Investing in Health Means Investing in Health Workers

CommunicationsBlog, Medicine, Midwifery, Nursing

Adopted in 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals are 17 ambitious objectives seeking to improve health and wellness of people and planet. Tackling a range of challenges including education, health, and climate change, the SDGs aim to build a better future for all. SDG 3 seeks to ensure health and well-being for all, at every stage of life – and a strong health workforce is critical to reaching this goal. But the current shortage of health workers around the world threatens not only SDG 3, but also other goals that aim to improve other aspects of life. SDG 1 aims to end global poverty, in all forms, by 2030. More than 700 million people still live in extreme poverty and struggle to meet their most basic needs like health and education. Yet without a strong health workforce, we will not be able … Read More

Strengthening the Health Workforce to Achieve the SDGs

CommunicationsBlog, Medicine, Nursing

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. Immense strides have been made in improving health around the world — Since 1990, there has been an over 50 percent decline in preventable child deaths globally. Maternal mortality also fell by 45 percent worldwide. New HIV/AIDS infections fell by 30 percent between 2000 and 2013, and over 6.2 million lives were saved from Malaria. Despite this progress, there is still a long way to go. To avoid preventable deaths, reduce maternal mortality, decrease HIV/AIDS … Read More

Paying My Experience Forward

CommunicationsBlog, Medicine, Uganda

I recently completed a year of service as a physician educator, teaching medical students and faculty. As I reflect on my time spent as a Visiting Lecturer at Busitema University’s Faculty of Health Sciences, I think back to my own experiences as a student, and how those moments from the elementary school classroom to the bedside during medical school shaped my own future. As a kid in Austin, Texas, I remember fondly the field trips we would take in school.  I remember the visits to ButterKrust Bakery in elementary school.  Middle school and high school field trips exposed us to the theater. In college, an undergraduate university class in Texas Politics culminated in a meeting with the Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court. Field trips were a fun break from the usual daily schedule used to highlight real world … Read More

Dr. Sam Olum: Teaching and Learning in Uganda

CommunicationsBlog, Medicine, Uganda

In a country where there is only one physician for every 10,000 people, physicians like Dr. Sam Olum are essential to providing care to communities. Passionate about treating patients and training the next generation of providers, Sam works as both a physician and as a lecturer at Gulu University, where he has collaborated and taught alongside Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP) Volunteers for the last four years. In region where emigration of health workers is high, Sam has remained dedicated to his patients and students in Uganda. He recently visited the Seed Global Health offices during a trip to Boston for a conference and we spoke to him about his work. What sparked your passion for medicine?  SO: From a young age, I loved science and biology. I was so fascinated by what it meant for something to be alive. … Read More

International Youth Day 2017

CommunicationsBlog, Medicine, Tanzania

International Youth Day appreciates the unique contributions of young people in building inclusive, sustainable peace throughout society. The young medical and nursing students around the world who are training to become our future health care providers and leaders are essential in improving health, a prerequisite for long term stability and peace. This summer, Hubert Kairuki Memorial University, with support from Seed Global Health and the Global Health Service Partnership, hosted the first Medical Trainee Research Conference. Over two days more that 350 undergraduate and post graduate students from around Tanzania came together to present research and learn from one another. The conference proved to be an inspiration to students, galvanizing the importance of collaboration and participation as they go on to become leaders in their communities. George Msengi, a third-year medical student, was the chair of the student organizing committee … Read More

Dr. Anthony Ocaya: Four years with the Global Health Service Partnership

CommunicationsBlog, Medicine, Uganda

Dr. Anthony Ocaya is the Deputy Dean of Gulu University in Uganda, where he coordinates student education programs, and a partner to the Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP) since its inception. When GHSP Volunteer Educators arrive to Gulu, Anthony is the one who pairs them to departments, introduces them to the hospital staff, and helps assimilate them into the teaching and learning atmosphere. He’s their constant, interacting with Volunteers every day – and he’s done this since the very first Volunteer arrived as part of our inaugural cohort in 2013. We recently spoke to Dr. Ocaya about his experience with GHSP, and what he has learned during these past four years. What are some of the biggest challenges facing medical education in Uganda? Dr. Anthony Ocaya (AO): Human resources. The main thing now is that we do not see a … Read More

Dr. Warles Charles Lwabukuna – Transforming the future of Tanzania

CommunicationsBlog, Medicine, Tanzania

Dr. Warles Charles Lwabukuna’s dedication to the health of people in his home country, Tanzania, is clear. Currently working as an Assistant Lecturer at Hubert Kairuki Memorial University, Dr. Lwabukuna is simultaneously earning his Mmed degree in Internal Medicine. And for the last three years, he has worked alongside Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP) Volunteer Educators at HKMU to help train and empower even more health professionals for Tanzania’s future. Together, they are training the next generation of physicians and improving care for patients across the country. We recently spoke with Dr. Lwabukuna about his experience as both a clinician and educator working in Tanzania, as well as his experience with GHSP Volunteers. Tell us about yourself. Where are you from? I am from Western Tanzania and but I completed my training as physician here at Hubert Kairuki. After leaving … Read More

Passion, Purpose, and Practice: My Journey to Health Justice

Fola May, MD, PhDBlog, Featured, Medicine

Dr. Fola May is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at UCLA, a staff physician in the Veterans Affairs Healthcare Network (VA), Assistant Director for the UCLA STAR program, Co-Director of the UCLA Global Health Education Program, and Director of Internal Medicine Programs for Seed Global Health. The field of public health is equally important to the practice of medicine itself. I learned this important lesson in the early 2000s, when I was an undergraduate student at Yale, during a six-month service project in Nicoya, a tiny town in the Guanacaste Peninsula of Costa Rica. As the daughter of a doctor, I’ve been immersed in medicine for virtually all of my life, and growing up, I frequently joined my father on medical mission trips to West Africa. My father was raised in rural Nigeria and immigrated to the United States to … Read More

Resilience in the Face of Despair

CommunicationsBlog, Liberia, Medicine

Each year between 50,000 to 100,000 women worldwide are affected by obstetric fistula, a hole in the birth canal caused by prolonged labor without adequate medical intervention. Women who suffer from an obstetric fistula are left with chronic incontinence, and often, a stillborn baby. The constant leaking of urine or feces means women face humiliation and stigmatization, as they become isolated by family members, friends, and communities. It is estimated that more than 2 million young women live with untreated obstetric fistula in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. If left untreated, fistula can lead to chronic medical problems and even death, but surgery can normally repair the injury. Physician Educator, Dr. Corrine (Cori) Maund has been teaching in Liberia for the last year. Cori had never encountered a case of obstetric fistula until last September, just a few weeks after arriving … Read More

The Challenge and Heartbreak of Low-Resource Surgical Care

CommunicationsBlog, Medicine, Uganda, Uncategorized

Bob Goodman, an orthopedic surgeon, served from 2014 to 2015 as a Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP) volunteer educator in Uganda. Bob reflects on the difficulty and heartbreak of trying to provide the best surgical care possible in a setting where resources are unavailable for timely, safe and effective surgery. A 23 year old young woman, Angela, presented to the orthopedic clinic with a swollen left thigh and an ulcerating lesion of the bone below her knee. Her symptoms had begun many months before, and multiple tiny laceration scars on her leg were evidence of the unsuccessful treatment she had received from a traditional healer. Angela was admitted to the orthopedic service at Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital. The x-rays showed destruction in her tibia and a calcified tumor on her left femur. Cultures of her wound grew Staphylococcus. The available … Read More