Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Health Workforce

Mark Marino, MPH, Seed Global HealthBlog, Featured, Liberia, Medicine, Nursing, Tanzania

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 Research shows that often nurses feel unsupported in the workplace, and have to contend with outdated information, protocols, and limited … Read More

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

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

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

Clinical Education for Liberia’s Midwives

Karen Shulman, Senior Manager of Strategic Partnerships, Seed Global HealthBlog, Liberia, Midwifery

Dr. Nicole Geller, a nurse midwife, is in her second year of service as a visiting clinician and educator, teaching and training nurses and midwives in Liberia. Nicole shared her thoughts with me recently on why clinical education is an important component in the education of Liberia’s future midwives. -KS Clinical education is one of the two most important parts of midwife’s education.  It is where we learn to use our brains the most.  All of our senses are simultaneously gathering the information we need for a diagnosis.  In clinical, what we see will be seen again, what they hear will be heard again, what they smell and touch will also present again. The clinical instructor is a large part of the educating of a student midwife.  Part of clinical education includes the translation of findings.  Interpreting the student’s experience … 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

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

Resilience in the Face of Despair

Daisy WinnerBlog, Liberia, Medicine

Each year between 50,000 to 100,000 women worldwide are affected by obstetric fistula, a hole in the birth canal caused by prolonged labor without adequate medical intervention. Women who suffer from an obstetric fistula are left with chronic incontinence, and often, a stillborn baby. The constant leaking of urine or feces means women face humiliation and stigmatization, as they become isolated by family members, friends, and communities. It is estimated that more than 2 million young women live with untreated obstetric fistula in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. If left untreated, fistula can lead to chronic medical problems and even death, but surgery can normally repair the injury. Physician Educator, Dr. Corrine (Cori) Maund has been teaching in Liberia for the last year. Cori had never encountered a case of obstetric fistula until last September, just a few weeks after arriving … Read More