P. Kerry Brewer Federation EIL intern June 2008 Global Health Expansion Project: Overview Federation EIL through Volunteers for International Partnership currently places volunteers in 14 countries working in a variety of placements such as health, social services, environment and education. Volunteers work with local communities on service projects while staying with a host family and participating in language learning. While the current placements succeed in matching willing people with meaningful work that meet the needs of local communities, VIP strives to frequently evaluate its membership organizations, central administration, projects, and volunteers. Seeking to be a model for international volunteer organizations, recruit a high quantity and quality of volunteers and ensure that pertinent global issues are being addressed, VIP is currently conducting a research project leading to the expansion of its global health placements. Health is increasing recognized as a fundamental human right for all and yet billions of people directly suffer from poor health or life circumstances that increase their risk for illness. Infectious diseases, once believed to be under control with the advent of modern medicine have had a resurgence in recent decades with the pandemics such HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria. In addition, noncommunicable diseases such as heart disease and diabetes are increasing worldwide because of longer life expectancies and changes in lifestyle. The majority of infectious disease occurs in the developing world due to poverty, inequality, and lack of health care access. These countries are often affected by a double burden of disease as noncommunicable diseases continue to rise in prevalence with the adoption of western diets and more sedentary lifestyles. While the world is globalizing and modernizing, the gap between the rich and the poor both within and between countries is growing with consequences to population health. Global health initiatives are gaining more awareness with more people, more money, more time and more effort being focused on health prevention and treatment around the world. Many NGOs armed with eager volunteers, monetary aid, and well-researched health interventions are working in their own community or communities abroad to improve living conditions that are linked to health risk, provide health education or assist with health care. Similarly, VIP hopes to be a liaison between skilled and unskilled volunteers interested in the health sector and communities in need of health services. VIP offers several global health opportunities for volunteers including working in a rural hospital in Chile, teaching health education in Ecuador, and implementing adolescent reproductive health programs in Nigeria to name a few. VIP plans to evaluate and expand global health placements already in existence while building additional opportunities available to our volunteers in this important field. This paper provides an outline of the Global Health Expansion Project developed by an intern during the summer of 2008. A master’s student at the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill is working in conjunction with Ilene Todd, Federation EIL director, to develop the necessary steps from research to volunteer recruitment to project implementation. The outline below provides distinct goals for the project with smaller objectives for each and the method(s) for achieving these goals. In this way, what cannot be accomplished in one 3 month period can be easily understood and continued at a later time by another person. In addition, all materials produced by this internship as part of the Global Health Expansion Project will be readily available to all interested Federation EIL membership organizations to be used in any way applicable.
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