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Jane Dempster, a documentary photographer, traveled through Latin America to capture Research for Health success stories.  

View the press release here. (Only available in Spanish)


Summary: Milk banks enable working woman to provide babies with the best nutrition and the most affordable one. Hence, they make it easier for families to thrive preventing them from diverting important income to less beneficial foods. Milk banks have developed as research has provided better understanding of the benefits of breast milk and the preservation of breast milk. Milk banks benefit babies in outpatient and inpatient clinics when either the baby or the mother are unavailable for regular breastfeeding.

Jane Dempster visited a milk bank in Guatemala to document the uptake of milk banks, how these adapt to cultural needs and how they serve communities.

Kangaroo mother care – Love’s Research as and endless resource

Summary: Each year about 20 million infants of low birth weight are born worldwide, which imposes a heavy burden on healthcare and social systems in developing countries. Medical care of low birth weight infants is complex, demands an expensive infrastructure and highly skilled staff, and is often a very disruptive experience for families. Premature babies in poorly resourced settings often end up in understaffed and ill equipped neonatal care units, which may be turned into potentially deadly traps by a range of factors colluding—for example, malfunctioning incubators, broken monitors, overcrowding, nosocomial infections, etc. In 1978 Edgar Rey, a Colombian pediatrician concerned with the problems arising from a shortage of incubators and the impact of separating women from newborns in neonatal care units, developed Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC), a healthcare technique for low birth weight infants that is at least as effective as traditional care in a neonatal care unit.

Research that nurtures healthy development

Summary: Some of the most striking health developments come from research conducted with other sectors, such as education and agriculture. In the next series of images Jane Dempster reminds us with her images that better food safety and hygiene have led to dramatic health improvements. There is a better understanding of healthy eating and healthy habits, and kids learn from an early age about basic (yet tremendously effective) hygiene interventions. Education, sanitation, access to quality water and food have proven to be tremendous determinants of health and development.
The Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama INCAP, a PAHO/WHO Center, has been a key player in research about nutrition. Its research has shown that the negative effects of malnutrition can be lasting, affecting children’s development to the point of affecting subsequent generations.
Through the development of relevant research, INCAP has brought significant contributions to understand the effects of malnutrition and to assess the effects of nutritional supplementation for mothers and young children. For over 6 decades INCAP (funded in 1949) has conducted research with a holistic approach and engaging relevant sectors to benefit people’s health, development and quality of life. As the images illustrate, this includes community research, field research basic research, clinical research –different approaches to address questions about nutrition.
The findings of INCAP studies showed that supplementary feeding of infants and young children benefited their cognitive and behavioral development and school performance through their teenage years and could result in better academic performance leading to opportunities for development and poverty alleviation.

Cisalva Institute – The institute for peace promotion and violence prevention

Summary: The birth of CISALVA Institute dates back to 1992, when local government aims to formalize through a local policy, all efforts that would allow the construction of living in the city of Cali Colombia.
With That idea in mind, In 1995 Valle University decided to establish the Research Centre "Health and Violence", with the intention to collaborate in the identification of factors associated with violence, relations between them and through them, to construction of proposals to address it.
A year later, in March 1996, the center was named partner of PAHO / WHO Latin American region in promoting coexistence and prevention of injuries and violence.
Since 2002, the Institute and the Colombia Program at Georgetown University have developed and implemented more than 20 epidemiologically based municipal crime observatories in intermediate-sized municipalities in Colombia. These crime observatories serve as monitoring centers that provide low cost, geo-referenced methods of data collection and analysis, which allow cities to develop more responsive policies and prevention programs and enhance governance.
The Institute focuses its efforts in the consolidation of six basic lines of research: Surveillance Systems; Mental Health; Domestic Violence; Social Communication for Behavioral Change; Evaluation; Human Resource Training.

Research on Health to Building the Progress

Summary: People sometimes struggle to illustrate how research for health brings overall benefit to society, generates wealth and development. To Panamanians it is pretty clear. The Canal bridging the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, a key route to the world’s commerce is an everyday reminder of this, of the importance of scientific development and the different stages of research.
In June 1904 the first group of American medical personnel arrived in Panama, led by U.S. Army Colonel William C. Gorgas. Gorgas was an officer who had been deeply involved in the successful eradication of yellow fever from Havana, Cuba. He was immune to 'yellow jack', as it was often called, because he had recovered from a milder case while serving with the army.
As chief sanitary officer on the canal project, Gorgas implemented far-reaching sanitary programs including fumigation, mosquito netting, draining ponds and swamps, and public water systems. These measures as well as new research were instrumental in permitting the construction of the Canal, as they significantly prevented illness due to yellow fever and malaria among the thousands of workers involved in the building project and also important: Panama recorded its last case of yellow jack in 1905.
In 1929 it was inaugurated the Gorgas Commemorative Institute to continue conducting research in the specialized fields of Tropical Medicine. Today the institute also works in Preventive Medicine, Management in Health, Development, Innovation of Technologies, Society and Environment. It’s Scientific Library keep the original publications of all of the Institute’s prestigious researchers.
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Images from her travels are available here.

Last Updated on Friday, 31 August 2012 13:06

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