Passion, Purpose, and Practice: My Journey to Health Justice

Fola May, MD, PhDBlog, Featured, Medicine

Dr. Fola May is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at UCLA, a staff physician in the Veterans Affairs Healthcare Network (VA), Assistant Director for the UCLA STAR program, Co-Director of the UCLA Global Health Education Program, and Director of Internal Medicine Programs for Seed Global Health. The field of public health is equally important to the practice of medicine itself. I learned this important lesson in the early 2000s, when I was an undergraduate student at Yale, during a six-month service project in Nicoya, a tiny town in the Guanacaste Peninsula of Costa Rica. As the daughter of a doctor, I’ve been immersed in medicine for virtually all of my life, and growing up, I frequently joined my father on medical mission trips to West Africa. My father was raised in rural Nigeria and immigrated to the United States to … Read More

Science to Practice to Policy: International AIDS Society Conference 2017

Brittney van de Water, PhD, RN, CPNPBlog, Malawi, Nursing

The science of improving health underpins the professional community’s ability to provide adequate care for those facing HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and many other infectious diseases. And every two years, the International AIDS Society (IAS) convenes a scientific conference to share and discuss research and findings within HIV/AIDS and other disease areas. In fact, the IAS meeting is the largest open science conference on HIV/AIDS-related issues for a variety of researchers and clinicians. The focus of the conference is to move science into practice and policy – and as a newly minted PhD, I am excited to be attending the upcoming meeting in Paris, France to present part of my doctoral dissertation as an oral presentation. My dissertation, which I completed at Duke University School of Nursing, focused on age-appropriate treatment for individuals with drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) in South Africa. Specifically, I … Read More

Nurse Educator returns to Uganda to expand her impact

Daisy WinnerBlog, Nursing, Uganda

Just twenty miles from the border of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in Arua, Uganda, is Muni University – the only university in Uganda’s West Nile Region. Muni opened just last year, with the help of Global Health Service Partnership Nurse Educators, including Genevieve Evenhouse. Working with the nursing faculty, Genevieve and her fellow volunteers helped secure accreditation for the institution and develop the curriculum for the nursing program. Because of its remote location, attracting faculty to the new school has been difficult. Genevieve ended her year of service in July of 2016 and returned to her work as a school district nurse with the San Francisco Unified School District, yet knowing the difficulties with finding enough teachers, felt an urge to return to Muni. “I knew that Muni was going to have little teaching support and they were … Read More

Reflections on two years of teaching in Uganda

Daisy WinnerBlog, Nursing, Uganda

Robert Kasibante has deep ties to the country where he has served for the last two years a Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP) nurse educator. Robert was born in Uganda, the country where his parents still live and where two of his three children were born. He grew up in the United States, earning his bachelor’s degree in Nursing in Texas before working in Washington for the last several years. But his return to Uganda has been a significant time in his life. We recently spoke with Robert about his time as a GHSP Nurse Educator, and what he has both taught and learned during two years in Uganda. Why did you want to become a nurse? My grandmother and three of my aunts were nurses. They were the ones who inspired me. I really fell in love with nursing … Read More

Health for All: Human Right, Moral Imperative

Dr. Vanessa Kerry, CEO, Seed Global HealthBlog

We are failing some of the world’s most vulnerable people. From Syria, to South Sudan, to Myanmar, to Colombia, our global community faces an unprecedented crisis of displacement. Often leaving their homes with next to nothing – including their medical history or documentation – refugees quickly find themselves with little to no access to quality health care, compounding one of the worst human rights crises we’ve ever known. Declarations for a right to health appear throughout our recent history. Seventy years ago, with the founding charter of the World Health Organization (WHO), health was defined as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity… and that the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, … Read More

#ICMLive: Women Leading Today for a Healthier Tomorrow – Monday Plenary

Zack LangwayBlog, Midwifery

Midwives are pillars of health and stability in their communities. Whether providing care for pregnant women or counseling and support after birth for mom and baby, these health heroes make all the difference in the world. Midwives, many of them women, are not only local leaders, but are part of an important tradition of women’s leadership in health and wellness. It’s fitting, then, that in Monday’s morning plenary here at the ICM Triennial Congress in Toronto, women leaders from across global health and wellness were in the spotlight. Beginning the morning, Jane Philpott, the Minister for Health of Canada, remarked on her experience as a family doctor, delivering children in high-resource settings in Canada as well as low-resource, rural settings in Niger, where “one in seven women would expect to die in childbirth.” Remarking on the everyday leadership midwives carry … Read More

Building Midwifery – For and With the Next Generation

Dr. Vanessa Kerry, CEO, and Linda Jacobsen, CNM, Chief Midwifery Officer, Seed Global HealthBlog, Midwifery

No woman should die during pregnancy or childbirth. Period. How to prevent this? Midwives. As midwives converge on Toronto for the 31st International Confederation of Midwives Triennial, we are reminded just how essential midwives are to the care of mothers, babies, families, and communities around the world. From antenatal care to labor and delivery and nutrition counseling, the work of midwives ensures that mom and baby have the best chance to survive birth and thrive as a new family. When properly trained, midwives are able to provide 87 percent of essential maternal care, helping share the burden with doctors and other health professionals so that mothers receive quality, confident care from midwives. Yet the world sits on the precipice of a midwifery crisis, because there simply aren’t enough of these heroes in communities around the world. Today, only 22 percent … Read More

Little Changes, Big Difference

Zack LangwayBlog, Midwifery, Tanzania

For Wreatha Carner, it’s the little things that she knows can make the biggest difference. A Certified Nurse Midwife based out of Las Cruces, New Mexico, Wreatha has spent this year serving as a Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP) Volunteer teaching, training, and working alongside midwives in Tanzania. “As a clinical instructor, some of my 4 or 5 person student groups perform as many as 15 births between them in 8 hours,” said Wreatha, describing the busy conditions under which midwives work. In a country facing a dire shortage of midwives and other skilled health professionals, only 4 midwives are in service for every 10,000 patients across Tanzania. So in addition to training and teaching the next generation of Tanzanian midwives – helping to build capacity, strengthen the pipeline of skilled midwives in Tanzania, and ultimately “train the trainers” for … Read More

Respectful Maternity Care in Midwifery

Daisy WinnerBlog, Malawi, Midwifery

A mother has an unplanned Caesarian and her tubes are tied without her consent. A woman is scolded when her child dies of malaria when she admits he was not sleeping under a mosquito net. A baby is delivered by the maid at the health center because the midwife has not responded to the late night call. All of these are examples of disrespectful care that women should not need to tolerate. Yet too many women have too few choices: they have no money for private care, few resources, poor education, and a growing fear of health care that only get worse when they receive such inadequate and disrespectful care. There is no more vulnerable time in a woman’s life than when she is laboring, anticipating the birth of her child. The global lifetime maternal mortality risk is 1 in … Read More

Nicole Geller: Reflections on a Year of Service

Daisy WinnerBlog, Liberia, Midwifery

I have served as a Nurse Educator in Liberia for nearly a year, and have learned more in these months of service than I have in a long time. Every day, I am inspired by another challenge. And while I am not sure I could have done this work earlier in my career – I think I needed to grow into my role and gain some diverse experiences to feel confident – I do often feel like a new nurse, challenged and inspired, all over again. Most of all, I learned this year that no matter where I go or how long I work as a nurse, when I walk into a new clinical setting, I will be tested. My background is very different than my Liberian colleagues and it took time to adjust to my surroundings. But my fellow midwives … Read More