More than 60 Canadian Doctors Are Donating a Day for Africa

Physicians Across Canada Support the World Health Day Challenge

TORONTO, April 5 /CNW/ - So far, more than 60 physicians across Canada have signed up to 'Donate a Day for Africa'  in support of World Health Day, on April 7th.

These Canadian physicians are demonstrating their commitment to overcoming poverty in Africa by donating part or all of their day's income by signing up for Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief's (CPAR's) 6th Annual World Health Day Challenge.

One of the projects that physicians will support is the Safe Motherhood Project - a project that will provide Traditional Birth Attendants with safe birthing kits (containing gloves, mats and scissors), training and education, and bicycles needed for emergency care of mothers and children.

Providing support to Traditional Birth Attendants is critical. For women in industrialized nations, the risk of maternal mortality is about 1 in 4,000 whereas in sub-Saharan Africa, as many as 1 in every 16 women are facing the lifetime risk of maternal death.

On World Health Day, April 7th, Canadian physicians will donate part or all of their day's income and help prevent maternal and child death in rural Tanzania.

Physicians from cities including Vancouver, Winnipeg, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, and Ottawa have signed up for the Challenge and will lend their support to this critical cause.

Dr. Vance Pegado, a physician based in Burlington, Ontario who donated a day of his income last year, believes that the World Health Day Challenge is an effective way to reach out to communities in rural Africa.

"Always having said that I would give back when I could and finally having done so last year, it was a wonderful feeling," says Dr. Pegado.

"To truly think about how someone far off would benefit from such a project, is all the motivation I need."

The World Health Day Challenge has not only garnered the support of physicians, but a wide variety of health professionals ranging from social workers, to nurses are also participating. These health care professionals believe that the global community has a part to play in supporting health and development beyond the geographic boundaries of their communities - especially in rural Africa.

CPAR's World Health Day Challenge is partly inspired by the efforts of Dr. N. Kevin Wade, a Vancouver-based ophthalmologist who donated an entire day of his medical service payment plans to CPAR in September 2002 and again in September 2005.

"When I saw CPAR's work in Africa first-hand and experienced the health conditions in Blantyre, Malawi during a research project, I knew I wanted to contribute to the cause," says Dr. Wade.

"My responsibilities in Canada to my patients, staff and family would make working in Africa difficult, so I think that donating a day's office income is another way I can help out."

CPAR's primary health care work focuses on reducing the burden of HIV & AIDS through community awareness programs, preventing the spread of common diseases by increasing access to clean water and sanitation facilities, promoting healthy pregnancies and educating communities about sexual and reproductive health issues.

CPAR works with local rural African communities to ensure access to clean water, adequate food, primary health care services and a safe and healthy environment.

Founded in 1984, CPAR works in partnership with vulnerable communities and diverse organizations to overcome poverty and build healthy communities in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda and Malawi.

Each year on April 7th, the world celebrates World Health Day. On this day around the globe, thousands of events mark the importance of health in leading a productive life.

SOURCE Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief (CPAR)

For further information:

Roxane Tracey, Communications Manager, CPAR
Tel: 416-369-0865 ext. 26

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Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief (CPAR)

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