International Day of Hepatitis – July 28th

webmd_rf_photo_of_liver_and_hepatitis_virusHepatitis is an inflammation of the liver, most commonly caused by a viral infection. There are five main hepatitis viruses, referred to as types A, B, C, D and E. These five types are of greatest concern because of the burden of illness and death they cause and the potential for outbreaks and epidemic spread. In particular, types B and C, lead to chronic disease in hundreds of millions of people and are the most common cause of liver cirrhosis and cancer.

WHO informs that Hepatitis A and E are typically caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water. Hepatitis B, C and D usually occur as a result of parenteral contact with infected body fluids. Common modes of transmission for these viruses include receipt of contaminated blood or blood products, invasive medical procedures using contaminated equipment and for hepatitis B transmission from mother to baby at birth, from family member to child, and also by sexual contact.

Acute infection may occur with limited or no symptoms, or may include symptoms such as jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), dark urine, extreme fatigue, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain (WHO, 2015).

Our daily challenges in the NPH homes include to ensure the basic vaccination, evaluation and improvement of the water systems in the homes, such as regularly testing of the water quality. Additionally kitchen staff to trained on how to prepare food hygienically and the regular evaluation of the hygienic safety measures in the kitchen and where the food is stored. With success in the last years, we only record two cases of Hep C, 6 cases of Hep B and 6 cases of Hep A in all homes. We consider this a good result based on the local rural situations of some of our homes.


Día Mundial contra la Hepatitis – 28 de julio

La hepatitis es una inflamación del hígado causada generalmente por una infección vírica. Se conocen cinco tipos principales de virus de la hepatitis, designados como A, B, C, D y E. Estos son los que mayor preocupación generan debido a la gran morbilidad y mortalidad que conllevan y a su potencial para causar brotes y propagarse de forma epidémica. En particular, los tipos B y C dan lugar a una afección crónica en cientos de millones de personas y son en conjunto la causa más común de cirrosis y cáncer hepáticos. OMS, 2015

Tambien informa la OMS que la hepatitis A y la E son causadas generalmente por la ingestión de agua o alimentos contaminados. Las hepatitis B, C y D se producen de ordinario por el contacto con humores corporales infectados. Son formas comunes de transmisión de estos últimos la transfusión de sangre o productos sanguíneos contaminados, los procedimientos médicos invasivos en que se usa equipo contaminado y, en el caso de la hepatitis B, la transmisión de la madre al niño en el parto o de un miembro de la familia al niño, y también el contacto sexual.

Aunque a veces es asintomática o se acompaña de pocos síntomas, la infección aguda puede manifestarse en forma de ictericia (coloración amarillenta de la piel y los ojos), orina oscura, cansancio intenso, náuseas, vómitos y dolor abdominal.

Nuestros retos diarias en las casas de NPH también incluyen asegurar la vacunación básica de cada niño, la evaluación y mejoría de los sistemas de agua en los hogares, como también prueba con de la calidad del agua regularmente no olvidar las charlas de salud para el personal de cocina como preparar los alimentos de forma higiénica y la evaluación periódicamente de la higiene en la cocina y las tiendas de alimentos – con éxito -en los últimos años sólo se han presentado dos casos de la hepatitis C , seis casos de la hepatitis B y 6 casos de la hepatitis en todos nuestros hogares, que es un buen resultado pensando de cual orígenes nuestros hijos están llegando y las situaciones locales ruralmente/económicamente de nuestros hogares.


A Long Healing Process

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My is a 12-year-old girl from Peru. In 2015 she was diagnosed with an AML (myeloid leukemia) but she needed advanced treatment which was not available in Peru. Her family turned to NPH for help.

NPHI along with NPH Spain and in particular Marta Garate, arranged several appointments in a Madrid pediatric hospital as well as where to stay. The first days in Madrid they stayed in a volunteer home and once admitted to the hospital, they were housed in the Ronald Mc Donald house near to the hospital. After My was dismissed from the hospital and during the recovery process, an apartment from Caritas was granted, so they can have a family life and are close to the hospital.

My arrived in Spain, accompanied by her mother on November 2015. After exhaustive exams and confirmation of the diagnosis, her father was called to travel to Madrid urgently to be tested, as the only hope to receive the bone marrow transplant. The first transplant was in February 2016 and recently she had another.

