Covid-19 Response: An Open Letter to Our Community

Seed Global HealthBlog

Dear Seed Community Without question, we are facing one of the most trying times in modern history as we confront the existential threat of Covid-19. The pandemic presents new and unique challenges for not only global health but for humanity. We each find ourselves navigating an environment without precedent and with few guideposts. Arguably, Covid-19 has become the biggest challenge for generations, one that threatens to impact every individual if we allow. This pandemic, however, also brings a reminder that we are united as a global community, in our shared vulnerability, and in our response and shared commitment to tackling Covid-19 and finding ourselves on the other side of this difficult time. For Seed Global Health (Seed), Covid-19 has underscored the importance of strong health systems and the need for a robust health workforce. Both are essential to surmounting the … Read More

This is our time. This is our stage. Let’s use it!

Julie Anathan, Director of Nursing and MidwiferyBlog, Malawi, Midwifery, Nursing, Uganda

The President of the International Council of Nurses (ICN) was recently interviewed on National Public Radio (NPR) in celebration of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) declaration of 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. This year coincides with Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday and is a tribute to her vision, leadership, and legacy in public health; the professionalization of nursing; using data to advocate and improve patient outcomes; and advancing the professional role of women in society. During the NPR interview, there was discussion about the importance of nurses and midwives. The interviewer posed this question: When you look at this kind of WHO Declaration, it’s hard for me not to think that it’s kind of patronizing; if it was a valued role, why would it need to be recognized in this way? This is an important … Read More

Reflections on #WHA72

Seed Global HealthBlog, Medicine, Midwifery, Nursing, UHC

We traveled to the seventy-second World Health Assembly (#WHA72) last week against the background of a world that is facing global health crises across multiple fronts. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the ongoing Ebola outbreak—the second largest in history—has resulted in over 1,200 deaths so far. Health workers and health centers have been repeatedly attacked, hindering efforts to provide treatment and care and contain the virus. Antimicrobial resistance is becoming a global problem, threatening treatment to common infectious diseases and risking patient care and health. It is the next emerging epidemic. There remain challenges in reaching the last mile with global vaccination campaigns. This is further compounded by the frustrating re-emergence of vaccine-preventable diseases like measles. There is a projected 18 million health worker shortfall. Achieving universal health coverage and Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG 3) by 2030 cannot … Read More

Update from #WHA72: Invest in Health Workers

Seed Global HealthBlog, Medicine, Midwifery, Nursing, UHC

The healthcare workforce, including doctors, nurses, midwives, and across the continuum to the household level, is pivotal to the success of every public health intervention. Across the globe, countries are facing a triple burden of disease: infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes, and new and emerging threats such as antimicrobial resistance. To adequately address this burden of disease, ensure access to high-quality care, and attend to communities’ needs, we need to invest in health workforce education, employment, and retention. Last night, as part of the World Health Assembly, Seed Global Health co-sponsored a high-level event titled Invest in Health Workers in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), the Global Health Workforce Network, Last Mile Health, and Intrahealth International. Our collective goal was to emphasize the vital contribution of health workers to universal health coverage and … Read More

Update from #WHA72: Investing in Jobs for #HealthForAll

Seed Global HealthBlog, Medicine, Midwifery, Nursing, UHC

Universal health coverage (UHC) has been at the center of discussions across sessions and side events at this year’s World Health Assembly (WHA). How do we ensure that all people and communities have access to and receive the health services they need without suffering financial hardships? It starts with investing in the health workforce—the backbone of strong health systems. Health workers are the missing link that will bridge the gaps in access to care and accelerate movement toward achieving universal health coverage. This afternoon, while at WHA, we attended a WHO-sponsored technical briefing on investing in jobs for health for all. We had the opportunity to present a variation of the below statement emphasizing the critical need to make the essential investment in health workers: Investing in the healthcare workforce, including health professionals and across the full continuum of service … Read More

