Over two decades ago, I spent a substantial part of my early life in my little village in southeast Nigeria greening my father’s compound. Fueled with passion for plants and the environment and no formal training in horticulture, agriculture, or botany, I turned our compound into a miniature botanical garden that was the talk of the town at that time. I had over 100 species of plants. Tropical, temperate, annuals, perennials, you name it, I had it. It was a blast and the most fascinating period of my life.
Fast forward two decades later I am pleasantly surprised to see how my passion for plants and the environment has come full circle several miles away from my village. In the global capital of Washington, DC, I am a leading a community-based revolution for the environment. The Family Tree Adoption Program (FTAP) that I conceptualized a few years ago has become the foundation for a County-wide program in my Prince George’s County, Maryland.
FTAP is a grassroots program that provides free native trees and shrubs to private homeowners in Prince George’s (PG) County, Maryland. FTAP is greening communities by increasing tree canopy, which, in turn, improves air and water quality, community aesthetics, and provides benefits for years to come.
I believe that the best employees are those who exhibit the greatest passion for what they do. In the absence of passion, knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) pale. It is easy to grow the KSA but it is difficult to sow or even grow passion, because you come to the table with passion. The absence of this burning fire of passion is what you see in doctors, lawyers, or other top professionals who make so much money but you can tell when you see them that they are not happy. Sounds familiar?
So, when next you see me, ask me about free trees! FTAP is truly the fruit of passion that led to innovation. Rather than pursuing your KSA, I recommend that you pursue your passion. So, what is your passion? Do you know?
The influenza (popularly known as Flu) season is around the corner. The flu vaccine is your best shot at preventing influenza. Trust me, there are many important reasons to get vaccinated. We recommend that you talk to your doctor to make sure you are up to date on the vaccines that are right for you.
Did you know that adults need vaccines too? If you didn’t, you’re not alone. Many adults in the U.S. are not aware of the vaccines recommended for them – and that means they are not taking advantage of the best protection available against a number of serious diseases.
There are many reasons to get vaccinated; here are just 10 of those reasons.
1) You may be at risk for serious diseases that could be prevented by vaccines. Many of these diseases (like influenza, pertussis, and shingles) are common in the U.S., and many can be spread easily.
2) You may be at increased risk for complications from certain diseases if you have a chronic health condition or weakened immune system. Adults with chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease and those with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop complications from certain vaccine-preventable diseases. These complications can include long-term illness, hospitalization, and even death.
3) You can reduce the chance that you’ll pass on a serious disease to your loved ones. Most vaccine-preventable disease can be contagious, like influenza, meningitis, and whooping cough. Receiving your recommended vaccines can reduce the risk that you get sick and spread disease on to others.
4) You can help protect those who can’t get vaccinated. Some people may not be able to get certain vaccines based on age, health conditions, or other factors even though they are vulnerable to illness. Vaccines can help prevent the spread of contagious diseases to them. For example, newborns who are too young to get vaccinated for whooping cough are also most at risk of severe illness from the disease. By getting vaccinated when you’re pregnant, you can pass on protection to your baby.
5) You don’t have time to get sick. You have too much responsibility to risk getting sick, including people counting on you at work and at home. Vaccines can help you stay healthy so you don’t waste time being sick.
6) You don’t want to miss what’s important to you. Spending time with family and friends or taking time out for your hobbies may not be possible if you get sick. Vaccines can help you stay healthy and enjoy the things you like to do.
7) You don’t want to pay the price of getting sick. Adults who get a vaccine-preventable disease face the financial costs of medical visits and treatment, in addition to other costs like taking time off work, hiring babysitters, and traveling to and from doctors’ offices.
8) You like to travel – or have to travel for work. Travel can present exciting opportunities, but it can also put you at risk for certain diseases. Make sure you only bring back great memories, not illness! If you are going to travel internationally, you might need additional vaccines. See the vaccinations and travel checklist.
9) You want the peace of mind that comes with protecting your health. People sometimes wait to get vaccines until they hear of outbreaks of disease like pertussis or influenza in their community. The time to be vaccinated is before disease arrives. It’s important to stay up to date on your immunizations because no one can predict when disease will appear.