While hospitalized My received psychological treatment, classes according to her level in school and many other amenities.

It has been a long journey with many ups and downs and complications. My’s family, despite being constantly accompanied with amazing NPH volunteers, felt sad to be away from their country for such a long time. My will spend a week at summer camp with 30 other kids with cancer in a beautiful place in the south part of Spain. The camp lets children enjoy  activities such as swimming with the dolphins, kayaking and adventure/exploring games. Meanwhile My’s parents will have free time for themselves to rest, to recover energy and enjoy the city of Madrid.

None of this couldn’t be possible without the support and help of an amazing group of volunteers, NPH Spain and Marta Garate. Thank you to all involved in the process for healing My.

Dr. Pilar Wins United Nations Women Together Award

The Women Together Award recognizes men and women who actively promote ethical, philosophical, moral, economic, scientific and cultural values that open new horizons for the future of humanity. They also recognize personal and institutional achievements, mainly those that constitute a relevant contribution to universal culture and help in reaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Dr. Pilar Silverman, Medical Services Director of NPH International, was awarded the Women Together Award at the United Nations building on June 7, 2016, at the Women Together gala. Congratulations Pilar!

Pilar’s acceptance speech…

Good evening everyone. It is a true honor to receive this Women Together Award on behalf of NPHI (Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos International) advocating for children’s wellbeing.

In addition to what we show in the video, we are working on a range of health projects focusing on gender equality, serving the community and sustainable practices. We strive to provide the best educational opportunities, starting with early education, to develop their highest potential as human beings. 

It is with gratitude I want to thank my outstanding team. Part of it is present in the room Dr. Corinna and Marta and Aya from finances department.

My family, my husband and children, always supporting and encouraging to fulfill my dream and pursue my passion.

And to my mentor and ethical consultant, Fr. Rick Frechette, CP, DO, a priest and doctor for exemplifying life of compassion and giving back the human dignity to the poorest of the poor in the slums of Haiti.

Finally to the Aid for Aids foundation, Walkabout Foundation and Dream Project for their partnership.

Below is the video that Dr. Pilar showed before she received her award.

Also read more at:

NPH Goes Above and Beyond – Life-Saving Heart Surgery

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Four years ago, the Martinez* family desperately approached the NPH Dominican Republic home for help. Their one-year-old son, Alber*, had a heart condition and needed urgent surgery. The NPH International Medical Services team evaluated the case and proposed it to two hospitals in Barcelona, Spain because heart surgery is not an option in the DR. Thanks to our NPH Spain fundraising office, Alber was able to travel to Spain with his mom and came back fully recovered 40 days later.

NPH goes to great lengths to help children with health conditions, even if solution need to be sought outside the country.


Pilar Silverman, MD
NPHI Medical Services Director

*Names changed to protect privacy.

Care for HIV Children


Today is National Youth HIV and Aids Awareness Day – NPH goes to great lengths to care for 60 children and youths who are living with HIV. All receive comprehensive medical and psychological care as well as medication and regular lab work.

HIV/AIDS is a serious threat at any age but especially among youth age 13-24 years old. Lack of education and unprotected sex as well as the misconception that they could not contract HIV, contribute to the spread.

Helping youth to make healthy choices will have an impact on the rest of their lives. Family, school and physicians as well as peers can make a difference promoting health and safe lifestyle.

What everyone can do

Get educated about HIV basic facts.

Every one between the ages of 13-64 years is recommended to be tested for HIV at least once as part of their routine healthcare.

Frequent answers to a questions from Center for diseases control, CDC:

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus

HIV is a virus spread through certain body fluids that attacks the body’s immune system, specifically the CD4 cells, often called T cells. Over time, HIV can destroy so many of these cells that the body can’t fight off infections and disease.

Scientists identified a type of chimpanzee in Central Africa as the source of HIV infection in humans. They believe that the chimpanzee version of the immunodeficiency virus (called simian immunodeficiency virus, or SIV) most likely was transmitted to humans and mutated into HIV when humans hunted these chimpanzees for meat and came into contact with their infected blood. Studies show that HIV may have jumped from apes to humans as far back as the late 1800s. Over decades, the virus slowly spread across Africa and later into other parts of the world. We know that the virus has existed in the United States since at least the mid to late 1970s.

