Women of Action: The “Force” in the Global Health Workforce

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

She is a nurse. She is midwife. She is a surgeon. She is essential to the healthcare care we receive. The role women play in the health workforce globally – and here at home – cannot be overstated. Their action, their passion and their dedication to their practice often can be the difference between life and death for millions of people around the world every day. They are a force of their own, working sometimes in the extraordinarily difficult conditions: crisis areas, resource-depleted clinics, and cultures where they are asked to save lives but giving little respect. And women in the health workforce typically earn less than their male counterparts — and in some cases, they earn little or nothing at all. The statistics are well-known and often-cited. More than 70 percent of the global health workforce are women.  Women’s … Read More

Nursing Now!

Daisy WinnerBlog, Featured, Midwifery, Nursing, Uganda

As the majority of front line health workforce, nurses around the world are essential to meeting the health care needs of our communities. Yet the dire shortage of nurses globally poses a major challenge for high and low income countries alike:  sub-Saharan Africa alone faces a shortfall of more than 600,000 nurses. Yesterday, the World Health Organization and the International Council of Nurses launched the Nursing Now campaign, which aims to raise the status of nursing and empower nurses around the world. The three-year campaign will work with partners around the world to advocate for nurses, supporting their ability to be properly trained, increasing their role in policy making, and enabling them to tackle today’s and tomorrow’s health challenges. Uganda, where Seed Global Health has been supporting nursing education since 2013, was chosen to pilot the Nursing Now Africa initiative. … Read More

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

Caught in the Crossfire: Health Systems in Conflict Areas

Daisy WinnerBlog, Featured, 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

HRH Forum: Education and Workforce Development

Zack LangwayBlog, Featured, 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

Champion Women to Address the Health Workforce’s Leaky Pipeline

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

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

Celebrating Midwives: A Tale of Two Lindas

Daisy WinnerBlog, Featured, Malawi, Nursing, Tanzania

As we celebrate International Day of the Midwife, we reflect on the critical contributions of our Volunteer midwives to helping build the next generation of midwifery. Since 2013, Seed has placed fifteen midwives who have trained close to 2,000 individuals. These midwife educators are providing essential training to the next generation, who will in turn provide care for countless numbers of mothers and their babies. Linda Jacobsen, Seed Global Health Deputy Chief Nursing Officer and Director of Midwifery Programs, has worked in reproductive health and public health for more than thirty years. She was part of the inaugural class of Global Health Service Partnership Volunteers and taught at Bugando Medical Center in Mwanza in 2013. Linda Robinson is currently serving a Nurse Educator in Malawi and has been practicing as a nurse-midwife for thirty years, working from rural Maine to … Read More

Jasintha: Nurses Make all the Difference for Mom and Baby

Daisy WinnerBlog, Featured, Malawi, Nursing

Jasintha Mtengezo knows what it means to be a leader in nursing and education in Malawi. Jasintha grew up in Mzimba, a northern region of Malawi. When she was just a young girl, her father became sick and quickly passed away. But through the incredibly difficulty of that time, she noticed around her the kindness and compassion that the nurses extended to her father. These incredible nurses inspired her to pursue her own career in nursing. Jasintha is currently the Dean of Faculty at Daeyang University School of Nursing in Malawi and enrolled as a PhD student at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. After receiving her Bachelor’s in nursing and eventually a Master of Public Health degree, she gained experience working as a nurse at the bedside and then administrator on her way towards her current leadership post at … Read More