Little Changes, Big Difference

Zack LangwayBlog, Midwifery, Tanzania

For Wreatha Carner, it’s the little things that she knows can make the biggest difference. A Certified Nurse Midwife based out of Las Cruces, New Mexico, Wreatha has spent this year serving as a Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP) Volunteer teaching, training, and working alongside midwives in Tanzania. “As a clinical instructor, some of my 4 or 5 person student groups perform as many as 15 births between them in 8 hours,” said Wreatha, describing the busy conditions under which midwives work. In a country facing a dire shortage of midwives and other skilled health professionals, only 4 midwives are in service for every 10,000 patients across Tanzania. So in addition to training and teaching the next generation of Tanzanian midwives – helping to build capacity, strengthen the pipeline of skilled midwives in Tanzania, and ultimately “train the trainers” for … Read More

Nurses Speaking Up, Speaking Out in Tanzania

Zack LangwayBlog, Nursing, Tanzania

As part of our National Nurses’ Week series on nursing and the Sustainable Development Goals, GHSP Volunteer Olivia Kroening-Roche, CNM, interviewed Pauline Mella, a colleague at our partner institution Hubert Kairuki Memorial University, on her life’s work and how nurses can leverage their voices for action in Tanzania. === “Why I am so proud is I was able to go through that challenge. Oh, rubbish, some people said,” she explained to me as I sat across from her. “Seriously,” I exclaimed my naïveté and incredulity on display at my disbelief that anyone could oppose a degree program for nurses. “Yes,” she responded calmly, an incredible woman who has led her field with competence and confidence to the place it is today. She continued to recount to me how her initial attempts to create a bachelors program in nursing were met with resistance … Read More

Celebrating Midwives: A Tale of Two Lindas

Daisy WinnerBlog, Featured, Malawi, Nursing, Tanzania

As we celebrate International Day of the Midwife, we reflect on the critical contributions of our Volunteer midwives to helping build the next generation of midwifery. Since 2013, Seed has placed fifteen midwives who have trained close to 2,000 individuals. These midwife educators are providing essential training to the next generation, who will in turn provide care for countless numbers of mothers and their babies. Linda Jacobsen, Seed Global Health Deputy Chief Nursing Officer and Director of Midwifery Programs, has worked in reproductive health and public health for more than thirty years. She was part of the inaugural class of Global Health Service Partnership Volunteers and taught at Bugando Medical Center in Mwanza in 2013. Linda Robinson is currently serving a Nurse Educator in Malawi and has been practicing as a nurse-midwife for thirty years, working from rural Maine to … Read More

Quality OB/GYN Care for All

Dr. Maureen Ries, Seed Global HealthBlog, Medicine, Tanzania

Obstetricians and gynecologists play an undeniably important role in women’s health and wellbeing, particularly during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. But both at home and around the world, there is a troubling and growing gap between the need and availability of skilled obstetric professionals. Ahead of this week’s American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) annual meeting, Seed Global Health’s Director of Obstetrics and Gynecology Programs, Dr. Maureen Ries, reflects on the importance and future of global OB/GYN workforce strengthening. === Caring for women impacts the health of not only one woman, but her baby, her children at home and her family as a whole. Access to, and provision of, good maternal health care reduces maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality.  A healthier mother raises healthier children.  Health is also intertwined in women’s empowerment and gender equality.  All of … Read More

Ending Malaria: How Nursing Research and Training is Playing a Part

Daisy WinnerBlog, Tanzania, Uncategorized

The world faces a projected shortage of nearly five million nurses and midwives. Nurses are at the heart of a patient-centered health care system, and provide everything from patient education to vaccinations. Nurses are essential to maintaining the health of individuals, families, and communities – even beyond the hospital. Importantly, without enough nurses and midwives, we weaken an important line of defense in keeping mothers and babies malaria-free. Malaria infection during pregnancy poses many risks to the mother, her unborn fetus, and the newborn. And prevention and treatment of malaria for pregnant mothers is essential to reducing the risk to mother and baby. Volunteer Nurse Educators Eunice Kimunai and Courtney Hines helped to address this in Tanzania. In collaboration with the Dean of Nursing School at the University of Dodoma, Dr. Stephen Kibusi, they published a paper that examines factors leading … Read More

