World Health Worker Week: A Conversation on Impact and Partnership

CommunicationsBlog, Malawi

During World Health Worker Week, representatives from Seed Global Health, Providence St. Joseph Health, Swedish Medical Services, and Mangochi District Hospital held a global webinar to discuss the opportunities and challenges of partnering to support and strengthen the health workforce. With a focus on collaborative work in the Mangochi District of Malawi, the conversation discusses various elements of global partnerships and their ability to make a long-term impact in low-resource environments. The following blog post represents a transcript of that webinar.   Carrie Schonwald 0:00 Hello and welcome. I’m your host, Carrie Schonwald, Manager for International Educational Exchanges with the Global and Domestic Engagement team at Providence. Since 2012, our department has partnered to make a global health impact through service that honors the leadership, expertise, and goals of communities around the world.   We currently partner with programs in Guatemala, … Read More

Strengthening Mental Health Services in Malawi

CommunicationsBlog, Malawi, Nursing

Mental health is a critical issue in Malawi. Reports estimate that nearly 30% of patients in the country are affected by mental health conditions. Despite the significant need, the availability of mental health services is limited, largely due to a scarcity of mental health professionals. Stigma and lack of knowledge further limit access to much-needed services.  Unfortunately, very few institutions in Malawi can help train specialized professionals. Additionally, primary health workers are most often not equipped to deal with mental health issues. To close these gaps, Seed partnered with St. John of God College of Health Sciences (SJOG) to strengthen mental health education and advocate for policies to better integrate mental health services into primary care delivery. Last October,  Seed’s Associate Director of Primary Care and Community Health Nursing Dr. Kate York, Nursing and Midwifery Advisor Margaret Phiri, and SJOG … Read More

PPE Donation and Schools Opening in Mangochi

CommunicationsBlog, Malawi

  Seed Global Health is proud to join Providence St. Joseph Health in making a donation of personal protective equipment (PPE) and infection control supplies valued at 44 million kwatchas to the Malawi College of Medicine and the Mangochi District Hospital. The donation, managed by Seed Global Health with financial support provided by Providence, represents one of the largest private commitments to the hospital’s efforts to respond to COVID-19. The timing of this donation comes at a critical moment in Malawi. Through the fall, the country had identified more than 5,576 confirmed cases of COVID-19 resulting in more than 175 deaths.   Despite this toll, the government had made progress in containing the virus and announced a phased reopening of schools which began on September 7th. “This is the right time to assist Mangochi,” explained District Health Officer Dr. Henry Chibowa. … Read More

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