Posted on Tuesday, August 21st, 2012 at 10:17 am
By Jennifer Weiss, Health Advisor, Concern Worldwide US
I started my work in Burundi around a year ago. Before I visited the country, I remember my colleague describing Burundi to me. “It’s off the grid,” she said.
Jennifer Weiss forgoes the van and continues her journey cross the rickety bridge on foot.
The comment struck me as odd. I assured her that I had lived in Africa before and was more than prepared for the work that lay ahead. I couldn’t possibly understand what she meant by “off the grid.”
I quickly learned. Burundi, despite its geographic proximity to Tanzania, Kenya, and Rwanda, countries with growing economies and booming tourism industries, is heartbreakingly poor. In fact, Burundi is one of the world’s five poorest countries. I knew this statistic before departure. However, it wasn’t until I arrived in Burundi’s capital city of Bujumbura that I completely understood my colleague’s description. While in other capitals there are new businesses and construction, in Bujumbura there are none to be seen. When I asked a friend of mine who had been in Burundi in the ‘80s to explain how the capital had changed since then, she frankly responded: “It hasn’t.”
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Posted on Friday, April 23rd, 2010 at 6:34 pm
Philip Wegner is Health Advisor for Concern Worldwide’s Child Survival programs in Haiti, Burundi, Rwanda and Niger.
In Western nations, most people don’t think twice about mosquito-bites except as a minor annoyance.
However, as Health Advisor for Concern Worldwide’s Child Survival programs, I cannot help but wonder how the world would be altered if the mosquitoes that cause so much suffering in Africa or Asia did the same thing here?
At one time, malaria was also present in the West—but its impact never compared to the illness and death it brings to people in developing countries. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Monday, November 23rd, 2009 at 4:23 pm
In Cite Okay neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, poor sanitation and water quality have been a major threat to the health of the community. Concern has been working with local organizations, youth volunteers and health committees to clean up neighborhoods and promote clean, litter free environments.
It is difficult to imagine that just 700 miles from United States soil, mothers are still dying in childbirth and children continue to pay the ultimate price for contracting such preventable diseases such as diarrhea, pneumonia and malnutrition.
For Haitians, the health situation is the worst in the western hemisphere. To make matters worse, the country is threatened by extreme weather conditions including major hurricanes and tropical storms that are destroying infrastructure and uprooting livelihoods. Read the rest of this entry »