Addressing Misconceptions and Eliminating the Stigma: Mental Health in Malawi

Kerry OBrienBlog, Featured, Malawi, Medicine

According to the World Health Organization, one half of all mental illness starts by the age of 14, but most cases remain untreated. World Mental Health Day, marked every year on October 10, provides a moment to pause and recognize the need to prioritize access to mental health care, remove the stigma and raise awareness for the treatment and prevention of mental illness worldwide. To learn more about misconceptions in mental health, we spoke with former volunteer Amelia Rutter. She served in Malawi from 2016-2017 at St. John of God College of Health Sciences. She spoke of  her time in Malawi, and how it has continued to impact her work as a family nurse practitioner now that she’s home in the United States. .   How did you initially become involved with Seed Global Health/Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP), and … Read More

Resilience in the Face of Hardship: Pediatrics in Malawi

Kerry OBrienBlog, Featured, Malawi, Medicine

Surrounding this year’s American Academy of Family Physicians Global Health Summit, Seed Global Health spoke with Joshua Grahe, MD, former GHSP Volunteer, about how his experience teaching in Malawi has continued to impact his outlook as a Pediatrician in the US. Could you tell me a little bit about yourself? How did you initially become involved in GHSP? During my residency at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, I began to see how being a Pediatrician meant that I have a responsibility for treating children in a multifaceted way. There was and continues to be a big push for understanding not only traditional medicine, but the social determinants of health and how they influence the lives of our patients. Be it physical, sexual, verbal or emotional abuse, neglect, loss of a parent, poverty, or exposure to violence, these events impact those … Read More

Ultrasound Equipment Assists Students with Hands-On Training

Jennifer CoulombeBlog, Malawi, Medicine, Tanzania, Uganda

There is a big difference between learning about a lifesaving medical procedure from a book verse being able to learn and practice the skill in real time to gain confidence and mastery. Seed Global Health has partnered with 27 teaching sites in five African countries to help translate theory into practice through classroom and clinical education, mentorship, and introducing new tools and skills. This has included equipping skills labs in midwifery, and introducing simulation-based education in partnership with U.S. academic institutions. Simulators, in particular, provide a much easier way to learn and teach ultrasound. Medical equipment and supplies give students practical, hands-on training, both through campus skills labs and on the hospital wards where they do rounds with faculty. However, the availability of medical simulation equipment to gain these skills can be inaccessible and costly in low-resource settings. Seed is partnering … Read More

Family Medicine is Key to Beating Malaria

Mark MarinoBlog, Malawi, Medicine

Today marks World Malaria Day, a day to highlight efforts to reduce malaria and to focus on the need for continued investment and commitment for prevention and control. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “the global response to malaria is at a crossroads. After an unprecedented period of success in malaria control, progress has stalled.” At Seed, we understand that doctors, nurses, midwives and other health workers are critical to keeping curable diseases like malaria under control. Health professionals are on the front lines in communities combatting the spread of this disease. It takes a village to make progress and implement change—from individuals to corporations—all of us must come together to put an end to malaria. Funding and research is needed, and thanks to a partnership with the ExxonMobil Foundation, Seed Global Health has been able to strengthen and build … Read More

Statement on Mangochi District Hospital Fire

Seed Global HealthBlog, Malawi, News, Press Releases

Our hearts and thoughts are with our colleagues, the patients, and the community affected by today’s fire at Mangochi District Hospital in Mangochi, Malawi. Our friends at Mangochi have been our partners and our inspiration as we’ve worked side-by-side, and while we are thankful our visiting faculty at Mangochi are safe, our hearts break for this nightmare our local colleagues have had to endure. Through our Malawi country director, we will be on the ready to support their recovery in any way feasible. Increasing access to quality maternal and pediatric care has been a hallmark of Mangochi District Hospital, and we will support our friends and counterparts at Mangochi as they continue to provide the best care possible, even in the face of this tragedy.

Celebrating Doctors Like Gail!

Zack LangwayBlog, Featured, Malawi, Medicine

National Doctors’ Day is March 30th. Each year, this day gives us an opportunity to thank, celebrate, and reflect on the incredible physicians who have played a role in each of our lives. And at Seed Global Health, physicians play a huge part in our work, serving as volunteer medical educators in order to help teach and train the next generation of providers and educators. This year, we shine the spotlight on one of our amazing OB/GYN volunteers, Gail Yanowitch. Gail served as a volunteer OB/GYN educator from 2016 to 2017 teaching and training alongside local counterparts at the University of Malawi College of Medicine in Mangochi, Malawi. After completing her service, Gail then went back to Mangochi in early 2018. In a returning role, Gail continued the work she began the year before, both training fourth-year Malawian medical students … 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

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