Spring has officially sprung, and the excitement of this time of year is always a great feeling – especially after a long winter with several snow days and quarantine periods resulting from new waves of COVID-19. Though winter is behind us, continuing to combat COVID-19 and promote overall health around the world are top of mind as we want spend more time outside and get our bodies moving. And with World Health Day coming up on April 7, it’s the perfect time for your organization to plan an employee engagement event that focuses on global health.

Folding cause awareness days (like World Health Day) into your company’s employee engagement strategy is an easy way to boost morale while strengthening your commitment to corporate social responsibility. To help you get started, our employee giving hub contains a cause awareness day calendar as well as tips and tricks on getting buy-in for your event. And with a recent Gallup poll citing that only a little over 1/3 of the workplace is engaged, there is no better time to test out a new employee engagement tactic. (P.S. We hosted a webinar all about engaging employees during the great resignation – check out our recap!)

Based on an assessment of Fortune 500 social media channels, World Health Day is one of the top recognized cause awareness days! In honor of the upcoming day, here’s a spotlight on a few of our Charity Alliance partners making great strides in global health:

ALIMA: Providing access to oxygen through the pandemic
ALIMA is a humanitarian medical aid organization providing families in crises with high-quality health care through partnerships with local medical organizations. They also conduct research and innovate to improve aid.

Lack of access to medical oxygen in Africa is a chronic problem with serious consequences. To address this situation, which has been severely exacerbated by COVID-19, ALIMA, with the support of Unitaid, is effectively building the capacity of hospitals over the long term and ensuring quality care for patients.

From April to December 2020, 90 health centers and nine hospitals set up triage systems enabling 4,316 cases of COVID-19 to be confirmed and 458 severe cases to be treated. These facilities also received protective materials and medical equipment. In addition, over 1,500 health workers were trained in infection prevention and control.

In response to growing medical needs, ALIMA received new support from Unitaid in June 2021 to improve access to oxygen in six hospitals across five countries (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Mali, Niger and Nigeria).

With this strategy, ALIMA hopes to provide a lasting solution to a major problem. See additional details in their blog post.

Demonstration of the use of oxygen concentrators

Health Volunteers Overseas: Locally training the first generation of Bhutanese OBGYN specialists
Health Volunteers Overseas envisions a world where all people have access to quality health care, working to achieve health for all by educating & supporting health workers.

Plans were underway for the 2020 launch of a new four-year residency program for obstetrics and gynecology in collaboration with a medical school and national teaching hospital in Thimpu, Bhutan.

With the onset of the pandemic in early 2020, colleagues in Bhutan and HVO volunteers doubled down on their efforts and converted the project to a virtual one utilizing HVO’s new remote education platform. Weekly lectures are provided over Zoom with 27 lectures delivered since January of 2021 and nine more scheduled in 2022.

In addition to instruction, several HVO volunteers have committed to serving as virtual research mentors for the residents who must complete a multi-year research project as a component of their curriculum. This is a significant commitment on the part of these volunteers that will involve providing professional support and guidance to the first generation of locally trained Bhutanese OBGYN  specialists.

Video call Intrapartum Fetal Monitoring

Helen Keller International: Eliminating an infectious cause of blindness
Helen Keller International partners with communities that are striving to overcome longstanding cycles of poverty. They deliver the essential building blocks of good health, sound nutrition and clear vision.

Today, trachoma has all but disappeared in prosperous countries, yet it remains the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness. If diagnosed early, trachoma can be treated with antibiotics. Over time, repeated trachoma infections can cause a condition called trichiasis causing excruciating pain, and if left untreated, can lead to irreversible blindness.

In the past five years, Helen Keller teams have screened millions of children and adults and helped deliver more than 20 million treatments. During that time, Helen Keller has supported close to 24,600 eyelid surgeries for trichiasis. Thanks in large part to their global community of supporters, treatment for trachoma is no longer needed in Burkina Faso, Mali, and in most of Cameroon, Guinea and Niger — a major stride toward elimination of the disease.

To prevent the spread of trachoma over the long term, they work closely with local governments and partner organizations to expand access to clean water, introduce health education programs in schools, and build technical capacity at the local level. In areas where women sometimes decline needed surgeries for cultural reasons, they place special emphasis on training female surgeons to increase acceptance and strengthen the ability of women to effect positive change in their communities. See the full story on Helen Keller International’s website.

Eye sight test

Helping Children Worldwide: Providing health care to all regardless of payment
Helping Children Worldwide builds trusting relationships with mission sustaining partners and collaborates with international program partners to transform communities and tackle the greatest barriers to sustainable futures.

Health care is not free in Sierra Leone, and people are turned away from most hospitals if they cannot afford to pay, but Mercy Hospital treats all regardless of their ability to pay. Mercy has been administering quality care in Bo, Sierra Leone, since 2007 and has extended its services via outreach clinics to 55 villages surrounding the city. Helping Children Worldwide supports Mercy Hospital through financial underwriting, training, technical advice, and long term and short term mission teams.

When an epidemic level Ebola outbreak devastated the already fragile health care system in 2014, it left women and babies especially vulnerable. Despite the challenges caused by the crisis, Mercy Hospital has continued to serve Bo and the surrounding villages, annually providing care to more than 10,000 patients. The hospital has earned the trust of the community as a provider of excellent health care for all.

Learn more about Mercy Hospital.

Mom holding a baby

International Relief Teams: Providing quality medical care in regions with poverty
International Relief Teams alleviates human suffering by providing health services and other assistance to victims of disaster, poverty and neglect, in the United States and around the world.

For countless people living in remote regions of the world, where medical specialists are rare and extreme poverty is widespread, quality medical care is often out of reach. To fill this critical gap, International Relief Teams deploys teams of skilled surgeons and trained volunteers.

Since 2014, IRT has conducted 232 surgical procedures and consulted with nearly 600 patients. They have screened more than 16,000 people for eyeglasses in Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras and Uganda. And they distributed more than 15,000 pairs of glasses, enabling children to fully participate in school and adults to earn a living to support their families.

IRT’s surgical and vision outreach programs give hope and new beginnings to the marginalized poor in low-income countries.

doctor with glove holding a child's hand

Help make more strides in global health possible by planning a corporate World Health Day event, giving through your workplace and sharing the amazing efforts made by our charity partners. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for any questions on planning your next cause awareness day event!