Health Workers Can Help Curb Climate Change

Tara YoungBlog

Arctic ice caps are melting. Sea levels are rising. Extreme weather events are devastating communities around the world. The earth is getting hotter, and we feel the effects of climate change in our everyday lives. But how will global warming affect our health in the long run? A recent report by the The Lancet is the first of its kind to quantify the impacts of climate change on health and monitor global efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change. With input from experts in climate science, ecology, economy, engineering, public health and more, the Countdown report tracks data on 40 indicators related to climate change. It focuses on the impacts of climate change, climate planning and adaptation, mitigation actions, finance and economics, and public and political engagement. The Countdown leads by saying that, “the human symptoms of climate change … Read More

Sharing knowledge to strengthen family medicine

Daisy WinnerBlog, Malawi, Medicine, Uncategorized

“Family doctors have always been the backbone of health care. Family doctors have always been the bedrock of comprehensive, compassionate, and people-centered care” -Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General World Health Organization  Today, nearly 80 percent of the burden of non-communicable disease occur in low- and middle- income countries. To overcome this challenge, global health care has shifted toward prevention and primary care, focused on halting the rise of chronic disease. Family medicine, first recognized as a specialty in the United States more than 40 years ago, aims to address just that. Family medicine focuses on comprehensive care for patients of all ages and genders that integrates social determinants of health and serves as an advocate for patients. As Seed Global Health’s Director of Family Medicine, Dr. Esther Johnston, explains, “The strength of a family medicine doctor is that they are trained … Read More

Thankful More than Ever for Health Workers

Seed Global HealthBlog, Medicine, Midwifery, Nursing

It’s the time of year when many of us join family and friends to reflect on all that we have to be thankful for. While we may focus on the achievements and successes in our own lives, we should also reflect on how far together, our world, has progressed. The global poverty rate has been halved since 2000, with some research suggesting that someone escapes extreme poverty every 1.2 seconds. Around the world, under-five mortality rate has decreased by 56 percent and about 20 000 fewer children died every day in 2016 than in 1990. Global average life expectancy increased by 5 years between 2000 and 2015, the fastest increase since the 1960s. As we reflect with gratitude on these achievements, now more than ever, we wholeheartedly thank the millions of health workers around the world who are making this progress a reality. They … Read More

Setting, Keeping, and Reaching Big Health Goals

Daisy WinnerBlog, Medicine, Midwifery, Nursing

In September 2017, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation published its first annual “Goalkeepers” report assessing the world’s progress toward the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Tracking 18 indicators from the SDGs, the Goalkeepers report displays global progress on issues like including poverty, under-five mortality, sanitation, and more. It also provides projections on how the health metrics might change if our progress advances or declines. Through a massive, three-year effort of data synthesis and analysis, this report painted a clear picture of how far we’ve come — and what we need to do to be make the world healthier, happier, and more equitable. Here are three key takeaways from the report: Results are mixed so far. International and local efforts have helped ensure that more children around the world are making it to adulthood, more families have food on … Read More

HRH Forum: Education and Workforce Development

Daisy WinnerBlog, Medicine, Midwifery, Nursing

Teaching and training were in focus yesterday at the Fourth Global Forum on Human Resources for Health in Dublin, as the morning plenary and several concurrent sessions explored education, skills utilization, and approaches to health professional development. In a morning plenary, Dr. Or Vandine, Director General for Health of the Government of Cambodia, focused on a “triangle” of skill building, infrastructure development for service delivery, and community engagement for increased access as an important triumvirate in strengthening health workers’ abilities to deliver care. Through her remarks, Forum attendees learned about Cambodia’s approach to “dramatically increasing the number of doctors,” building from a workforce of just 28 to a workforce of more than 23,000 physicians today by emphasizing developing curriculum and fast-tracking the development of medical educators. Joining Dr. Vandine and other colleagues for the session, Dr. George Sigounas Administrator of … Read More

Clinical Education for Liberia’s Midwives

Karen Shulman, Senior Manager of Strategic Partnerships, Seed Global HealthBlog, Liberia, Midwifery

Dr. Nicole Geller, a nurse midwife, is in her second year of service as a visiting clinician and educator, teaching and training nurses and midwives in Liberia. Nicole shared her thoughts with me recently on why clinical education is an important component in the education of Liberia’s future midwives. -KS Clinical education is one of the two most important parts of midwife’s education.  It is where we learn to use our brains the most.  All of our senses are simultaneously gathering the information we need for a diagnosis.  In clinical, what we see will be seen again, what they hear will be heard again, what they smell and touch will also present again. The clinical instructor is a large part of the educating of a student midwife.  Part of clinical education includes the translation of findings.  Interpreting the student’s experience … Read More

Champion Women to Address the Health Workforce’s Leaky Pipeline

Dr. Vanessa Kerry, CEO, Seed Global HealthBlog, Medicine, Midwifery, Nursing

This post originally appears on the Frontline Health Workers Coalition blog. Read the article here.  Humanitarian emergencies caused by infectious disease, conflict and natural disasters have caused shock after shock to health systems worldwide. The headlines are still fresh in our minds. Ebola. Zika. The Syrian refugee crisis. The list is hundreds long however. Each time a crisis hits, it underscores the same lesson: the only way health systems can effectively withstand shocks and deliver consistent, high-quality care to all members of the community during – and critically after crisis when deaths are actually highest – is to have a strong, highly trained global health workforce. This week, the community of organizations and leaders focused on health systems comes together in Dublin for the Fourth Forum on Human Resources for Health, to advance the landmark recommendations from The Global Strategy … Read More

Teaching and Training to Strengthen Human Resources for Health

Tara YoungBlog

While demand for health care increases around the world, the supply of skilled health workers continues to fall short of global need. Inequity in the availability of and access to quality healthcare is deepening, and, without action, the World Health Organization (WHO) projects a shortage of 18 million health workers, largely in lower and middle income countries, by 2030. This week at the fourth Global Forum on Human Resources for Health (HRH) in Dublin, Ireland, researchers, policymakers, and HRH experts will discuss innovative strategies to reduce these disparities. Their objective is to advance the implementation of the Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health, which was adopted in May 2016 to “accelerate progress towards universal health coverage and the UN Sustainable Development Goals by ensuring equitable access to health workers within strengthened health systems.” However, availability and accessibility of health … Read More

Bending the Arc: Health Workers Advocating for Justice

Daisy WinnerBlog, Medicine, Midwifery, Nursing

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” ― Theodore Parker As you watch Bending the Arc, a powerful film focused on the movement for more health workers and improved global health, it is clear that this quote is ingrained in the minds and hearts of the film’s subjects three inspiring health heroes. The documentary follows the story of Paul Farmer, Ophelia Dahl, and Jim Yong Kim – the founders of the Partners in Health (PIH) – from 1983 when Paul, Ophelia, and Jim were young, passionate physicians, to their present-day roles in leading advocacy for investments in health workers and a healthier planet. Volunteering in rural Haiti, the three were appalled by the lack of basic care available. But the team did what they could to bring care to communities and treat patients. Across three decades, … Read More