GE Foundation Partners with INMED to Create Healthier Communities
The GE Foundation, the philanthropic organization of the General Electric Company, has partnered with INMED to continue its Healthier Communities for Rio program, launched with seed funding from the Foundation in 2011.
INMED’s Healthier Communities for Rio program provides families in Salgueiro, an urban slum within Rio de Janeiro where poverty is high and health conditions are poor, with essential education about preventive health care, hygiene, sanitation, nutrition and environmental health. This education combined with ongoing promotion of healthy behaviors helps reduce the incidence of infectious diseases, cardiovascular problems, diabetes, obesity, anemia and malnutrition.
The danger of infectious disease is high in this community, where sewage seeps openly into the gutters and high piles of pungent garbage rots in the streets, and where animals roam in and out of homes. “Our community needs to be educated in terms of health, environment, trash, water and hygiene,” said one resident. Following INMED’s training, she reports, “My neighbor is now taking the trash to the appropriate place.”
As part of the program, INMED trains local volunteers as health educators for the community—in the program’s first phase, volunteers recruited and trained by INMED were formally hired by the Rio de Janeiro health department as Salgueiro’s first-ever community health agents. In addition to teaching the residents and linking them to the care they need, these community health agents also provide vital preventive health screenings.
Recently, INMED sponsored a community event where nearly 320 health exams and blood tests were performed, with the help of both INMED Brasil and GE employee volunteers. Participants also received free medical and legal advice and could speak with a dietician about healthier eating habits.
“We appreciate the GE Foundation’s continued support of our Healthier Communities for Rio program, and we greatly value both our long-standing partnership and our combined commitment to aiding vulnerable communities and building community health leadership in Brazil,” said Dr. Linda Pfeiffer, president and CEO of INMED Partnerships for Children. With this grant, INMED plans to expand the program in the community and increase health care services to this underserved population.
ABOUT THE GE FOUNDATION
The GE Foundation, the philanthropic organization of the General Electric Company, works to solve some of the world’s most difficult problems. In coordination with its partners, it supports U.S. and international education, developing health globally, the environment, public policy, human rights and disaster relief. In addition, the GE Foundation supports GE employee and retiree giving and involvement in GE communities around the world. In 2010, the entire GE family—including businesses, employees, retirees and the GE Foundation—contributed more than $250 million in cash, products and services to charitable organizations around the world. For more information, visit www.gefoundation.com.