boost Confidence: LitWorld, an NGO dedicated to improving literacy worldwide, and the Millennium Cities Initiative have been working together for some time, championing a number of LitWorld’s celebrations of literacy in the Millennium Cities, including several successful World Read Aloud Days and a “Stand Up For Girls Rally” to commemorate the International Day of the Girl. In two Millennium Cities, Kumasi, Ghana, and Kisumu, Kenya, we have also worked together to create Girls’ “LitClubs,” which offer adolescent girls safe environments to cultivate literacy and speaking skills, build confidence and connect with their peers locally and worldwide. Now MCI and LitWorld are starting several Boys’ LitClubs, responding to requests from teachers who have witnessed the magical transformation among the girls served and who are keenly aware of the need for similar opportunities for the boys they teach.
Key Israeli Partnership Opens Doors for Early Learners: Education for children aged 4-6 was not part of the formal education system in Ghana until 2003, following recommendations from the Ghanaian President’s Committee on Review of Education Reforms about the importance of early childhood development. These recommendations paved the way for MCI and its longtime partner, the Government of Israel’s Office of International Cooperation (MASHAV), of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to engage seasoned early childhood education specialists from the Golda Meir Mount Carmel International Training Center to work together with Kumasi educators to develop an early childhood curriculum that could suit Ghana’s needs and introduce a more interactive, child-driven approach to early childhood development.
Students Gain 21st-Century Skills and Teachers Receive Specialized Training: For far too many school-age students across sub-Saharan Africa, obtaining a 21st-century education is merely a dream. Yet 21st-century learning is exactly what students in Louga, Senegal, and the nearby Millennium Village of Leona are getting, thanks to an exciting partnership between CyberSmart Africa, MCI and the Millennium Villages Project. CyberSmart Africa provides teacher training coupled with innovative technology solutions designed to narrow the learning divide between Africa and the developed world. Learn more about CyberSmart Africa and watch its video on YouTube.