Celebrating Women Leaders in Global Health

Daisy WinnerBlog, Medicine, Midwifery, Nursing

Around the world, women carry a disproportionate burden of disease and death as a result of inequities in access to basic health care, nutrition, and education. Despite this, leadership in global health is largely dominated by men – only 8 of 34 World Health Organization executive board positions are women and fewer than 1 in 4 global health leadership positions at the top 50 U.S. medical schools are filled by women. This week, Stanford School of Medicine’s will host the first Women Leaders in Global Health summit. This convening will celebrate women who are leading important progress in global health, and bring together a variety of stakeholders from governments, NGOs, and academia to focus on advancing women in the global health field. Seed Global Health CEO, Dr. Vanessa Kerry, and our Malawi Country Director, Dr. Bridget Malewezi, will collaborate with … Read More

Local Leadership Delivering for Families

Jennifer Coulombe, Senior Manager, Business Development, Seed Global HealthBlog, Malawi, Medicine, Nursing

When it comes to providing the best care, local leaders know what is most needed. That’s why our model at Seed Global Health centers on partnerships with local nursing and medicine leaders, investing in them and their staff as we seek to build capacity and expand delivery of quality care together, as partners. We’re proud to partner with Daeyang University in Lilongwe, Malawi to help teach and train the next generation of providers, and proud to collaborate with Dr. Douglas Lungu, Vice Chancellor of Daeyang. We were able to sit down with Dr. Lungu recently and hear his thoughts on strengthening nursing and medicine teaching within the hospital. Jennifer Coulombe (JC): Thank you for your leadership, Dr. Lungu. We’ve enjoyed a strong collaboration in nursing so far. What are you hoping to see as you look to strengthen medicine at … Read More

Reflections from #UNGA72

Karen Shulman, Senior Manager of Strategic Partnerships, Seed Global Health Blog

Last week was an exciting one, as many from the Seed Global Health team arrived in New York City to put our ears to the ground during UN Week 2017. With an incredible amount of events taking place once again this year, we wanted to see what conversations are happening around health and the global health workforce, and how we can ensure training and teaching skilled health workers remains on the global agenda for development. As happens every year, heads of states, leaders of NGOs, and dedicated changemakers converged on New York City for the annual United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). This year, many of the meetings were framed under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which consists of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to strive for by 2030 to transform our world. While Seed intersects with many of the … Read More

Investing in Health Means Investing in Health Workers

Daisy WinnerBlog, Medicine, Midwifery, Nursing

Adopted in 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals are 17 ambitious objectives seeking to improve health and wellness of people and planet. Tackling a range of challenges including education, health, and climate change, the SDGs aim to build a better future for all. SDG 3 seeks to ensure health and well-being for all, at every stage of life – and a strong health workforce is critical to reaching this goal. But the current shortage of health workers around the world threatens not only SDG 3, but also other goals that aim to improve other aspects of life. SDG 1 aims to end global poverty, in all forms, by 2030. More than 700 million people still live in extreme poverty and struggle to meet their most basic needs like health and education. Yet without a strong health workforce, we will not be able … Read More

Strengthening the Health Workforce to Achieve the SDGs

Daisy WinnerBlog, Medicine, Nursing

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. Immense strides have been made in improving health around the world — Since 1990, there has been an over 50 percent decline in preventable child deaths globally. Maternal mortality also fell by 45 percent worldwide. New HIV/AIDS infections fell by 30 percent between 2000 and 2013, and over 6.2 million lives were saved from Malaria. Despite this progress, there is still a long way to go. To avoid preventable deaths, reduce maternal mortality, decrease HIV/AIDS … Read More

Training a Generation of Liberian Nurse Anesthetists

Daisy WinnerBlog, Liberia, Nursing

The work of Mr. Wilmot M. Fassah, a Liberian nurse anesthetist, is truly remarkable. From 1989-2003, his country was ravaged by a civil war that claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Liberians. More recently, an Ebola outbreak further devastated the country, infecting and killing thousands more. The health system in the country remains a fragile and understaffed. Despite these monumental challenges, Mr. Fassah maintained his steadfast dedication to training nurses in anesthesia patient care. He alone is responsible for training more than 80 percent of the nurse anesthetists in Liberia. We recently spoke with Mr. Fassah, who is now the Director of Anesthesia Programs at Phebe Paramedical Training Centre School of Nursing. How did you get involved in nursing anesthesia?  WF: I trained at the Phebe School of Nursing in the 1970s. After graduating I became a nurse … Read More

Paying My Experience Forward

Daisy WinnerBlog, Medicine, Uganda

I recently completed a year of service as a physician educator, teaching medical students and faculty. As I reflect on my time spent as a Visiting Lecturer at Busitema University’s Faculty of Health Sciences, I think back to my own experiences as a student, and how those moments from the elementary school classroom to the bedside during medical school shaped my own future. As a kid in Austin, Texas, I remember fondly the field trips we would take in school.  I remember the visits to ButterKrust Bakery in elementary school.  Middle school and high school field trips exposed us to the theater. In college, an undergraduate university class in Texas Politics culminated in a meeting with the Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court. Field trips were a fun break from the usual daily schedule used to highlight real world … Read More

Dr. Sam Olum: Teaching and Learning in Uganda

Daisy WinnerBlog, Medicine, Uganda

In a country where there is only one physician for every 10,000 people, physicians like Dr. Sam Olum are essential to providing care to communities. Passionate about treating patients and training the next generation of providers, Sam works as both a physician and as a lecturer at Gulu University, where he has collaborated and taught alongside Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP) Volunteers for the last four years. In region where emigration of health workers is high, Sam has remained dedicated to his patients and students in Uganda. He recently visited the Seed Global Health offices during a trip to Boston for a conference and we spoke to him about his work. What sparked your passion for medicine?  SO: From a young age, I loved science and biology. I was so fascinated by what it meant for something to be alive. … Read More

Mentoring, Training, and Empowerment to Help Babies Breathe

Kiran Mitha, MDBlog, Nursing

Helping Babies Breathe (HBB), the resuscitation program focused on saving babies in the first minutes of life, has drawn attention to newborn survival in resource-limited settings. Midwives, traditional birth attendants, nurses, physicians, and students have all learned how to give newborns their best chance at taking life’s first breath through the HBB curriculum. In pilot studies of HBB, the knowledge health workers gain through HBB has dramatically reduced newborn mortality – and since almost a million newborns don’t make it through their first day of life, the impact of these skills cannot be underemphasized. Yet there are still many providers who have not been trained in the life-saving techniques of HBB, or who do not feel confident implementing their knowledge into practice.  Education and training are core to our work at Seed Global Health, and the central component of the … Read More

Celebrating Nurses on World Humanitarian Day

Julie Anathan, RN, MPHBlog, Nursing

“Your profession is not what brings home your weekly paycheck. Your profession is what you’re put here on earth to do, with such passion and intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling.” Vincent Van Gogh spoke these words more than a century ago. While he was speaking about himself as an artist, these words take on a whole new meaning in the context of healthcare workers who find themselves working, day in and day out, in settings where there is a severe shortage of nurses, doctors, and resources to provide quality care. The overwhelming needs at the bedside and a lack of respect can drain passion. A “calling” can easily become a burden. I had decided to pursue a nursing education after spending a day visiting a rural hospital in India. The ward nurse I met at the hospital in … Read More