People ask “why midwifery?” and “what drew you to this field?” and I often feel that my attempt to answer falls very short of explaining how it is that I ended up in Northern Uganda, teaching midwifery to eager, bright baccalaureate-level students. How does one adequately explain why we crave some thing, feel at peace in some special place or why we fall in love? How do you express the gut feeling that something is ‘right’? How do you explain the draw towards something that at once needs to be absorbed and simultaneously diffused outward in the world? My choice in career has been not so much a calculated decision, but rather an organic movement. Each day around the world, there are 360,000 heroic women who experience childbirth. Approximately 830 of those women die in the process. Not all are … Read More
Midwives have existed even before formalized healthcare. We were the original healers, birth attendants, and confidantes. The role of the midwife has been improved upon and integrated into the healthcare sector, but historically, midwives have come from their communities, and in nearly every society on the planet, women go to midwives to birth their babies. I was teaching in Newark, NJ and on my way to graduate studies in education when I had a transformational experience with midwives. Just having had a baby with midwives in a birth center, I was supporting two of my students, providing advice to them as they navigated their ways through sub-par healthcare during their own pregnancies. I thought back to the quality and compassionate care I received from my midwives, and said to myself, “in another life, I would be a midwife.”’ It’s a … Read More
The WHO projects that 40 million new health sector jobs will be created by 2030, concentrated in middle- and high-income countries, yet low- and middle- income countries are projected to face a shortage of 18 million health workers by this time Despite these bleak statistics, the thousands of medical and nursing students, are a reason to remain optimistic. Since 2013, Seed’s flagship program, the Global Health Service Partnership, has helped train more than 13,700 students in Liberia, Malawi, eSwatini (formerly known as Swaziland), Tanzania, and Uganda. This partnership brings highly-qualified U.S. healthcare volunteers to educate local medical and nursing students over the course of a year through instruction in the classroom and at the bedside. By teaching local health professionals, entire communities and countries can benefit from the “ripple effect” created when students become more-skilled clinicians and are then better … Read More
Today marks World Malaria Day, a day to highlight efforts to reduce malaria and to focus on the need for continued investment and commitment for prevention and control. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “the global response to malaria is at a crossroads. After an unprecedented period of success in malaria control, progress has stalled.” At Seed, we understand that doctors, nurses, midwives and other health workers are critical to keeping curable diseases like malaria under control. Health professionals are on the front lines in communities combatting the spread of this disease. It takes a village to make progress and implement change—from individuals to corporations—all of us must come together to put an end to malaria. Funding and research is needed, and thanks to a partnership with the ExxonMobil Foundation, Seed Global Health has been able to strengthen and build … Read More
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” — Benjamin Franklin Closing the health workforce gap, so that local leaders and local professionals can meet local need, is not a short-term commitment. But improvements in the long-term necessitate reflection and data-based adjustments in strategy and implementation. Any effort to create lasting change must not only celebrate “progress” framed broadly, but also effectively measure improvement, evaluate impact, and learn – from both success and failure – so as to continuously improve upon its approach. And we take our commitment to continuous learning and improvement within our work seriously. Since 2013, Seed Global Health has partnered with the US Peace Corps and the Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to deploy volunteer nurses and physicians to teach and train medical and nursing students as part of a unique collaboration – the … Read More
Where do you get your news in human resources for health? Here’s a roundup of what our team has been reading over the past month, and what you might want to check out, too! Get this and more delivered to your inbox – click here to sign up for our bimonthly newsletter. Female health workers in conservative Afghanistan facing immense barriers Xinhua, April 8 Scarcity of female health workers still remains a challenge in conservative Afghanistan despite improvement in women’s status and progress in the health sector within the last 17 years. Everyone needs access to quality health services – WHO Malawi24, April 7 As the world celebrates the World Health Day today, World Health Organization (WHO) has stressed the need for everyone to access health services. According to a statement released by WHO, universal health coverage for everyone, everywhere … Read More
Our hearts and thoughts are with our colleagues, the patients, and the community affected by today’s fire at Mangochi District Hospital in Mangochi, Malawi. Our friends at Mangochi have been our partners and our inspiration as we’ve worked side-by-side, and while we are thankful our visiting faculty at Mangochi are safe, our hearts break for this nightmare our local colleagues have had to endure. Through our Malawi country director, we will be on the ready to support their recovery in any way feasible. Increasing access to quality maternal and pediatric care has been a hallmark of Mangochi District Hospital, and we will support our friends and counterparts at Mangochi as they continue to provide the best care possible, even in the face of this tragedy.
Tomorrow marks the start of this year’s Skoll World Forum, an event focused on social entrepreneurship, innovation, and solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. As in previous years, there promises to be robust conversation on increasing access to quality health services by leveraging the power of technology. With the supply of health workers in developing countries not meeting the demand, it is important to identify innovative technology that can help doctors, nurses, midwives, and community health workers provide effective and efficient patient care. With nearly two-thirds of the world’s population in possession of a cell phone, mobile health (mHealth) in particular has enormous potential to support health workers. Consider one way that mobile is being used to empower nurses. Research shows that often nurses feel unsupported in the workplace, and have to contend with outdated information, protocols, and limited … Read More
Earlier this week, Seed Global Health CEO Dr. Vanessa Kerry joined health reporter Linord Moudou on Voice of America’s “Health Chat.” At Seed Global Health, we believe that investing in strong, locally-led health workforces is both an imperative and a long-term proposition. As Dr. Kerry noted in her interview, “to solve the really big problems… like a health care shortage — either on the sub-Saharan African continent, elsewhere in the world, or in your home in the U.S — it’s about looking long-term and making the right investments now that pay dividends in the future.” Listen to the full interview above to hear Dr. Kerry’s insights into the need for investment, the challenges of the current U.S. global health funding landscape, and the opportunities to harness novel approaches and youth passion for a healthier tomorrow.
The first week in April once again brings our annual commemoration of World Health Worker Week: a time to celebrate the work that health workers do and to acknowledge both the challenges they face and the evolving ecosystem they operate in. We know that health workers of all varieties play a critical role in supporting health service delivery, ensuring that individuals and families’ needs are met. But this World Health Worker Week, it’s important to focus on the role of health workers in strengthening global security and creating a safer world – and how necessary that role is as we look toward the future. When you think of global security what are the some of the first things that come to mind? You might think of war, military strength, and the power of diplomacy. However, one of the best investments … Read More