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

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

Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Health Workforce

Mark Marino, MPH, Seed Global HealthBlog, Featured, Liberia, Medicine, Nursing, Tanzania

Tomorrow marks the start of this year’s Skoll World Forum, an event focused on social entrepreneurship, innovation, and solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. As in previous years, there promises to be robust conversation on increasing access to quality health services by leveraging the power of technology. With the supply of health workers in developing countries not meeting the demand, it is important to identify innovative technology that can help doctors, nurses, midwives, and community health workers provide effective and efficient patient care. With nearly two-thirds of the world’s population in possession of a cell phone, mobile health (mHealth) in particular has enormous potential to support health workers. Consider one way that mobile is being used to empower nurses. Research shows that often nurses feel unsupported in the workplace, and have to contend with outdated information, protocols, and limited … Read More

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

Partnering for Quality Education & Quality Care

Zack LangwayBlog, Medicine, Nursing

Every country should have a strong health workforce so that all people can access the care they need to live healthy and productive lives. And at the backbone of a strong health workforce are doctors, nurses and midwives who are trained, confident, and ready ensure that everyone, no matter where they live, has equal access to high quality care. Seed Global Health believes that excellence in education is the cornerstone of health professionals’ success. And we strive to support this vision, partnering with U.S. academic institutions allow us to deepen the quality and sustainability of the training and teaching we support in five African countries. “By pairing healthcare volunteers from universities and medical and nursing schools across the United States with local health professionals in countries like Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda, we create a ripple effect of shared knowledge,” explains … 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

Caught in the Crossfire: Health Systems in Conflict Areas

Daisy WinnerBlog, Featured, Medicine, Midwifery, Nursing

 The conflicts in Syria, Yemen, and Afghanistan are unlike any wars seen before. Long-running and complex, these conflicts have devastated these countries – untold numbers of citizens have been killed and even more have been forced to flee their homes for neighboring states. There are more than five million registered Syrian refugees alone. As violence and fighting wages on, infrastructure and public services have collapsed. Health systems in these countries have been torn apart. Overwhelmed, understaffed, structurally damaged, and under-resourced, health centers have been brought to the brink of collapse. As of October 2017, resulting from the ongoing conflict, health facilities in Yemen had not received funding to cover operational costs in thirteen months and almost 30,000 health workers had not received their salaries consistently during this period. Yet they ask to save lives in dire conditions every day. CSIS … 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