Abundance Project for Global Health's Rapid Response to Ebola crisis Featured at 2015 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting

Collaborating with Partners In Health & Harvard Medical School's Global Health Research Core, the Abundance Project for Global Health supported research published in The Lancet that demonstrated the accuracy of a simple, rapid, bedside Ebola test that saves lives.

NEW YORK, Sept. 28, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Abundance Foundation was honored yesterday at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual meeting for the work of the Abundance Project for Global Health on a groundbreaking Ebola test that will transform diagnosis and treatment of the disease.  

Dr. Stephen Kahn, President of the Abundance Foundation, was commended for this success during the plenary on "Investing in Prevention and Resilient Health Systems" with Bill Gates and Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. "Working alongside healthcare providers on the frontline of the Ebola crisis, Dr. Megan Murray's team conducted rigorous scientific research that proved the exceptional accuracy of a diagnostic tool that is as easy to use as a pregnancy test," said Dr. Kahn.

The Corgenix Ebola test requires neither electricity nor advanced training to interpret, and can quickly separate those who are infected from those who are not. "This is a crucial tool to avoid a two-day delay in diagnosis," explained Dr. Kahn. "During this two day gap, family members are exposed to Ebola, contact tracing becomes more difficult, and life-saving treatments for Ebola and other diseases are delayed."

"The Abundance Foundation is a small, nimble philanthropic catalyst for global health systems change," said Dr. Kahn. "We come to CGI to share our impact, and to invite partners to join in taking this success to scale."

Begun as a Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action in 2010, originally operating in Haiti and Rwanda, the multi-faceted Abundance Project for Global Health is treating and preventing disease through medical education and health systems strengthening around the globe.  The Project increases opportunities for the training of global health professionals, supports breakthrough research, and increases accessibility of information for medical professionals worldwide.

Abundance supported key leadership that led to the Rwanda Human Resources for Health program

The Abundance Project for Global Health was instrumental in the development and launch of the Rwanda Human Resources for Health program, a novel medical education structure for training and retaining highly skilled and diverse medical professionals in Rwanda. When President Clinton announced the Rwanda Human Resources for Health Program (HRH) at the CGI Annual Meeting in 2012, he honored Chief Abundance Partner Corrado Cancedda, M.D., among others on the plenary stage, for his role in the development of this program that redefines what is possible with health systems strengthening.

The HRH program is a partnership between the Rwandan Ministry of Health, and a consortium of medical, nursing, dental, and public health schools, including Harvard Medical School, which is playing a key role in coordinating the physician faculty involved in this program.

"This innovative and ambitious initiative seeks to establish a sustainable health education structure and help train and retain highly skilled and diverse medical professionals to build a world class health system in Rwanda," said Dr. Cancedda. "To me, moving from scarcity to abundance means seeing potential in an idea, a project, and individuals. The Abundance Foundation has done that with me and my colleagues by believing in the work we do and providing early support."

Emergency and Family Medicine Residency, Mental Health Fellowship, & Masters of Medical Science in Global Health Delivery

The Abundance Project for Global Health is expanding opportunities for advanced training for global health professionals. It supports Family and Emergency Medicine Residency programs and a Mental Health Fellowship to build local capacity and leadership by training physicians, nurses and mental health workers, with especially robust programs in the emergency department at the new Hopital Universitaire de Mirebalais in Haiti. Chief Abundance Partner, Dr. Louise Ivers, led the Haiti initiatives, including her successful vaccination of 100,000 Haitians against cholera in the midst of that epidemic. This research, published in The Lancet, changed the way the infectious disease community looks at cholera control.

To develop the next generation of global health leaders, the Project worked in collaboration with Harvard Medical School to develop and fund a Masters of Medical Science in Global Health Delivery (MMSc-GHD). This program provides a rigorous cross-university curriculum focused on social and delivery science and policy research in resource-limited settings. Mentored field research projects allow students to contribute to global health scholarship, enhance the quality of health care delivery, and increase staff training in resource-limited countries including Haiti, Rwanda, Lesotho, Burundi and Sierra Leone.

One of the MMSc-GHD students, Dr. Bailor Barrie -- the founder of Sierra Leone's Wellbody Alliance -- was pivotal in implementing Partners In Health's (PIH) response to the Ebola crisis. "PIH was able to quickly and effectively start supporting the lifesaving work of hundreds of courageous community health workers and nurses who have been serving their own communities for years with unparalleled dedication," Dr. Barrie explained. "And PIH's commitment to rebuilding heath infrastructure and capacity is for the long term."

"Stephen Kahn has been one of the biggest and most consistent supporters of our work in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, as well as the work of our strategic partners. We are grateful for his dedication, partnership, and thought leadership," says Dr. Paul Farmer, Kolokotrones University Professor at Harvard University, chair of Harvard Medical School's Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women's Hospital, and co-founder and chief strategist of Partners In Health.

By investing at the intersection of Health, Empowerment, and Arts and Education, the Abundance Foundation is transforming community systems to support healthy individuals. The Abundance Foundation works with our partners to transform scarcity to abundance.  To learn more, please visit the website at http://abundance.org.

About the Clinton Global Initiative

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together 190 sitting and former heads of state, more than 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date, members of the CGI community have made more than 3,200 Commitments to Action, which have improved the lives of over 430 million people in more than 180 countries.

In addition to the annual meeting, CGI convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world. This year, CGI also convened CGI Middle East & Africa, which brought together leaders across sectors to take action on pressing social, economic, and environmental challenges.

For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.org and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative.

Contact: Stephen Kahn, M.D.
Phone: 510-841-4145
Email: press@abundance.org
Website: http://abundance.org


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