Philani: Improving Health in Poor Countries: What Works?
Contact: Kate Somers
Artist Reception: October 8, 2007, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m., Bernstein Gallery,
Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University
Exhibition dates: September 17 – October 26, 2007
Gallery hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Panel discussion: October 8, 2007, 4:30 – 6 p.m. in Bowl 016, adjacent to the Bernstein Gallery
Philani is a community-based child health and nutrition NGO operating in informal settlements outside Cape Town, South Africa. An estimated 750,000 people live in these areas in simple cement houses or make-shift dwellings made of corrugated iron, wood and plastics; many overcrowded and without water and sanitation.
A lack of basic services, inadequate housing, widespread unemployment, concentrated poverty, and high rates of HIV/AIDS result in malnutrition and poor health in Philani's target communities. Women and children are most vulnerable. Twenty percent of the population in these areas is made up of children younger than six years of age. Without intervention, one in ten will be underweight for age, and one in four will not reach his or her full growth potential due to lack of nutrition.
Since 1979, under the Founder and Medical Director, Dr. Ingrid le Roux, Philani has been working to alleviate these problems, assisting thousands of mothers, pregnant women and children through a network of community outreach workers and nutrition centers. Because a woman who is financially independent has a better chance of providing care for her children, an income-generating art and craft program is also an integral part of Philani's efforts to help destitute families.
The photographs were taken by the artist, Joan Needham, and the curator, Kate Somers, who spent the month of February, 2007 at Philani, teaching women from the community linoleum block printing. These photographs and text tell the story of one health care model. On October 8, 2007 from 4:30 – 6 pm in Bowl 016, adjacent to the Bernstein Gallery, there will be a panel discussion on health care interventions in developing countries. The panelists will be Dr. le Roux and two members of the Woodrow Wilson School faculty: Christina Paxson and Angus Deaton; it will be moderated by Anne Case, also of the School's faculty. A reception in the Bernstein Gallery will follow.