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

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

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

Strengthening Pediatric Capacity to Improve Health Outcomes

Seed Global HealthArchives, Blog, Featured, Medicine, Midwifery, Nursing

When a child is sick in the U.S., a highly trained health professional is often there to help deliver care, support the parent, and help the whole family return to wellness. But in far too many places around the world, our youngest and most vulnerable lack equal access to quality pediatric care. We discussed the value of building pediatric health capacity with Dr. Kiran Mitha, Seed’s Director of Pediatric Programs, to understand how she and Seed will support physicians, nurses, and midwives in their effort to improve health outcomes for newborns, infants, and children. Seed Global Health recently announced a new five-year strategy to improve health and save lives. How do you see pediatrics as core to Seed’s mission to strengthen health systems? Seed’s five-year strategy includes maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) as one of 3 key areas of focus. … Read More

Empowering Girls for a Healthier World

Seed Global HealthArchives, Blog, Featured, Medicine, Midwifery, Nursing

Women represent 70% of the world’s health workforce. Whether we are talking about community health workers, surgeons, nurses and midwives, or informal caregivers, the contributions of women to healthier communities and countries is undeniable. With unique insight into the health needs of women and girls, female health workers are particularly well positioned to fill essential gaps in health care delivery, including gender-competent family planning services and breastfeeding as part of maternal-newborn care. Seed Global Health educates a rising generation of health professionals to strengthen access to quality care in order to improve health and save lives. And we know that with women comprising such a large part of the professional health workforce, we must pay special attention to the women who will serve as physicians, nurses, and midwives, as their advanced training and professional expertise will be critical to addressing … Read More