10) You don’t want to feel crummy if you can prevent it! No one wants to feel sick. There are more than a dozen diseases that you can protect against simply by getting vaccinated! Adult vaccines are available at doctor’s offices, health departments, pharmacies, and even workplaces.
Courtesy: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Choosing the right school and teaching program that meets one’s needs for education and preparation for career can both be equally onerous. But not any more. Three free guides from our publishing partners can assist you in making the right choices. Check them out.
The guides inform prospective students on what to expect from a teaching program and what to consider when choosing the right school. The guides also explore financing options and review job outlook & career opportunities that come with a degree in education.
These guides are great for current professionals who want to advance professionally as well as for aspiring teachers and education professionals. With one out of the 81% of online students working while pursuing their collegiate goals, these guides can be helpful in crunch times when the cost of making decisions are truly high.
The world has become increasingly interconnected, demonstrating a nation’s dependency on the global economic, security, and health status. Diseases, especially infectious and contagious diseases, do not recognize borders. Thus, a disease for example, can easily migrate to bordering countries if not contained. Nations must find educated and collaborative measures to resolve local and regional disease outbreaks before they have a major impact on resources and before they become pandemic. When health challenges do present an impact on resources, nations rely on others for support, further exemplifying the importance of education and collaboration.
The International Journal of MCH and AIDS, one of the Global Health and Education Projects’ (GHEP) peer-reviewed journals, published a study by Mondal et al. that attempted to examine life expectancy (LE) in the least developed countries and the health factors associated with LE. From the identified factors, Mondal and colleagues (2015) found that education was an important predictor of LE and that higher education levels among a population had a positive impact on LE. Educated people tend to better understand information on proper nutrition, hygiene, healthcare services, and common illness prevention measures (Mondal, 2015). Take the health outcome of mental disorders for example. Research conducted in epidemiology, clinical presentation, and interventions early in life is indispensable to strengthen the scientific bases of child and adolescent mental health clinical practice. In this sense, knowledge disseminated by scientific journals such as GHEP’s International Journal of MCH and AIDS (IJMA) and the International Journal of Translational Medical Research and Public Health (IJTMRPH) lay the foundations for evidence based measures (Kieling & Martin, 2013).
Unfortunately, developing countries lack the scientific resources to produce and create evidence based strategies to combat health issues. At the same time, developed countries sometimes lack focus or are hindered by challenges when dealing with specific health issues. These challenges and examples highlight the need that must be filled. It is from this urgency that we have global organizations such as GHEP that function to advance global health and education through journal publication.
How can journal publication advance global health and education? Let’s review some of the journal articles in GHEP’s journal database to see how they contribute to global health and education advancement. It was noted earlier that Mondal et al. attempted to identify health factors contributing to LE in developing countries. International efforts can now focus on LE in developing countries by increasing income and health facilities, improving the overall situation, and by decreasing deaths, fertility, and HIV prevalence rate. In an article in IJTMRPH, Islam et al. (2016) identified the need for the Bangladeshi government to create economic opportunities for women to enhance contraceptive use, since there was a gap among employed and unemployed women regarding using contraceptives. Ayaaba et al. (2017) in IJTMRPH concluded that mining regulations and health and environmental surveillance systems needed to be updated and implemented to protect the safety of minors from Coal Worker’s Pneumoconiosis, a rising global concern.
GHEP’s published journal articles reflect some of the various approaches in how journal publication advances global health and education by:
- publicizing a health outcome and its factors to make them publicly known,
- advocating international and collaborative measures to address health outcomes and their factors,
- pinpointing governmental flaws in health strategies (or lack thereof) to better support current or new health objectives,
- advertising a health outcome to create a sense of urgency and national/international support,
- identifying failing health systems and policies to create pressure for change, and
- identifying gaps in safety regulations and practices for workers and communities.
These approaches represent the importance of global health publications such as GHEP in their journal publication endeavors. With the current state of global health affairs, hopefully we see the benefit of these organizations’ mission efforts. I welcome your comments.