Update from #WHA72: Highlights from the First 3 Days

Seed Global HealthBlog, Medicine, Midwifery, Nursing

1. Primary health care (PHC) is a critical foundation for universal health coverage In his opening remarks to the World Health Assembly on Monday, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, reminded all of us that there cannot be health for all without primary health care. “Primary health care is where the battle for human health is won and lost,” Dr. Tedros said. Among other things, he highlighted the importance of strong PHC in preventing, detecting, and treating noncommunicable diseases; protecting children; and fighting the global surge in vaccine-preventable diseases. He also emphasized its role in ensuring that outbreaks can be detected and stopped before they become epidemics. 2. Strengthening quality midwifery education to ensure health for all UNFPA, UNICEF, WHO and the International Confederation of Midwives launched Framework for Action: Strengthening Quality Midwifery Education for Universal Health Coverage 2030. It … Read More

Update from #WHA72: It’s Time to Be Impatient, to Achieve Health Equity

Dr. Vanessa KerryBlog, Medicine, Midwifery, Nursing

We live in an extraordinary time. With increasing speed, technology innovations have transformed our world and expanded our horizons in ways that were previously unimaginable. Growing up, the clicking of the typewriter keys and the distinctive ding at the end of each line formed the soundtrack to my homework sessions. Nowadays, I dictate notes and messages to my phone which are then sent into the world. Whereas my parents’ generation previously relied on the assistance of operators to make long distance phone calls, they can now easily communicate with their grandchildren, loved ones, and colleagues across continents through video chat, WhatsApp, and Skype. Innovation is happening rapidly and enhancing lives daily. Yet, in 2019, this innovation is still not transforming lives evenly. Entire communities and populations are being left behind from this digital age. They are being left behind. Period. … Read More

Entry-to-Practice Exam: Mapping the Way Forward for Nursing Licensure in Eswatini

Seed Global HealthBlog, Nursing

This post was authored by Mrs. Nkosinathi Nkwanyana and Helen Kuebel, two nurses that we have had the honor of working with in Eswatini. Mrs. Nkosinathi Nkwanyana is the current Registrar and Project Leader at the Eswatini Nursing Council and Helen Kuebel, MSN, RN is a Nursing Education Consultant and former Seed Educator. They wrote this blog in celebration of International Nurses Day and to outline the work that is being done to ensure nurses in Eswatini are prepared to provide communities with the care they need. ————– Health professionals are the backbone of strong health systems. Nurses, in particular, are critical to linking communities to much-needed care and ensuring health for all, making the strengthening of the nursing profession a key priority. Recognizing the important role that nurses play, the Eswatini Nursing Council (ENC) surveyed nurses in the Kingdom … Read More

Preparing the Next Generation of Nurses to Provide Quality Care

Seed Global HealthBlog, Nursing

This post was authored by Amos Drasiku and Janet Gross, two nurse educators that we have had the honor of working with to strengthen nursing education in Uganda. Amos Drasiku is the Acting Head of the Department of Nursing at Muni University, Uganda. Janet Gross is currently posted as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer teaching in a Master’s in Nursing/Midwifery Education program in Liberia. ————– International Nurses’ Day provides a great opportunity to reflect on the important role of nurses and outline ways that we can continue to support them in delivering care. This year’s theme, Nurses: A Voice to Lead Health for All, resonates with both of us as nurse educators. When it comes to nursing education, there are three things that hold true for us. Firstly, it is about preparing the next generation of nurses with the competencies … Read More

South-South Collaboration: Transforming Pathology Training and Practice in Uganda

Seed Global HealthBlog, Uganda

Uganda has less than 30 pathologists, which is very low compared to the size of the population they serve. Like other countries in the East Africa region, this paucity in pathologists is largely due to the numerous challenges that they face. These include inadequate numbers of experts to train rising generations of health professionals, low financing for training, and laboratories that are underfunded and ill-equipped. To help address this shortage and the barriers to entry, Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) and Makerere University established a program to enhance the training of pathology students in both institutions. Last year, Dr. Yeko Mitala and Dr. Sharrif Musoke, pathology residents at MUST, took part in the four-month training program. Supported by Seed, the two travelled from Mbarara to Kampala every weekend to attend lectures in forensic pathology, a course unit that … Read More