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

Safe Surgery: Essential for Wellbeing

Daisy WinnerBlog, Malawi, Medicine, Uncategorized

Surgically-treatable conditions kill close to 17 million people each year, and worldwide, five billion people do not currently have access to safe surgical care and anesthesia. In low- and middle-income countries, 9 out of 10 people cannot access even the most basic surgical services. Dr. Bela Denes, a general surgeon who has been teaching in Malawi for the last year, is dedicated to closing the gap in safe surgery and saving lives. As a Seed Global Health Volunteer, Bela has been teaching young medical students at the University of Malawi, College of Medicine, equipping them with the essential skills to perform lifesaving surgeries, even with limited resources. We asked Bela to reflect on his time as a surgeon and educator in Malawi and share his thoughts on improving access to safe surgery. What are the biggest challenges facing safe surgery … 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

Seed Global Health Joins the Frontline Health Workers Coalition

Zack LangwayPress Releases, Uncategorized

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 5, 2017 CONTACT: Zack Langway, Seed Global Health, 617.336.1661, zlangway@seedglobalhealth.org SEED GLOBAL HEALTH JOINS FRONTLINE HEALTH WORKERS COALITION BOSTON, MA (April 5, 2017) – Seed Global Health, led by Dr. Vanessa Kerry, has joined the Frontline Health Workers Coalition, bringing to the collaborative organization Seed’s experience and expertise at strengthening medical and nursing education to support a stable supply of doctors, midwives and nurses in countries with significant need. Since its founding in 2011, Seed Global Health has placed 155 physician and nurse volunteer educators across 21 medical and nursing specialties in partner facilities across Liberia, Malawi, Swaziland, Tanzania, and Uganda. Those educators have taught more than 450 courses, working alongside local faculty on academic curricula, course design, and teaching techniques. “We are excited to join the Frontline Health Workers Coalition, a group of respected academic, nonprofit, … 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

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

Women in the Lead: Reflections from Seed + Friends on #IWD2017

Zack LangwayBlog, Nursing, Uncategorized

In honor of International Women’s Day 2017, we asked leaders from Seed and Massachusetts General Hospital to reflect on what it means to #BeBoldForChange in our shared mission to strengthen health systems. Erin Barr – Director of Operations at Seed Global Health Half of the world’s population is female.  Our active representation on all levels of healthcare delivery–as mothers, caretakers, healthcare workers, teachers, administrators, analysts, researchers–creates health systems that are sensitive and responsive to the rights and needs of women. In her 1995 address to the UN, then First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton remarked that,  “[I]f women are healthy and educated, their families will flourish… And when families flourish, communities and nations will flourish.” Taking her idea further, if our health systems focus on addressing the health of women, then our families, communities and nations will flourish. Women know best … 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