Center for Law in Science and Global Health

Global Health and Justice Project

Uplift International

A pivotal part of our Global Health and Justice Project is our affiliation with Uplift International. Uplift International's mission is to advance health equity. In its demonstration Health and Human Rights Project in Indonesia, it is partnered with both the health and legal sectors to create professionals who actively advocate for vulnerable populations. Uplift International also delivers emergency relief and humanitarian aid and was involved in Tsunami Relief in Aceh, Indonesia. Uplift works collaboratively with universities, international health organizations, NGOs, governments and the business community to provide the most efficient and sustainable means of eliminating barriers to health for the most vulnerable populations.

Since its founding in 1997, Uplift International has developed and implemented programs in humanitarian assistance, maternal and child health, telemedicine, and medical educational exchanges in Southeast Asia. During the depths of the Asian economic crisis, Uplift International conducted a series of humanitarian medical airlifts supported by a corporate social responsibility initiative to aid the people of Indonesia that led to sustainable capacity building health projects.

Since 2001, Uplift International has been working on promoting improved health and human rights through its demonstration project in Indonesia. Uplift International's Health and Human Rights Program focuses on educating health and legal professionals to help eliminate barriers to health for the most vulnerable populations. Armed with the appropriate knowledge and skills, health and legal professionals can effectively advocate for health equity and social justice. Our training programs teach doctors, lawyers, public health professionals and students to collaborate with lawmakers, national and local government officials, policy makers, community leaders and the media to develop policies that protect and provide individuals with better access to critical disease-prevention information and quality health services.

Over the last several years, much of Uplift's work has been sited in Indonesia. As a result, Uplift International was in place and immediately active in responding to the devastation of the 2005 tsunami. Uplift International provided humanitarian assistance to aid those impacted by the devastation in North Sumatra, Indonesia. In partnership with Project Hope, Uplift International provided 25 tons of medicine and medical supplies, valued at $7 million. Uplift International worked with its long-time partner in Indonesia, the Indonesian Medical Association (IDI), to send teams of Indonesian doctors, nurses, paramedics and other health professionals to care for the survivors. Jointly, they provided 25 tons of medicines, placed 320 Indonesian doctors and other health professionals to staff medical clinics in 15 camps for displaced persons, and treated over 19,00 patients. As Indonesia begins to recover, Uplift has been actively engaged in rebuilding the research library, computer center and classrooms of Syiah Kuala University Medical School, the only medical school in Aceh.

Although Uplift International has the capacity to provide emergency humanitarian aid, it aims to build capacity and provide sustainable programs in developing countries. In that regard, longer term engagement in Aceh will involve capacity building. The Deans of the Schools of Medicine, Law and the Human Rights Center at Syiah Kuala University are working with Uplift International to develop a Health and Human Rights Center that would provide bioethics and human rights courses to professional students, as well as direct community service through focused programs, such as a women’s crisis center and a community outreach program.

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