A group of observers from the United States recently traveled with American Red Cross to visit Vietnam and Cambodia, where some of the most successful programs we support with our Red Cross partners were highlighted. Included were Board of Governors members, National Celebrity Cabinet member Elisabeth Rohm, and other friends of Red Cross. The purpose of the trip was to build support for programs that are improving the health of mothers and children, their families and communities through cost effective, high-impact services for the most vulnerable people. And, near Danang, Vietnam, to view progress on typhoon relief and recovery efforts.
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American Red Cross spokesperson Carol Miller in rural Vietnam shares sites and sounds from a Red Cross school and community nutrition and health education program. School children enjoy a mid-morning snack of fortified biscuits, then learn to wash their hands after using the newly build latrine provided by Red Cross.
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In Vietnam the group visited a USDA-funded project that focuses on maternal and child health, school nutrition and water and sanitation projects – including newly built latrines and hand-washing facilities to help prevent life-threatening illnesses; a volunteer project and hospital ward for people living with HIV and AIDS; a blood donor recruitment project, and typhoon relief and recovery operations where American Red Cross funds are helping repair and replace damaged and destroyed houses.
In Cambodia the group visited the USAID-funded integrated child health project that focuses on preventative health lessons for pregnant women and mothers of young children. Cambodia has one of the highest infant and child mortality rates in the world, and the rural communities that the American Red Cross support are some of the poorest in the country. Visitors observed rural home visits where health lessons are taught by Red Cross volunteers, rural community trainings involving skits about the five danger signs of pregnancy, a demonstration of oral rehydration salts that mothers use when a child is ill and dangerously dehydrated, a Red Cross health volunteer training session, and conversed with mothers and children who depend on critical Red Cross services.
As part of the world's largest humanitarian network, the American Red Cross alleviates the suffering of victims of war, disaster and other international crises, and works with other Red Cross and Red Crescent societies to improve chronic, life-threatening conditions in developing nations. We reconnect families separated by emergencies and educate the American public about international humanitarian law. This assistance is made possible through the generosity of the American public.