Investing in Health Means Investing in Health Workers

Daisy WinnerBlog, Medicine, Midwifery, Nursing

Adopted in 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals are 17 ambitious objectives seeking to improve health and wellness of people and planet. Tackling a range of challenges including education, health, and climate change, the SDGs aim to build a better future for all. SDG 3 seeks to ensure health and well-being for all, at every stage of life – and a strong health workforce is critical to reaching this goal. But the current shortage of health workers around the world threatens not only SDG 3, but also other goals that aim to improve other aspects of life. SDG 1 aims to end global poverty, in all forms, by 2030. More than 700 million people still live in extreme poverty and struggle to meet their most basic needs like health and education. Yet without a strong health workforce, we will not be able … Read More

Strengthening the Health Workforce to Achieve the SDGs

Daisy WinnerBlog, Medicine, Nursing

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. Immense strides have been made in improving health around the world — Since 1990, there has been an over 50 percent decline in preventable child deaths globally. Maternal mortality also fell by 45 percent worldwide. New HIV/AIDS infections fell by 30 percent between 2000 and 2013, and over 6.2 million lives were saved from Malaria. Despite this progress, there is still a long way to go. To avoid preventable deaths, reduce maternal mortality, decrease HIV/AIDS … 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

Mentoring, Training, and Empowerment to Help Babies Breathe

Kiran Mitha, MDBlog, Nursing

Helping Babies Breathe (HBB), the resuscitation program focused on saving babies in the first minutes of life, has drawn attention to newborn survival in resource-limited settings. Midwives, traditional birth attendants, nurses, physicians, and students have all learned how to give newborns their best chance at taking life’s first breath through the HBB curriculum. In pilot studies of HBB, the knowledge health workers gain through HBB has dramatically reduced newborn mortality – and since almost a million newborns don’t make it through their first day of life, the impact of these skills cannot be underemphasized. Yet there are still many providers who have not been trained in the life-saving techniques of HBB, or who do not feel confident implementing their knowledge into practice.  Education and training are core to our work at Seed Global Health, and the central component of the … Read More

Celebrating Nurses on World Humanitarian Day

Julie Anathan, RN, MPHBlog, Nursing

“Your profession is not what brings home your weekly paycheck. Your profession is what you’re put here on earth to do, with such passion and intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling.” Vincent Van Gogh spoke these words more than a century ago. While he was speaking about himself as an artist, these words take on a whole new meaning in the context of healthcare workers who find themselves working, day in and day out, in settings where there is a severe shortage of nurses, doctors, and resources to provide quality care. The overwhelming needs at the bedside and a lack of respect can drain passion. A “calling” can easily become a burden. I had decided to pursue a nursing education after spending a day visiting a rural hospital in India. The ward nurse I met at the hospital in … Read More

Combatting HIV Stigma in Swaziland

Eileen Stuart-Shor, PhD, ANP-BC, FAHA, FAANBlog, Nursing, Swaziland, Uncategorized

Swaziland has the world’s highest estimated rate of HIV, with 28% of adults infected. The disease has had a devastating effect on the country, stunting the economy, overwhelming the health system, and exacerbating other challenges including poverty and gender inequality. Looking for ways to combat the disease, all students at the University of Swaziland are required to complete a course focused on HIV. This year, GHSP Nurse Educator Catherine Dell was assigned to teach this introductory course. Yet rather than teaching nursing students, as this seasoned educator has been accustomed to in her career, she was assigned a new challenge: to teach more than three hundred Agricultural Science students. “I was initially a little disappointed to not be teaching nursing students. Since it was a required course, I got the sense that the students weren’t at all interested in learning … 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

Nurse Educator returns to Uganda to expand her impact

Daisy WinnerBlog, Nursing, Uganda

Just twenty miles from the border of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in Arua, Uganda, is Muni University – the only university in Uganda’s West Nile Region. Muni opened just last year, with the help of Global Health Service Partnership Nurse Educators, including Genevieve Evenhouse. Working with the nursing faculty, Genevieve and her fellow volunteers helped secure accreditation for the institution and develop the curriculum for the nursing program. Because of its remote location, attracting faculty to the new school has been difficult. Genevieve ended her year of service in July of 2016 and returned to her work as a school district nurse with the San Francisco Unified School District, yet knowing the difficulties with finding enough teachers, felt an urge to return to Muni. “I knew that Muni was going to have little teaching support and they were … Read More

Reflections on two years of teaching in Uganda

Daisy WinnerBlog, Nursing, Uganda

Robert Kasibante has deep ties to the country where he has served for the last two years a Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP) nurse educator. Robert was born in Uganda, the country where his parents still live and where two of his three children were born. He grew up in the United States, earning his bachelor’s degree in Nursing in Texas before working in Washington for the last several years. But his return to Uganda has been a significant time in his life. We recently spoke with Robert about his time as a GHSP Nurse Educator, and what he has both taught and learned during two years in Uganda. Why did you want to become a nurse? My grandmother and three of my aunts were nurses. They were the ones who inspired me. I really fell in love with nursing … Read More

Our Communities Depend on Nurses

Eileen Stuart-Shor and James MuchiraBlog, Nursing

For the final post in our National Nurses’ Week series on nursing and the Sustainable Development Goals, Seed Global Health Chief Nursing Officer Eileen Stuart-Shor and UMass Boston PhD student James Muchira, RN, BSN respond to the following prompt: “The wealth of our nations depends on the health of our populations, and the health of our populations depends on nursing.” How does nursing lift up entire communities, in addition to the essential health care nurses provide? In Kenya and across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is rapidly rising. The emerging threat of NCDs defies a commonly-held belief that African countries are dominated by infectious diseases, malnutrition and maternal and child deaths: today, hypertension and diabetes are the leading cause of death in the Africa, with 10 to 20 million people estimated to have hypertension and 10 million people estimated … Read More