A New Model for Maternity Wards Worldwide

Daisy WinnerBlog, 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

Family Medicine is Key to Beating Malaria

Mark MarinoBlog, Malawi, Medicine

Today marks World Malaria Day, a day to highlight efforts to reduce malaria and to focus on the need for continued investment and commitment for prevention and control. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “the global response to malaria is at a crossroads. After an unprecedented period of success in malaria control, progress has stalled.” At Seed, we understand that doctors, nurses, midwives and other health workers are critical to keeping curable diseases like malaria under control. Health professionals are on the front lines in communities combatting the spread of this disease. It takes a village to make progress and implement change—from individuals to corporations—all of us must come together to put an end to malaria. Funding and research is needed, and thanks to a partnership with the ExxonMobil Foundation, Seed Global Health has been able to strengthen and build … Read More

Statement on Mangochi District Hospital Fire

Seed Global HealthBlog, Malawi, News, Press Releases

Our hearts and thoughts are with our colleagues, the patients, and the community affected by today’s fire at Mangochi District Hospital in Mangochi, Malawi. Our friends at Mangochi have been our partners and our inspiration as we’ve worked side-by-side, and while we are thankful our visiting faculty at Mangochi are safe, our hearts break for this nightmare our local colleagues have had to endure. Through our Malawi country director, we will be on the ready to support their recovery in any way feasible. Increasing access to quality maternal and pediatric care has been a hallmark of Mangochi District Hospital, and we will support our friends and counterparts at Mangochi as they continue to provide the best care possible, even in the face of this tragedy.

Celebrating Doctors Like Gail!

Zack LangwayBlog, Featured, Malawi, Medicine

National Doctors’ Day is March 30th. Each year, this day gives us an opportunity to thank, celebrate, and reflect on the incredible physicians who have played a role in each of our lives. And at Seed Global Health, physicians play a huge part in our work, serving as volunteer medical educators in order to help teach and train the next generation of providers and educators. This year, we shine the spotlight on one of our amazing OB/GYN volunteers, Gail Yanowitch. Gail served as a volunteer OB/GYN educator from 2016 to 2017 teaching and training alongside local counterparts at the University of Malawi College of Medicine in Mangochi, Malawi. After completing her service, Gail then went back to Mangochi in early 2018. In a returning role, Gail continued the work she began the year before, both training fourth-year Malawian medical students … Read More

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

Creating a Lasting Impact

Daisy WinnerBlog, Malawi, Medicine, Uncategorized

Anneka Hooft had just finished residency as a pediatrician when she moved to Malawi to teach and train students at the College of Medicine (COM) in Blantyre. We recently spoke with Anneka to reflect on her year as a volunteer educator, what she passed on to her students, and what she learned from her time in Malawi. Why did you decide to apply for GHSP? I wanted to be a part of something that would have a lasting impact. There are so many opportunities to provide care in low resource settings, and I worked clinically abroad, but I wanted to be sure that my work could be part of something larger. I was drawn to the idea of working with students and training future providers in the local context of where they would work. What did your work entail during … Read More

Reflections from Malawi

Dr. Vanessa Kerry, CEO, Seed Global HealthBlog, Malawi

Commitment. Engagement. Resilience. Perseverance. These words describe the ever present – and necessary – qualities of the doctors, nurses, and midwives who are working to improve the health and wellness of their communities in the countries where we partner. Last month, I had the honor of visiting several of our partner sites and colleagues in Malawi. We city hopped, from south to north, to see incredible care in action: the pediatrics ward at Kamuzu Central Hospital, where even under a seemingly-overwhelming patient load, each colleague went above and beyond their responsibilities to ensure children were swiftly and fully taken care of; bednets over almost every patient at the regional hospital in Mangochi; a nursing student delivering an outstanding presentation on the post-operative care of a patient at Mzuzu; and systems of organization across facilities that reflected not only smart design, … Read More

Committing to Children’s Health in Malawi

Daisy WinnerBlog, Malawi, Medicine

In Malawi, children represent the majority of the total population, with more than 45 percent of the country under the age of 14. And in 2013 the country achieved Millenium Development Goal 4, reducing under-five death rates by two-thirds or more since 1990. Still, 1 in every 16 Malawian children does not survive to meet their fifth birthday. And with fewer than 1 physician for every 1,000 people continuing this reduction in child mortality and improving child health in the country is a persistent challenge. Because of the significant shortage of qualified physicians, including pediatricians, the youngest patients can’t get the care that they need. But since 2013, Seed has been committed to reversing this trend. Seed volunteers work alongside local educators to share critical skills, train students in advanced practices, and teach at the bedside. Working at University of … Read More

Strengthening Nursing in Malawi

Daisy WinnerBlog, Malawi, Nursing, Uncategorized

Globally, nurses deliver the highest percentage of patient care. They are critical to strengthening health systems and responding to more acute crisis, like disease outbreaks. Despite being on the frontline of care, the global shortage of nurses continues to grow. Currently, it is estimated that 9 million more nurses and midwives are necessary to adequately meet health care needs. In Malawi, there is fewer than 1 nurse to care for every 1,000 people.  And such a significant shortage may be a contributing factor to poor health outcomes. To overcome this shortage, Seed Global Health has been placing volunteer nursing educators in Malawi since 2013. Since our inaugural year, 32 nurse educators have taught and trained future nurses and nursing educators at four nursing institutions. Working alongside local nursing professionals and educators, our volunteers strengthen in-country education. They teach courses, develop … Read More