When people get HIV and don’t receive treatment, they will typically progress through three stages of disease. Medicine to treat HIV, known as antiretroviral therapy (ART), helps people at all stages of the disease if taken the right way, every day. Treatment can slow or prevent progression from one stage to the next. It can also dramatically reduce the chance of transmitting HIV to someone else.

Stage 1: Acute HIV infection

Within 2 to 4 weeks after infection with HIV, people may experience a flu-like illness, which may last for a few weeks. This is the body’s natural response to infection. When people have acute HIV infection, they have a large amount of virus in their blood and are very contagious. But people with acute infection are often unaware that they’re infected because they may not feel sick right away or at all. To know whether someone has acute infection, either a fourth-generation antibody/antigen test or a nucleic acid (NAT) test is necessary. If you think you have been exposed to HIV through sex or drug use and you have flu-like symptoms, seek medical care and ask for a test to diagnose acute infection.

Stage 2: Clinical latency (HIV inactivity or dormancy)

This period is sometimes called asymptomatic HIV infection or chronic HIV infection. During this phase, HIV is still active but reproduces at very low levels. People may not have any symptoms or get sick during this time. For people who aren’t taking medicine to treat HIV, this period can last a decade or longer, but some may progress through this phase faster. People who are taking medicine to treat HIV (ART) the right way, every day may be in this stage for several decades. It’s important to remember that people can still transmit HIV to others during this phase, although people who are on ART and stay virally suppressed (having a very low level of virus in their blood) are much less likely to transmit HIV than those who are not virally suppressed. At the end of this phase, a person’s viral load starts to go up and the CD4 cell count begins to go down. As this happens, the person may begin to have symptoms as the virus levels increase in the body, and the person moves into Stage 3.

Stage 3: Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)

AIDS is the most severe phase of HIV infection. People with AIDS have such badly damaged immune systems that they get an increasing number of severe illnesses, called opportunistic illnesses.

Without treatment, people with AIDS typically survive about 3 years. Common symptoms of AIDS include chills, fever, sweats, swollen lymph glands, weakness, and weight loss. People are diagnosed with AIDS when their CD4 cell count drops below 200 cells/mm or if they develop certain opportunistic illnesses. People with AIDS can have a high viral load and be very infectious.

NPHI Medical Services team

We Help Kids Be Healthy

Over 600 NPH children live with chronic health conditions. Whether it’s treatment for HIV or a life-saving surgery, our local and international medical services team of healthcare professionals provide our children with access to vital services. As part of this process, we support local healthcare staff and promote collaboration among our homes’ interdisciplinary teams to ensure each child receives the best physical and emotional care possible. To learn more about our NPH programs visit: or email

Dia Mundial de Salud – 7 de abril


En 1945 los diplomáticos que se reunieron para crear las Naciones Unidas tenian la idea tener la posibilidad de establecer una organización mundial dedicada a la salud.

La Constitución de la OMS entró en vigor el 7 de abril de 1948, fecha que conmemoro cada año mediante el Día Mundial de la Salud.

Ámbitos en los que trabajan al nivel mundial

Anualmente se enfoquen en un tema especial de la salud. El tema de este año: vence el diabetes!

Mas informaciones sobre la OMS y su mensaje por el dia mundial de salud se encuentra aqui:


“La salud es un estado de completo bienestar físico, mental y social, y no solamente la ausencia de afecciones o enfermedades”. OMS 1948

Laura Kubzansky, profesora de Ciencias Sociales y del Comportamiento en la Escuela de Salud Pública de Harvard menciona tambien la importancia de ser capaz de manejar los altibajos emocionales es importante para el cuerpo y la mente.

Además, entre tragedias inesperadas y el estrés diario, los factores ambientales pueden afectar el estado de ánimo y acabar con nuestra sed de vivir.

“Para la salud física, no es tanto la felicidad en sí, sino su capacidad de regular y tener una sensación de propósito y significado”, señala Kubzansky.

Depende de los factores que influyen una persona esta dicha perosna puede vivir su vida estable o menos estable.

Como cada uno de nosotros tambien nuestros niños vienen de diferentes condiciones con diferentes factores personales. Con un trabajo interdisciplinario (servicio medico, servicio familiar, directores, padres) intentamos de ofrecerles condiciones estables para apoyarles que podrian desarollar una buena salud integral.

Julia Spettel, Regional Medical Director, NPHI Medical Services