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

Caught in the Crossfire: Health Systems in Conflict Areas

Daisy WinnerBlog, 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

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

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

Thankful More than Ever for Health Workers

Seed Global HealthBlog, Medicine, Midwifery, Nursing

It’s the time of year when many of us join family and friends to reflect on all that we have to be thankful for. While we may focus on the achievements and successes in our own lives, we should also reflect on how far together, our world, has progressed. The global poverty rate has been halved since 2000, with some research suggesting that someone escapes extreme poverty every 1.2 seconds. Around the world, under-five mortality rate has decreased by 56 percent and about 20 000 fewer children died every day in 2016 than in 1990. Global average life expectancy increased by 5 years between 2000 and 2015, the fastest increase since the 1960s. As we reflect with gratitude on these achievements, now more than ever, we wholeheartedly thank the millions of health workers around the world who are making this progress a reality. They … Read More

Setting, Keeping, and Reaching Big Health Goals

Daisy WinnerBlog, Medicine, Midwifery, Nursing

In September 2017, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation published its first annual “Goalkeepers” report assessing the world’s progress toward the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Tracking 18 indicators from the SDGs, the Goalkeepers report displays global progress on issues like including poverty, under-five mortality, sanitation, and more. It also provides projections on how the health metrics might change if our progress advances or declines. Through a massive, three-year effort of data synthesis and analysis, this report painted a clear picture of how far we’ve come — and what we need to do to be make the world healthier, happier, and more equitable. Here are three key takeaways from the report: Results are mixed so far. International and local efforts have helped ensure that more children around the world are making it to adulthood, more families have food on … Read More

HRH Forum: Education and Workforce Development

Zack LangwayBlog, 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, 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

Bending the Arc: Health Workers Advocating for Justice

Daisy WinnerBlog, Medicine, Midwifery, Nursing

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” ― Theodore Parker As you watch Bending the Arc, a powerful film focused on the movement for more health workers and improved global health, it is clear that this quote is ingrained in the minds and hearts of the film’s subjects three inspiring health heroes. The documentary follows the story of Paul Farmer, Ophelia Dahl, and Jim Yong Kim – the founders of the Partners in Health (PIH) – from 1983 when Paul, Ophelia, and Jim were young, passionate physicians, to their present-day roles in leading advocacy for investments in health workers and a healthier planet. Volunteering in rural Haiti, the three were appalled by the lack of basic care available. But the team did what they could to bring care to communities and treat patients. Across three decades, … Read More