Contributor Mr. Hilliard, a PhD student in global health at Nova Southeastern University, is an intern with the Center for Global Health and Health Policy, Global Health and Education Projects, Inc. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In our Special Blog Post, Guest Writer and author Hanif S. Abdul-Amin of Maryland, USA, reflects on the need to build bridges between the haves and have-nots in addressing parity in health and education not only here in the US but across the world by supporting organizations such as the Global Health and Education Projects, Inc.
IN an attempt to avoid naming specific individuals (in fear of not naming them all), I would like to believe if I stop and thought for a moment, I could name celebrities who advocate equality in health and education, around the globe. On the other hand, I know no other US 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan, non-religious, charitable, educational, research, and development organization dedicated to eliminating inequalities in health and education among local communities in the USA and worldwide, other than, the Global Health and Education Projects (GHEP), Inc.
At this time, the world needs GHEP. In the areas of health and education, parity among the citizens of the earth is paramount. The fervent pledge in GHEP’s resolve to abolish these disparities is noble.
I am a cancer survivor. Fortunately, I had quality health insurance, which enabled me to afford superb cancer treatment. The same is true for my education. In spite of my humble beginnings, I have attained well-accepted global certifications and college credentials. Many, throughout the world, are unfortunately not so blessed. The GHEP functions as the liaison, which bridges that gap between inequalities in health and education among local communities in the USA and worldwide and potential resources aiding the disadvantaged.
I support these Global Health and Education Projects’ determinations and call on you, my friends and readers to also consider supporting GHEP in its noble works of addressing health and education disparities in US and across the world.
Want to write for us? Click here and let us know.
Editor’s Note: The United Nations summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda was held from 25 to 27 September 2015, in New York, USA, and convened as a high-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly. At the end of the summit, member nations adopted a 17-item goals UN Sustainable Goal and declared their message entitled, “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” Below are the 17 SDGs. In the coming weeks and months, we will begin a series of blog posts exploring each of these SDG items. Please watch this space. And happy reading.
Sustainable Development Goals
Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Goal 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
Goal 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts*
Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.
In adopting the goals, Heads of States and Governments stated interalia: “We recognise that there are different approaches, visions, models and tools available to each country, in accordance with its national circumstances and priorities, to achieve sustainable development; and we reaffirm that planet Earth and its ecosystems are our common home and that ‘Mother Earth’ is a common expression in a number of countries and regions.”
Click here to read more about the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Culled from the United Nations
Editor’s Note: In a historical and widely-received encyclical, Pope Francis calls on a global preservation of the environment calling it our home that we ought not destroy. The contents of this encyclical transcend religion, ideology, and cultures and is worth sharing. In this encyclical, the Pontiff calls attention to three key programmatic linchpins of the Global Health and Education Projects, namely–education, environment, and health. We are humbled by this message will over the coming months share excerpts of the encyclical as it relates to our work in various communities in United States and around the world. We wish you a happy reading and look forward to reading your comments and feedback.
Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ by the Holy Father Pope Francis on Care of Our Common Home
“LAUDATO SI’, mi’ Signore” – “Praise be to you, my Lord”. In the words of this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs.
“The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change. The Creator does not abandon us; he never forsakes his loving plan or repents of having created us. Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home. Here I want to recognize, encourage and thank all those striving in countless ways to guarantee the protection of the home which we share.
“Particular appreciation is owed to those who tirelessly seek to resolve the tragic effects of environmental degradation on the lives of the world’s poorest. Young people demand change. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building a better future without thinking of the environmental crisis and the sufferings of the excluded.
“I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all. The worldwide ecological movement has already made considerable progress and led to the establishment of numerous organizations committed to raising awareness of these challenges. Regrettably, many efforts to seek concrete solutions to the environmental crisis have proved ineffective, not only because of powerful opposition but also because of a more general lack of interest. Obstructionist attitudes, even on the part of believers, can range from denial of the problem to indifference, nonchalant resignation or blind confidence in technical solutions. We require a new and universal solidarity.
“As the bishops of Southern Africa have stated: “Everyone’s talents and involvement are needed to redress the damage caused by human abuse of God’s creation”. All of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvements and talents.
