Picture a remote Cambodian village I visited where mothers and their children are gathered to be vaccinated. Shots are being administered by a nurse from a distant government health clinic, whom PATH has brought to the village because the mothers cannot reach her on their own. Gifted PATH professionals have worked with government officials and community leaders to establish this program as their own. Cambodia has declared it their model for building out the healthcare delivery system in other provinces.
In this and many other ways, PATH is the catalyst for strengthening the delivery systems needed to bring health within reach of everyone in the 70 countries where it works. With local partners, it also teaches healthy behavior. And it is behind remarkable progress by other partners in developing vaccines and technologies that are affordable and suitable for poor communities. Two of their latest vaccines are making headlines as I write this.
Half the world's population is at risk of malaria, which kills 800,000 people each year. Developing a malaria vaccine was thought to be impossible. So was success in eliminating malaria from Sub-Saharan Africa. PATH has persisted in achieving progress on both fronts. They are the catalyst behind a vaccine in final trials that reduces by half the risk of malaria among children. In Zambia, PATH is behind a national campaign making remarkable progress toward eliminating malaria through partners that bring bed nets, test kits, and medicines to the villages where malaria has thrived.
Meningitis is feared across 25 countries in Africa, where it has killed thousands. No longer! PATH has developed a vaccine that stops meningitis in its tracks. The World Health Organization and the governments of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger gave this vaccine to twenty million people this past winter and none of them have meningitis today. This campaign will continue until meningitis is eliminated in all 25 countries. Once again, where others thought it impossible, PATH has broken through by engaging others to bring health within reach.
My donation to PATH’s Catalyst Fund is an investment in the lives saved by their innovations and in remote village families being seen by a nurse for the first time.
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As a retired physician, I am very impressed with the degree to which PATH is able to improve the health of people in developing countries using limited resources. I am interested in maternal and child health since it is critical to the welfare of whole communities. PATH has developed low tech solutions including life-saving medications that can be stored without refrigeration and given in the home by lay providers. I have been involved in spreading the word in the community about PATH's work and helping others to get involved. It has been rewarding to see how excited others are about this work. The staff at PATH has been fun to work with and very supportive.