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

Creating a Lasting Impact

Daisy WinnerBlog, Malawi, Medicine, Uncategorized

Anneka Hooft had just finished residency as a pediatrician when she moved to Malawi to teach and train students at the College of Medicine (COM) in Blantyre. We recently spoke with Anneka to reflect on her year as a volunteer educator, what she passed on to her students, and what she learned from her time in Malawi. Why did you decide to apply for GHSP? I wanted to be a part of something that would have a lasting impact. There are so many opportunities to provide care in low resource settings, and I worked clinically abroad, but I wanted to be sure that my work could be part of something larger. I was drawn to the idea of working with students and training future providers in the local context of where they would work. What did your work entail during … Read More

Reflections from Malawi

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

Commitment. Engagement. Resilience. Perseverance. These words describe the ever present – and necessary – qualities of the doctors, nurses, and midwives who are working to improve the health and wellness of their communities in the countries where we partner. Last month, I had the honor of visiting several of our partner sites and colleagues in Malawi. We city hopped, from south to north, to see incredible care in action: the pediatrics ward at Kamuzu Central Hospital, where even under a seemingly-overwhelming patient load, each colleague went above and beyond their responsibilities to ensure children were swiftly and fully taken care of; bednets over almost every patient at the regional hospital in Mangochi; a nursing student delivering an outstanding presentation on the post-operative care of a patient at Mzuzu; and systems of organization across facilities that reflected not only smart design, … Read More

Committing to Children’s Health in Malawi

Daisy WinnerBlog, Malawi, Medicine

In Malawi, children represent the majority of the total population, with more than 45 percent of the country under the age of 14. And in 2013 the country achieved Millenium Development Goal 4, reducing under-five death rates by two-thirds or more since 1990. Still, 1 in every 16 Malawian children does not survive to meet their fifth birthday. And with fewer than 1 physician for every 1,000 people continuing this reduction in child mortality and improving child health in the country is a persistent challenge. Because of the significant shortage of qualified physicians, including pediatricians, the youngest patients can’t get the care that they need. But since 2013, Seed has been committed to reversing this trend. Seed volunteers work alongside local educators to share critical skills, train students in advanced practices, and teach at the bedside. Working at University of … Read More

Strengthening Nursing in Malawi

Daisy WinnerBlog, Malawi, Nursing, Uncategorized

Globally, nurses deliver the highest percentage of patient care. They are critical to strengthening health systems and responding to more acute crisis, like disease outbreaks. Despite being on the frontline of care, the global shortage of nurses continues to grow. Currently, it is estimated that 9 million more nurses and midwives are necessary to adequately meet health care needs. In Malawi, there is fewer than 1 nurse to care for every 1,000 people.  And such a significant shortage may be a contributing factor to poor health outcomes. To overcome this shortage, Seed Global Health has been placing volunteer nursing educators in Malawi since 2013. Since our inaugural year, 32 nurse educators have taught and trained future nurses and nursing educators at four nursing institutions. Working alongside local nursing professionals and educators, our volunteers strengthen in-country education. They teach courses, develop … Read More

Sharing knowledge to strengthen family medicine

Daisy WinnerBlog, Malawi, Medicine, Uncategorized

“Family doctors have always been the backbone of health care. Family doctors have always been the bedrock of comprehensive, compassionate, and people-centered care” -Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General World Health Organization  Today, nearly 80 percent of the burden of non-communicable disease occur in low- and middle- income countries. To overcome this challenge, global health care has shifted toward prevention and primary care, focused on halting the rise of chronic disease. Family medicine, first recognized as a specialty in the United States more than 40 years ago, aims to address just that. Family medicine focuses on comprehensive care for patients of all ages and genders that integrates social determinants of health and serves as an advocate for patients. As Seed Global Health’s Director of Family Medicine, Dr. Esther Johnston, explains, “The strength of a family medicine doctor is that they are trained … Read More

Collaborating Across Sectors to Improve Child Health Outcomes in Malawi

Daisy WinnerBlog, Malawi, Medicine, Midwifery, Nursing

Last month, the Paediatrics and Child Health Association of Malawi hosted their first conference, Using a Multidisciplinary Team Approach to Improve Child Health Outcomes in Malawi. Sponsored by Seed Global Health, the Global Health Service Partnership, Rice 360° Institute for Global Health and GIZ, the conference brought together over 200 participants, including Child health nurses, midwives, pediatricians, social workers, legal practitioners, and Ministry of Health representatives, to develop innovative and multi-sectoral solutions to ensuring the healthy growth and development of children all over Malawi. To learn about the outcomes and successes of the conference we spoke to two of the organizers: Dr. Bridget Malewezi, Seed Global Health’s Malawi Country Director, and Mr. Maureen D. Majamanda, Senior Lecturer from the Pediatric Nursing Department at Kamuzu College of Nursing. What inspired the conference?  Dr. Bridget Malewezi (BM): Under the Global Health Service … 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

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

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