“It is my hope that this Encyclical Letter, which is now added to the body of the Church’s social teaching, can help us to acknowledge the appeal, immensity and urgency of the challenge we face. I will begin by briefly reviewing several aspects of the present ecological crisis, with the aim of drawing on the results of the best scientific research available today, letting them touch us deeply and provide a concrete foundation for the ethical and spiritual itinerary that follows. I will then consider some principles drawn from the Judaeo-Christian tradition which can render our commitment to the environment more coherent. I will then attempt to get to the roots of the present situation, so as to consider not only its symptoms but also its deepest causes. This will help to provide an approach to ecology which respects our unique place as human beings in this world and our relationship to our surroundings. In light of this reflection, I will advance some broader proposals for dialogue and action which would involve each of us as individuals, and also affect international policy.
“Finally, convinced as I am that change is impossible without motivation and a process of education, I will offer some inspired guidelines for human development to be found in the treasure of Christian spiritual experience.”
Courtesy of the Holy See.
Editor’s Note: In this Special Blog, we continue our series on the 4th of the 7 Great Achievements of Pediatric research. These achievements are brought to you courtesy of the fabulous work by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) under its new campaign 7 Great Achievements in Pediatric Research.
No. 4: Saving Premature Babies by Helping Them Breathe
Prematurity is the main cause of global death in newborn infants.
In the United States alone, 1 in 9 newborns is born prematurely, about 450,000 children a year. Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS) is a life-threatening respiratory condition frequently diagnosed in premature newborns. Research showed that it develops when the immature lungs are unable to produce a compound known as surfactant in quantities needed for the infant to breathe.
Studies demonstrated that instillation of surfactant to the lungs of premature animals reduced respiratory distress. Clinical trials of supplementary surfactant for newborns with RDS led to the medication’s approval by the FDA for widespread use in 1990.
As a result of surfactant administration, newborn deaths from RDS have decreased by 41% between 1985-1991.
Editor’s Note: In this Special Blog, we continue our series on the 3rd of the 7 achievements of Pediatric research. These achievements are brought to you courtesy of the fabulous work by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) under its new campaign 7 Great Achievements in Pediatric Research.
No. 3: Curing a Common Childhood Cancer
Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) is the most common child- hood cancer. In the United States alone, about 2,900 children and adolescents are diagnosed with ALL each year. In 1975, a diagnosis of ALL often meant death in the near future. Only 60% of children under 15 years of age survived 5 years, and only 28% of 15-19 year-olds survived 5 years.
Cancer research has led to the creation of various medications and treatments that destroy cancer cells.
Research into various combinations of medications to treat ALL has yielded the now standard protocol of induction chemotherapy, which consists of vincristine, L-asparaginase, and corticosteroid for a 2-3 year period.
Because of the last 40 years of research, 90% of newly diagnosed ALL pediatric patients are expected to have greater than 5 year survival.
For more on these achievements, please visit AAP.ORG
Editor’s Note: In this Blog, we continue our series on the 2nd of the 7 achievements of Pediatric research. These achievements are brought to you courtesy of the fabulous work by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) under its new campaign 7 Great Achievements in Pediatric Research.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), also referred to as “crib death,” occurs without warning and is associated with a sleep period. A diagnosis of SIDS is given when no explanation can found for the baby’s death after a complete postmortem investigation. SIDS is the leading cause of death for infants between 1 month and 1 year of age. In 1993 alone, nearly 4,700 U.S. infants died from SIDS.
Research found that if infants were placed to sleep on their stomachs, their risk of dying from SIDS increased by at least two-fold.
As a result, the “Back-to-Sleep” Campaign was initiated in 1994 by a collaboration between the National Institute of Child Health and Development, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration and SIDS groups.
The focus of the campaign was to en- courage parents to put their babies to sleep on their backs in order to reduce the risk of SIDS. The AAP Task Force on SIDS published a policy statement in 2005 encouraging the practice of “Back-to-Sleep” for all infants.
Research showed that between 1993 and 2010 the percent of infants placed to sleep on their backs increased from 17% to 73%. Following the initiation of the “Back-to-Sleep” campaign, the number of infants dying from SIDS has decreased to 2,063 per year as of 2010.