HOI Attends Global Health Summit
On Monday, June 1, 2015, I had the opportunity to represent HOI at the 2015 Global Health Summit, hosted by the World Affairs Council of Atlanta. The focus of this summit was Latin American and the Caribbean. The mission of the World Affairs Council of Atlanta is “to provide a forum for dialogue, a source of expertise and an engine for research on the international issues that matter to Atlanta.” HOI was named as a partner organization, along with CARE USA, Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), the CDC, Robinson College of Business, Emory University and other organizational leaders serving in Central America and the Caribbean.
Participants learned about the unique challenges that face the health and wellness in this region. The first of these challenges include an underdeveloped and overburdened Healthcare infrastructure which has fostered mistrust and a lack of utilization.
Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH, the Director of the Center for Disease Control Prevention, made a compelling argument. He stated that the mistrust in the healthcare system and the subsequent lack of utilization at the community level, make it difficult to identify specific health needs and opportunities facing communities in Central America and the Caribbean.
Additional challenges revealed to the participants included: a growing crime rate, a fragmented patient record system and increasing problems with pollution and sanitation. Consequently, communicable diseases and violent crime have become the largest causes of death in Latin America and the Caribbean. In fact, according to Thomas J. Bollyky, JD, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Economics and Development, three out of four deaths are caused by non-communicable diseases.
As I listened to each of the presenters articulate the various challenges facing health care in Latin America and how they were hoping to meet those challenges, I thought about the great work already being done through Dr. German Jiménez. On a recent trip to the ranch, pediatrician Bob Sherry expressed to me how impressed he was with the clinic and the work of Dr. Jiménez. “Dr. Jiménez is an incredible asset to HOI and this community. To find someone with his skill, passion and commitment to people is rare.” And, I thought about Jesus, who upon seeing a great multitude was moved with compassion toward them and healed their sick. (Matthew 14:14)
While there are a great many challenges facing Honduras, these challenges are not greater than our God. Through your compassion, generosity, prayers and support, God is bringing His healing presence into the hearts and lives of the Honduran people.
David Lee Davis
Director of Development