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Our Quiet Resolve. Our work… Our commitment.
With 2019 now here, I wanted to take this time to reflect on the previous year. Particularly noteworthy is the work that we have been able to accomplish in both Ukraine and Venezuela. The intentions have been clear from the day I began this work…to provide effective preventative care to areas where attention is most needed. Through resource allocation, educational initiatives and regional financial support, the Trans-Atlantic Medical Relief Foundation has partnered with local organizations to provide help in areas where aid is needed. We owe all this success to the support that has been gathered over the past year. The purpose of this letter is to inform these very same supporters that their contributions matter.
The effects of HIV continue to plague millions of people worldwide. With great advancements in prevention, diagnosis and treatment, millions have received never seen aid that has improved quality of life as well as longevity. Despite these great efforts, countless numbers of citizens continue to suffer because of poor access. Ukraine continues to struggle with their HIV epidemic. Current figures continue to show Ukraine as having the highest rates of HIV transmission on the European continent. Much of the continuing rise is attributable to an archaic healthcare system (currently in reform), an ongoing military conflict with its eastern neighbor and an unfortunate stigma that continues to ostracize those who are at risk of developing this disease and those who are already affected. Children affected by this condition have seen a particularly difficult time. With high rates of abandonment, children born with HIV are left in the hands of the government (becoming wards of the state) with little psychological, social and/or financial support. TAMRF has joined with a Kyiv-based NGO (non-governmental organization), Small Heart with Art to provide for these “lost children”. Our collaborative mental health campaign is focused on funding a program (named the “Superhero School”) to develop these children through various educational, social and psychological platforms. By promoting this type of advocacy, we believe that these children will gain the much need mental health capital that will allow them to thrive as young children and young adults. TAMRF has also begun an educational platform focused on community education. This series of educational seminars will instruct parents as well as members of the community to take part in preventative initiatives that will focus on HIV deterrence as well as smoking/alcohol abstinence and methods to identify risks pertaining to mental health disease. Additional resources such as reading material and condoms will be distributed to maximize the benefit of these programs.
Venezuela continues to see rising healthcare disparity with subsequent upsurges in morbidity and mortality. With its ongoing economic problems, resources are scarce, and this once proud beacon of healthcare equity and effectiveness is finding it difficult to care for its citizenry. HIV rates continue to also rise with some of the highest rates worldwide. TAMRF has partnered with UNAID Venezuela and Organizacion StopVIH to increase access in the detection and prevention of HIV. Working with these two great organizations, TAMRF has sent thousands of condoms, syringes and rapid HIV screening tests. Utility of these tests have been distributed to at risk populations. Director Regina Lopez (UNAID-Venezuela) and Director Johnatan Rodriguez (STOP VIH) have both been receptive to our collaborative work and TAMRF is dedicated to continuing the work that we initiated in 2018.
Education has always been at the crux of accomplishing TAMRFs objectives. Through this channel, our approach to educating both providers and laypeople will undoubtedly provide greater access to quality care. In February 2018 we invited our first candidate to the United States. Dr Anatoliy Kaminsky (A Ukrainian Obstetrican/Gynecologist) was sponsored to engage in a two-week observorship that introduced him to American Obstetrics/Gynecology. It proved to be insightful and encouraged a dialogue amongst provider that I believe will only benefit those providers who are working on modernizing a medical education system that would benefit from international support. We are looking forward to inviting new candidates in 2019 to continue this worthwhile collaboration. The annual trip to Ukraine has given me the opportunity to continue these educational programs firsthand by developing simulation drills that focus on postpartum hemorrhage, shoulder dystocia and encouraging the art of surgical cooperation. Future drills will focus on laparoscopic simulations and as well as modernizing anesthetic protocols for outpatient surgical practice.
I have had the opportunity to initiate programs that has impacted what is likely the single greatest threat to healthcare…inequity and injustice. TAMRF is indebted to the trust that these men and women have awarded us and are committed to continuing these programs with the ultimate goal of creating satellite centers in these great nations to continue our work on the ground, firsthand with the people that will benefit from it. I am grateful for the support and hope that those that are touched by this effort will continue to show there backing. Our spring fundraising event (slated for May 2019) will be a fun and informative night that I hope you all will attend.
Thank you all and God Bless
Shawn Yunayev MD FACOG
Trans-Atlantic Medical Relief Foundation
6410 Veterans Ave Suite 104
Brooklyn NY 11234
Donate at www.tamrf.org
TAMRF is a New York Based 501C3 Philanthropic Organization focused on providing preventative care to disenfranchised populations.