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

Paying My Experience Forward

Daisy WinnerBlog, Medicine, Uganda

I recently completed a year of service as a physician educator, teaching medical students and faculty. As I reflect on my time spent as a Visiting Lecturer at Busitema University’s Faculty of Health Sciences, I think back to my own experiences as a student, and how those moments from the elementary school classroom to the bedside during medical school shaped my own future. As a kid in Austin, Texas, I remember fondly the field trips we would take in school.  I remember the visits to ButterKrust Bakery in elementary school.  Middle school and high school field trips exposed us to the theater. In college, an undergraduate university class in Texas Politics culminated in a meeting with the Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court. Field trips were a fun break from the usual daily schedule used to highlight real world … Read More

Dr. Sam Olum: Teaching and Learning in Uganda

Daisy WinnerBlog, Medicine, Uganda

In a country where there is only one physician for every 10,000 people, physicians like Dr. Sam Olum are essential to providing care to communities. Passionate about treating patients and training the next generation of providers, Sam works as both a physician and as a lecturer at Gulu University, where he has collaborated and taught alongside Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP) Volunteers for the last four years. In region where emigration of health workers is high, Sam has remained dedicated to his patients and students in Uganda. He recently visited the Seed Global Health offices during a trip to Boston for a conference and we spoke to him about his work. What sparked your passion for medicine?  SO: From a young age, I loved science and biology. I was so fascinated by what it meant for something to be alive. … Read More

Dr. Anthony Ocaya: Four years with the Global Health Service Partnership

Daisy WinnerBlog, Medicine, Uganda

Dr. Anthony Ocaya is the Deputy Dean of Gulu University in Uganda, where he coordinates student education programs, and a partner to the Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP) since its inception. When GHSP Volunteer Educators arrive to Gulu, Anthony is the one who pairs them to departments, introduces them to the hospital staff, and helps assimilate them into the teaching and learning atmosphere. He’s their constant, interacting with Volunteers every day – and he’s done this since the very first Volunteer arrived as part of our inaugural cohort in 2013. We recently spoke to Dr. Ocaya about his experience with GHSP, and what he has learned during these past four years. What are some of the biggest challenges facing medical education in Uganda? Dr. Anthony Ocaya (AO): Human resources. The main thing now is that we do not see a … 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

The Challenge and Heartbreak of Low-Resource Surgical Care

Daisy WinnerBlog, Medicine, Uganda, Uncategorized

Bob Goodman, an orthopedic surgeon, served from 2014 to 2015 as a Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP) volunteer educator in Uganda. Bob reflects on the difficulty and heartbreak of trying to provide the best surgical care possible in a setting where resources are unavailable for timely, safe and effective surgery. A 23 year old young woman, Angela, presented to the orthopedic clinic with a swollen left thigh and an ulcerating lesion of the bone below her knee. Her symptoms had begun many months before, and multiple tiny laceration scars on her leg were evidence of the unsuccessful treatment she had received from a traditional healer. Angela was admitted to the orthopedic service at Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital. The x-rays showed destruction in her tibia and a calcified tumor on her left femur. Cultures of her wound grew Staphylococcus. The available … Read More

Abraham: How I Make a Difference as a Health Worker

Zack LangwayBlog, Medicine, Uganda

“I think that one of the best ways that I can make a difference as a health worker, is tackle problems at the upstream level.” This is what drives the passion and professional ambition of Abraham Openy, a fifth-year medical student at Gulu Univeristy in Uganda. And his dreams of having an impact go beyond treating individual patients. “I have always wanted to make a different in my community, since I was young. And its why I decided to pursue medicine. But I want to have a greater impact by working at a policy level. I want to apply my passion for social justice and equity to health care.” Abraham’s drive is evident when examining his growth as a leader in his community and school. He is currently part of the Federation of the Uganda Medical Students Association (FUMSA), a … Read More

Dr. Ewarko Obuku: Strengthening Uganda’s Health Workforce

Daisy WinnerBlog, Medicine, Uganda, Uncategorized

Last month a variety of stakeholders gathered to discuss the state of medical education, health worker training, and career development in Uganda. Supported by Seed Global Health, the meeting brought together various partners from academic institutions, professional societies, government agencies and international organizations to discuss gaps in medical training in Uganda. We spoke with the Secretary General of the Uganda Medical Association, Dr. Obuku Ekwaro, to talk about the challenges facing medical education in Uganda, solutions on the table at this important, multilateral meeting. What is the need for health workers in Uganda? There’s a serious shortage of health care workers in Uganda. The latest data shows that there are less than two health workers for every 1,000 people. And that number has not changed substantially even despite the increase in population in Uganda. The current framework and policy around … Read More