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In which ground is about to be broken!!! Donate to support the Partners in Health's efforts to reduce maternal and child mortality in Sierra Leone: There will be a livestream later this afternoon to discuss financials/fundraising:

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Good morning Hank, it's Tuesday.

Today's video is like the hair of Chris Hemsworth; it comes to you in three parts.


Hank, next week Partners in Health and the Sierra Leonean government will officially break ground on the Maternal Center of Excellence, an expansion of Koidu Government Hospital that will be a huge step forward in Sierra Leone’s fight to radically reduce maternal mortality. Despite all the challenges of the last fifteen months, the Maternal Center of Excellence is on schedule — thanks to the incredibly hard work by the Ministry of Health, by our friends and colleagues working for PIH, and also thanks to the thousands of you who’ve donated.

When the pandemic first hit, I assumed the MCOE would be pushed back off for months or perhaps years. But what happened instead is that every month, donations have continued to grow, and now, together with PIH, we’ve raised over $20 million dollars, which is…. it’s just overwhelming. You're see here where it will be, and now what it will look like. This will dramatically change the quality of care available to women and children in a region where one out of every 20 women can expect to die in childbirth. This is a huge deal.

And the change is already happening: Just in the last year, neonatal mortality at Koidu Goverment Hospital has fallen by FIFTY PERCENT thanks to a new infant care unit. I really recommend reading PIH Sierra Leone’s annual report — link below — where they talk about this infant care center, and also one baby, Naphtal, whose parents, as thanks for his survival, named him after his doctor.

The mental health clinic is growing, as is a new clinic for adolescent care, and the MCOE should dramatically accelerate this progress, and because it will serve as a teaching hospital, it will train the next generation of Sierra Leonean healthcare workers. There is a very long way to go when it comes to strengthening the healthcare system in Sierra Leone, but this is a big milestone, and we are going to celebrate it on April 29th at 6 PM eastern time with a livestream featuring many of our friends from PIH Sierra Leone. I hope you can join us.

So many people have worked so hard and been so generous to get to this moment. Thank you thank you thank you. I’m going to be doing a livestream later this afternoon to go through the
financial fundraising side of things in detail if you’re interested in that, but there is still a funding gap, so if you are able to donate to this project, please do!

Part 2: Audiobooks.

Hank, I've just finished recording the audiobook for The Anthropocene Reviewed, which was fun, and I only came across one typo which is, you know infinitely worse than none but twice as good as two. Here are some questions:

I have recently received about the book and audio book.

  1. Will there be music? Not very much of it. It will mostly just be my voice playing its only note.
  2. Will the audiobook be signed? Alas, no, I have not figured out a way to autograph soundwaves but I'm working on it. But, every preorder of the hardcover U.S. and Canadian edition will be signed, and there will be some signed copies available in the UK at bookstores, and if you can find a way to order the U.S. edition abroad, I think it will be signed but I can’t promise because of the complexity of international copyright shipping and stuff.
  3. Are you going on tour? Yes? Virtually. But there will be a tour and we will review the anthropocene together and there will be great special guests and we will talk about love and loss and how it feels to be alive in this weird moment and it’s a good opportunity to support independent bookstores, and I’ll announce the tour dates when I have them either this week or next.

The book and the audiobook come out on May 18th and are available for pre-order now.

Okay, part 3!

Nerdfighteria is amazing - not only because you’ve been the driving force behind raising over $20 million dollars to help build and maintain a maternal and infant care center at Koidu Government Hospital, but also because of the stuff y'all make all the time. Like, just this week on the Nerdfighter Subreddit, I discovered this representation of my positive self-talk as a poem [chuckles], and also Alexandre Daley’s excellent web site — link below — that sends you to a random vlogbrothers videos out of the 1,923 we have so far uploaded. Clicking it a few times has taken me back to some lovely memories. As it says on my 2021 Vision Board Hank, what a long strange trip it’s been.

Here’s to much, much more.

I will see you on Friday.