Preventing Malaria in Pregnancy: World Malaria Day 2017

Daisy WinnerBlog, Tanzania, Uncategorized

For Nurse Educator Rebecca Munger, service means creating sustainable change. So her favorite moment wasn’t teaching the many students she had, or working with patients – it was watching her students turn around and educate others. In Tanzania, malaria is the third leading cause of death and annually more than 7.7 million Tanzanians contract the largely-preventable disease. Pregnant women are especially susceptible to malaria, which can contribute to prematurity, low birthweight, and stillbirth. That’s why educating expecting moms the public on preventing malaria and reducing transmission is essential to ensuring a healthy delivery. In February of 2015, two of Rebecca’s midwifery students, Jackson and Ramer, approached her looking for ways to make their school break more rewarding. Both interested in community education, Rebecca suggested to the pair a project focused on malaria prevention. Together, Rebecca and her students put together a … Read More

Meet Lillian: Defying “Tradition” to Pursue her Medical Dreams

Daisy WinnerBlog, Featured, Tanzania, Uncategorized

There are only 3 physicians for every 100,000 people in Tanzania. Even fewer of those providers are female, with some reports stating that only one-third of physicians in the country are women. But in one woman’s bold pursuit of a dream for a healthier world, tradition takes a backseat. Medical intern Lillian Alphonce Mbuni isn’t discouraged by the lack of female representation in her field: “Women make great physicians,” she says. “Women understand things differently than men. And they bring a different perspective that makes them great caregivers and health care providers.” Last year, Lillian spent her vacation volunteering at the Obstetrics and Gynecology clinic at Sengerema District Hospital alongside Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP) Physician Educator Dr. Siobhan McCarty-Singleton. Together, they provided no-cost care to women who visited the clinic . “I learned so much from her,” says Lillian, … Read More

“Why did this mother die?”

Daisy WinnerBlog, Tanzania, Uncategorized

During Dr. Abel Mussa’s internship, he was one of eight doctors in a hospital department that saw about 400 patients a day. Dr. Mussa performed more than 200 C-sections during his training, and frequently noticed that mothers would often not survive the surgical procedure. After a number of tragic outcomes, he began to dig for answers. “Why did this mother die?” Dr. Mussa recalled asking himself, “I could not sleep – I was losing my courage  – it was very troubling…I discovered that during a C-section, the woman is under general anesthesia and there are a number of complications that they can encounter that would cause them to lose their life… I completely changed. I had to tell the head doctor, I want to finish this year and then I am going to back to school and I am going … Read More

Let’s Support Safe Anesthesia Practices

Daisy WinnerBlog, Medicine, Tanzania

Anesthesia remains an often overlooked area of health care in low and middle income countries (LMICs), where there is a critical shortage of trained anesthesiologists. In Tanzania for example, there are only 22 medical doctor anesthesiologists for 47 million residents (source: http://thelancet.com). Without the ability for health systems to offer safe anesthesia to patients in need of surgery, surgically treatable conditions will continue to be a leading cause of death. Recognizing this critical shortage of trained anesthesiologists, Seed Global Health (Seed) would like to support education and training to increase capacity in this specialty in Tanzania. Eighty percent of the funds raised from this campaign will support four Masters in Medicine (MMed) Anesthesiology residents at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania over the next three academic years. The remaining funds will support various equipment … Read More

A Young Anesthesiologist is Making a Difference in Tanzania

Daisy WinnerBlog, Medicine, Tanzania

In Tanzania, a country with only 22 anesthesiologists for more than 49 million people, guaranteeing your time spent in the hospital will be pain free, can be hard to secure. As a young anesthesiologist, Lukasola “Luka”, is committed to providing his patients the care needed to control and manage their pain. Luka is one of the four Masters in Medicine (MMed) Anesthesiology residents at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) that Seed Global Health has committed to supporting over the next three academic years. For Luka, it was his experience in a district hospital that inspired him to pursue anesthesiology, “I was working as a medical practitioner at a district hospital. And we were having very poor patients who were not recovering well. And I discovered that one of the reasons why we were having very poor output … Read More