Midwives Matter for Liberia

Daisy WinnerBlog, Featured, Liberia, Midwifery

In Liberia, 44 percent of women give birth at home without a skilled birth attendant. Without the support of a trained professional, women die every day from preventable causes related to pregnancy and child birth. Midwives are essential partners in stopping these unnecessary deaths, as they play an instrumental role in ensuring skilled care for mom and baby during pregnancy, childbirth, and in the important first days and weeks after birth. Seed Global Health has supported midwifery in Liberia since 2015, placing volunteer midwifery educators at partner institutions to work alongside local educators in teaching and training the next generation of midwives in the country. We pair skilled, volunteer faculty – like Nicole Geller, who has spent the last two years empowering midwifery students through clinical education –  with local midwives, teaching and working together so that mothers throughout communities … Read More

Championing Health Workers in the SDGs

Daisy WinnerBlog, Featured, Liberia, Malawi, Medicine, Midwifery, Nursing, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda

The most recent report from the United Nations on the advancements made towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals finds that while progress has been made across all areas of development, the pace of progress has been slow, and advancements have been uneven to fully meet the implementation of the SDGs by 2030. Established in 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted by all member countries of the United Nations focused on ending poverty, protecting the planet, and ensuring prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years. SDG 3 seeks to ensure health and well-being for all, at every stage of life. Major strides have been made in improving health around the world: between 2000 and 2015, the global maternal mortality ratio declined by 37 per … Read More

Creating a Lasting Impact

Daisy WinnerBlog, Malawi, Medicine, Uncategorized

Anneka Hooft had just finished residency as a pediatrician when she moved to Malawi to teach and train students at the College of Medicine (COM) in Blantyre. We recently spoke with Anneka to reflect on her year as a volunteer educator, what she passed on to her students, and what she learned from her time in Malawi. Why did you decide to apply for GHSP? I wanted to be a part of something that would have a lasting impact. There are so many opportunities to provide care in low resource settings, and I worked clinically abroad, but I wanted to be sure that my work could be part of something larger. I was drawn to the idea of working with students and training future providers in the local context of where they would work. What did your work entail during … Read More

Caught in the Crossfire: Health Systems in Conflict Areas

Daisy WinnerBlog, Medicine, Midwifery, Nursing

 The conflicts in Syria, Yemen, and Afghanistan are unlike any wars seen before. Long-running and complex, these conflicts have devastated these countries – untold numbers of citizens have been killed and even more have been forced to flee their homes for neighboring states. There are more than five million registered Syrian refugees alone. As violence and fighting wages on, infrastructure and public services have collapsed. Health systems in these countries have been torn apart. Overwhelmed, understaffed, structurally damaged, and under-resourced, health centers have been brought to the brink of collapse. As of October 2017, resulting from the ongoing conflict, health facilities in Yemen had not received funding to cover operational costs in thirteen months and almost 30,000 health workers had not received their salaries consistently during this period. Yet they ask to save lives in dire conditions every day. CSIS … Read More

Reflections from Malawi

Dr. Vanessa Kerry, CEO, Seed Global HealthBlog, Malawi

Commitment. Engagement. Resilience. Perseverance. These words describe the ever present – and necessary – qualities of the doctors, nurses, and midwives who are working to improve the health and wellness of their communities in the countries where we partner. Last month, I had the honor of visiting several of our partner sites and colleagues in Malawi. We city hopped, from south to north, to see incredible care in action: the pediatrics ward at Kamuzu Central Hospital, where even under a seemingly-overwhelming patient load, each colleague went above and beyond their responsibilities to ensure children were swiftly and fully taken care of; bednets over almost every patient at the regional hospital in Mangochi; a nursing student delivering an outstanding presentation on the post-operative care of a patient at Mzuzu; and systems of organization across facilities that reflected not only smart design, … Read More

Nurse Anesthetists Leading Change in Liberia

Daisy WinnerBlog, Liberia, Nursing

Ravaged by civil war and the Ebola crisis, the Liberian health system has struggled to meet local health needs. Life expectancy is only 61 years. 67 of every 1,000 children do not survive till their fifth birthday. And the country’s high maternal mortality rate remains among the world’s worst. But two men are fighting to change that. Dr. W. Fassah and Mr. Aaron Sonah, from Phebe School of Nursing, are two nurse anesthetists who are transforming care for patients by training the next generation of Liberian nurses. The only training school for nursing anesthesia in Liberia, Phebe has trained the majority of Liberia’s nursing anesthetists since 1970. And this month, Dr. Fassah and Mr. Sonah have been visiting Boston for an intensive training program. In partnership with Northeastern University’s (NEU) School of Nursing, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), … Read More

Committing to Children’s Health in Malawi

Daisy WinnerBlog, Malawi, Medicine

In Malawi, children represent the majority of the total population, with more than 45 percent of the country under the age of 14. And in 2013 the country achieved Millenium Development Goal 4, reducing under-five death rates by two-thirds or more since 1990. Still, 1 in every 16 Malawian children does not survive to meet their fifth birthday. And with fewer than 1 physician for every 1,000 people continuing this reduction in child mortality and improving child health in the country is a persistent challenge. Because of the significant shortage of qualified physicians, including pediatricians, the youngest patients can’t get the care that they need. But since 2013, Seed has been committed to reversing this trend. Seed volunteers work alongside local educators to share critical skills, train students in advanced practices, and teach at the bedside. Working at University of … Read More

Strengthening Nursing in Malawi

Daisy WinnerBlog, Malawi, Nursing, Uncategorized

Globally, nurses deliver the highest percentage of patient care. They are critical to strengthening health systems and responding to more acute crisis, like disease outbreaks. Despite being on the frontline of care, the global shortage of nurses continues to grow. Currently, it is estimated that 9 million more nurses and midwives are necessary to adequately meet health care needs. In Malawi, there is fewer than 1 nurse to care for every 1,000 people.  And such a significant shortage may be a contributing factor to poor health outcomes. To overcome this shortage, Seed Global Health has been placing volunteer nursing educators in Malawi since 2013. Since our inaugural year, 32 nurse educators have taught and trained future nurses and nursing educators at four nursing institutions. Working alongside local nursing professionals and educators, our volunteers strengthen in-country education. They teach courses, develop … Read More

Without Hesitation: Shakira’s GHSP Journey

Zack LangwayBlog, Liberia, Midwifery

“I did not hesitate to accept an invitation to serve as visiting midwifery faculty in Liberia with the Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP), a public-private collaboration with Seed Global Health, the Peace Corps, and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. For me, it was a dream come true to be able to support the goal of strengthening health education and delivery in Africa.” Shakira Franklyn, a volunteer faculty member through GHSP, served in Liberia delivering care and partnering with local colleagues to strengthen midwifery in Liberia. Read more about her experience in this article from the American College of Nurse-Midwives’ newsletter, Quickening, published in Fall 2017.

Hope for Midwifery in Liberia

Karen Shulman, Senior Manager of Strategic PartnershipsBlog, Liberia, Midwifery, Uncategorized

Midwives are the heart of maternal and child health around the world. The support, care and advice they give during pregnancy, labor and the postpartum period is essential for the wellbeing of mothers, families, and communities. Seed Global Health is proud to teach and train midwives, and we’ve been doing so in Liberia since 2016. Dr. Nicole Geller, a nurse midwife, is in her second years of service as a visiting faculty member, helping to build the future of midwifery practice in Liberia.  She shared her thoughts with me on her work and her great hopes for midwifery in the country as she continues to help build the next generation of midwives and local leadership. -KS Midwifery in Liberia is making great progress.  There is more to do and it is exciting to see that, right now, there is a … Read More