GE Foundation Expands Commitment To Increasing Access To Health Care In Honduras

Honduras, a nation of about 7 million people, is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, with a high infant mortality rate and a shortage of health professionals. The GE Foundation announced today an expansion in its commitment to improving access to quality health care for underserved populations in Honduras. The donation of new medical equipment including two incubators, two continuous positive airway pressure machines and one ultrasound, as well as 5,000 baby blankets builds upon the long-term commitment to the region and an ongoing partnership between the GE Foundation and Ministry of Health.

A critical part of this commitment to Honduras has been employee volunteers from GE’s Hispanic Forum Affinity Network, who have been serving as “Ambassadors” to Hospital Escuela, San Lorenzo Hospital, Enrique Aguilar Cerrato Hospital, Juan Manuel Galvez Hospital and Integrado Hospital. The forum’s donation of 5,000 blankets is part of its nationwide “Blankets for Babies” initiative launched last year to provide supplies to those in need.

The GE Foundation, through its Developing Health Globally (DHG) program, helps build sustainable healthcare infrastructure in Honduras through the development of Biomedical Equipment Training (BMET), improvement of maternal and newborn care and access to safe water. Key program features of DHG in Honduras include:
  • Development of the first BMET program in the public sector. The GE Foundation has partnered with the National Institute for Professional Formation, Engineering World Health and Duke University to develop this program.
  • Providing a sustainable, safe water supply for hospitals and surrounding communities. The GE Foundation works with Emory University and Assist International on this program.
  • Identifying root causes behind maternal and child mortality and developing training interventions for healthcare workers. The GE Foundation has partnered with Columbia University Medical Center on this program.

“GE cares about improving health around the world, and the activities to build capacity and address gaps in Honduras are evidence of that,” said Deb Elam, president of the GE Foundation and chief diversity officer for GE.

Since 2007, GE has partnered with the Ministry of Health and other organizations on the ground to create programs that not only save lives but also can be maintained by the government of Honduras. As an example, the hospitals the GE Foundation works with have seen significant improvements in access to safe water for patients and staff to drink to maintain cleanliness and for use in medical procedures. Through improved communication and increased oversight of the water treatment system by hospital staff, many of these hospitals have been able to stop purchasing bottled water and put those funds to better use, such as buying more nutritional food for patients.

As part of the DHG commitment to bringing private sector best practices into development activities, the GE Foundation will be hosting a symposium on best practices in health care. Participants including David Barash, director of global health portfolio and chief medical officer at the GE Foundation, Hector Aguilar, global leader for GE operations in the region, the U.S. Ambassador, Lisa Kubiske, and the First Lady of Honduras, Rosa Elena de Lobo.

Launched in 2004, DHG has helped to upgrade medical infrastructure and build human capacity in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. The program so far has invested more than $80 million in key areas like biomedical repair, maternal and child health, trauma and surgical care. Additional information and news on DHG can be found at www.developinghealthglobally.com.

About the GE Foundation

The GE Foundation, the philanthropic organization of GE, works to solve some of the world’s most difficult problems. With its partners, the GE Foundation focuses its efforts in the areas of health, education, the environment and disaster relief. In 2012, the GE family invested more than $200 million to global community and educational needs. For more information, visit www.gefoundation.com.

About GE

GE (NYSE:GE) works on things that matter. The best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering, moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works. For more information, visit the company's website at www.ge.com.

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