Reestablishing a Midwifery-Led Maternity Ward in Malawi

Seed Global HealthBlog, Malawi, Midwifery

Across the globe, women continue to experience maltreatment at the hands of health professionals during childbirth. To address this in Malawi, Seed Global Health has partnered with Kamuzu College of Nursing (KCN) to reestablish the midwifery-led maternity ward that once existed at the local hospital, Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH). We spoke with Judith Chirwa, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, QECH to learn about the significance of the ward and its potential impact on maternal and child health outcomes in the country. Please tell us a bit about yourself and your role at QECH I am an enthusiastic and passionate midwife with over 20 years’ experience providing maternal and neonatal health services as a bedside nurse midwife and in leadership roles both at district and tertiary facilities. I have a post-basic degree in midwifery. I work as the Chief Nursing … 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

Seed Nursing Advisor Appointed to High-Level WHO Group

Seed Global HealthMalawi, News, Nursing

Seed Global Health Malawi Nursing Advisor Margaret Phiri has been appointed to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) High-Level Consultative Group on the Health Workforce. The WHO appointed Margaret in her capacity as an expert and champion of health workforce development in Africa.  The consultative group will advise the Health Systems and Services Cluster on implementation of the health workforce agenda for the region. Their key areas of focus include: Health workforce monitoring and evaluation and evidence Health workforce policy and planning Health workforce leadership, management, and governance Education and training Nursing and midwifery services This is an amazing recognition of Margaret’s commitment to championing and advocating for health professionals across Africa. We know that the group will benefit tremendously from her expertise. Congratulations Margaret!

Enhancing Family Medicine to Strengthen Malawi’s Health System

Seed Global HealthBlog, Malawi, Medicine

Dr. Anna McDonald initially went to Malawi in 2015 through the Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP)—a five-year collaboration between the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Peace Corps, and Seed. Around that time, Seed had partnered with the University of Malawi, College of Medicine (COM) to help establish the first family medicine training program in the country. Led by a former Seed Educator, Elizabeth Hutchinson, the partnership expanded and began working with Swedish Medical Center. Through the collaboration with Swedish, US-based residents can rotate at clinical sites in Malawi alongside Malawian residents, medical students, and hospital staff, where everyone is mentored by a Seed Physician Educator. Anna and Nicholas Napoli, a fellow GHSP alum, were the first educators to take US residents to Mangochi District Hospital. In 2018, Anna went back to the country as a Seed … Read More

Advancing a Midwifery Model of Care to Enhance Maternal and Child Health Outcomes in Malawi

Seed Global HealthBlog, Featured, Malawi, Midwifery

While Malawi has made great strides in reducing both maternal and child mortality, there remains a great need to build the capacity of health workers to further accelerate improvements in outcomes of mothers, newborns, and children. To help with this, Seed Midwife Educator Linda Robinson collaborated with Ursula Kafulafula, a former dean at Kamuzu College of Nursing, University of Malawi, to advance a midwifery model of care in the country. We spoke to Linda to learn more about the project that she and Ursula are working on to create a sustainable midwifery-led maternity ward that would model the type of care women should get during childbirth. Please tell us a little bit about yourself—what inspired you to become a midwife? When I graduated from nursing school, I intended to focus on public health. I went to the Peace Corps right … Read More

Supporting the Family Medicine Specialty in Malawi

Seed Global HealthBlog, Featured, Malawi, Medicine

Over three years ago, Seed Global Health partnered with the University of Malawi, College of Medicine to help establish the first family medicine training program in the country. Led by a former Seed Educator, the partnership expanded and began working with Swedish Medical Center. It is through the exchange developed and coordinated by Swedish that Dr. Jacob Nettleton first went to Malawi as a family medicine resident. In 2018, he returned to the country as a Seed Educator to continue supporting the expansion of the specialty. We spoke to Jacob about his experience, lessons learned, and the role family medicine plays in strengthening Malawi’s health system. What inspired you to return to Malawi as a Seed Educator? My career goal within medicine, since my undergraduate days, was to somehow be involved in global health equity. I tried to amass different … Read More

Addressing Misconceptions and Eliminating the Stigma: Mental Health in Malawi

Kerry OBrienBlog, Featured, Malawi, Medicine

According to the World Health Organization, one half of all mental illness starts by the age of 14, but most cases remain untreated. World Mental Health Day, marked every year on October 10, provides a moment to pause and recognize the need to prioritize access to mental health care, remove the stigma and raise awareness for the treatment and prevention of mental illness worldwide. To learn more about misconceptions in mental health, we spoke with former volunteer Amelia Rutter. She served in Malawi from 2016-2017 at St. John of God College of Health Sciences. She spoke of  her time in Malawi, and how it has continued to impact her work as a family nurse practitioner now that she’s home in the United States. How did you initially become involved with Seed Global Health/Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP), and what are … Read More

Resilience in the Face of Hardship: Pediatrics in Malawi

Kerry OBrienBlog, Featured, Malawi, Medicine

Surrounding this year’s American Academy of Family Physicians Global Health Summit, Seed Global Health spoke with Joshua Grahe, MD, former GHSP Volunteer, about how his experience teaching in Malawi has continued to impact his outlook as a Pediatrician in the US. Could you tell me a little bit about yourself? How did you initially become involved in GHSP? During my residency at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, I began to see how being a Pediatrician meant that I have a responsibility for treating children in a multifaceted way. There was and continues to be a big push for understanding not only traditional medicine, but the social determinants of health and how they influence the lives of our patients. Be it physical, sexual, verbal or emotional abuse, neglect, loss of a parent, poverty, or exposure to violence, these events impact those … Read More

A New Model for Maternity Wards Worldwide

CommunicationsBlog, Malawi, Midwifery

The day a woman gives birth can be one of the most dangerous days of her life. The statistics are unacceptable – particularly because they tell a tale of inequity. The lifetime risk of death from a pregnancy-related cause worldwide is 1 in 4,000 women, but in East Africa, it is 1 in11 women. That means that one in 11 women face the very real prospect of losing her life due to a pregnancy. Most causes of maternal deaths are preventable, however, and studies show mortality rates decrease dramatically when a woman is attended by a skilled provider in childbirth. The United Nations Population Fund leads a collaboration which produces the State of the World’s Midwifery report. Effective midwifery education programs are needed in order to train midwives to provide safe, respectful care and reduce maternal mortality. However, midwifery education … Read More

Ultrasound Equipment Assists Students with Hands-On Training

Jennifer CoulombeBlog, Malawi, Medicine, Tanzania, Uganda

There is a big difference between learning about a lifesaving medical procedure from a book verse being able to learn and practice the skill in real time to gain confidence and mastery. Seed Global Health has partnered with 27 teaching sites in five African countries to help translate theory into practice through classroom and clinical education, mentorship, and introducing new tools and skills. This has included equipping skills labs in midwifery, and introducing simulation-based education in partnership with U.S. academic institutions. Simulators, in particular, provide a much easier way to learn and teach ultrasound. Medical equipment and supplies give students practical, hands-on training, both through campus skills labs and on the hospital wards where they do rounds with faculty. However, the availability of medical simulation equipment to gain these skills can be inaccessible and costly in low-resource settings. Seed is partnering … Read More