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

National Doctors’ Day: Impacting Communities, One Patient at a Time

Daisy WinnerBlog, Medicine

March 30 is National Doctors’ Day, an opportunity to recognize the impact that physicians have on communities and their dedication to patients around the country. At Seed Global Health, we believe in investing in the rising generation of physicians, both here in the US and abroad, to support a confident, caring, and committed healthcare workforce. Since 2013, we have placed almost 80 physicians in visiting faculty roles at partner institutions in sub-Saharan Africa to help strengthen medical education. These Physician Educators not only contributed to strengthening training in the classroom and clinical settings but have also reported that this experience enabled them to refine their own teaching and clinical skills. They return to the US with a desire to continue volunteering, working in resource-limited settings, and teaching – all of which may be of value in addressing health disparities here. … Read More

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

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

Devex: Opinion: The economic case for reproductive rights

Dr. Vanessa KerryBlog, Featured, Medicine, Midwifery, Nursing, Uncategorized

Good health is critical to advancing economic opportunities for women and the societies in which they live. Decades of data have already shown the power of good health to positively transform economies — and what poor health does to undermine them. One extra year of life expectancy has been shown to raise gross domestic product per capita by about 4 percent. Nearly one-quarter of growth in low- and middle-income countries from 2001-2011 came out of improvements in health. There is, however, a unique case to be made for investing specifically in women’s health. Despite progress made and years of evidence-based advocacy, a startling fact remains: Nowhere in the world do women have full control over their health because of the limitations and barriers to effective, open sexual and reproductive health care. A new report by the United Nations Population Fund, “The … Read More

Thanking the World’s Health Workers

Dr. Vanessa KerryBlog, Featured, Medicine, Midwifery, Nursing

In some countries, like the United States, this time of year begins a season of celebration with family and friends, and reflection on the year that is coming to a close. While at first blush, the year may feel tumultuous with many challenges, there is a great deal for which we are grateful here at Seed Global Health. Thanks to the extraordinary efforts, commitment, and mission of the Seed team and our partners, we launched Sharing Knowledge, Saving Lives: Seed Global Health’s 5 Year Plan to Strengthen Health Systems. Central to that strategic plan is the immense contributions and power of the healthcare workforce to help solve many of the entrenched problems we face in health. As we initiate this season of gratitude, we want to acknowledge those healthcare workers on the frontlines who carry the flag for better health … Read More