Circle of Health International
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1905 Paramount Avenue Austin TX 78703 USA
Working with women and their communities in times of crisis and disaster to ensure access to quality reproductive, maternal, and newborn care.
COHI led a rapid response team of 11 women's health professionals from the US and Europe into Sri Lanka. The team lived and worked in one of the most devastated regions affected not only by the 2003 Tsunami but also by over 25 years of armed conflict. $80,000 was raised through cash donations from individuals and a $23,000 grant from World Vision/Sri Lanka. Together, the team conducted the first women's health needs assessment and provided the only women's health services to a number of refugee camps. COHI partnered with the Acadiana Outreach Center, a local women's shelter, to support women surviving the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. COHI immediately secured $100,000 in addition to approximately $250,000 worth of medical supply donations, all of which were passed directly to local agencies. The project received additional grants from the Reminderbands organization and the Virginia Wellington Cabot Foundation in Boston. Through timely support, COHI helped empower the Acadiana Outreach Center to develop a case management center, which hired victims of Katrina and Rita to provide services to hurricane victims who had relocated to the city of Lafayette. In addition, COHI trained these evacuee case managers in women's health, family and gender-based violence identification, counseling, and outreach. 97% of Tibetan women give birth unattended in a region of extreme poverty and a long history of violence. In 2004, COHI responded by conducting an in-depth needs assessment. This led to a collaboration with the Tibet Poverty Alleviation Fund (TPAF) in training local midwives in Nagchu, Tibet. Over two years, COHI recruited participants, developed curricula, and trained midwives on basic maternal health. COHI also trained village doctors on emergency obstetric care. The program's success was determined through intensive monitoring and evaluation during the summer of 2006 and positive feedback from local NGOs and the Ministry of Health. COHI formally concluded its programming in this region in 2008. It is open to future partnerships should such opportunities arise.
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