A New Model for Maternity Wards Worldwide

Daisy WinnerBlog, Malawi, Midwifery

The day a woman gives birth can be one of the most dangerous days of her life. The statistics are unacceptable – particularly because they tell a tale of inequity. The lifetime risk of death from a pregnancy-related cause worldwide is 1 in 4,000 women, but in East Africa, it is 1 in11 women. That means that one in 11 women face the very real prospect of losing her life due to a pregnancy. Most causes of maternal deaths are preventable, however, and studies show mortality rates decrease dramatically when a woman is attended by a skilled provider in childbirth. The United Nations Population Fund leads a collaboration which produces the State of the World’s Midwifery report. Effective midwifery education programs are needed in order to train midwives to provide safe, respectful care and reduce maternal mortality. However, midwifery education … Read More

Midwives: “A Force for the Better”

Diana Garde, CNM, ARNP​Blog, Midwifery, Nursing, Uganda

People ask “why midwifery?” and “what drew you to this field?” and I often feel that my attempt to answer falls very short of explaining how it is that I ended up in Northern Uganda, teaching midwifery to eager, bright baccalaureate-level students. How does one adequately explain why we crave some thing, feel at peace in some special place or why we fall in love? How do you express the gut feeling that something is ‘right’? How do you explain the draw towards something that at once needs to be absorbed and simultaneously diffused outward in the world? My choice in career has been not so much a calculated decision, but rather an organic movement. Each day around the world, there are 360,000 heroic women who experience childbirth. Approximately 830 of those women die in the process. Not all are … Read More

Midwives: Drivers and Leaders in Addressing MNCH Gaps

Robyn Churchill, Senior Midwifery Advisor, Seed Global HealthBlog, Midwifery, Nursing

Midwives have existed even before formalized healthcare. We were the original healers, birth attendants, and confidantes. The role of the midwife has been improved upon and integrated into the healthcare sector, but historically, midwives have come from their communities, and in nearly every society on the planet, women go to midwives to birth their babies. I was teaching in Newark, NJ and on my way to graduate studies in education when I had a transformational experience with midwives. Just having had a baby with midwives in a birth center, I was supporting two of my students, providing advice to them as they navigated their ways through sub-par healthcare during their own pregnancies. I thought back to the quality and compassionate care I received from my midwives, and said to myself, “in another life, I would be a midwife.”’ It’s a … Read More

Nursing Now!

Daisy WinnerBlog, Featured, Midwifery, Nursing, Uganda

As the majority of front line health workforce, nurses around the world are essential to meeting the health care needs of our communities. Yet the dire shortage of nurses globally poses a major challenge for high and low income countries alike:  sub-Saharan Africa alone faces a shortfall of more than 600,000 nurses. Yesterday, the World Health Organization and the International Council of Nurses launched the Nursing Now campaign, which aims to raise the status of nursing and empower nurses around the world. The three-year campaign will work with partners around the world to advocate for nurses, supporting their ability to be properly trained, increasing their role in policy making, and enabling them to tackle today’s and tomorrow’s health challenges. Uganda, where Seed Global Health has been supporting nursing education since 2013, was chosen to pilot the Nursing Now Africa initiative. … Read More

Midwives Matter for Liberia

Daisy WinnerBlog, Featured, Liberia, Midwifery

In Liberia, 44 percent of women give birth at home without a skilled birth attendant. Without the support of a trained professional, women die every day from preventable causes related to pregnancy and child birth. Midwives are essential partners in stopping these unnecessary deaths, as they play an instrumental role in ensuring skilled care for mom and baby during pregnancy, childbirth, and in the important first days and weeks after birth. Seed Global Health has supported midwifery in Liberia since 2015, placing volunteer midwifery educators at partner institutions to work alongside local educators in teaching and training the next generation of midwives in the country. We pair skilled, volunteer faculty – like Nicole Geller, who has spent the last two years empowering midwifery students through clinical education –  with local midwives, teaching and working together so that mothers throughout communities … 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

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

Without Hesitation: Shakira’s GHSP Journey

Zack LangwayBlog, Liberia, Midwifery

“I did not hesitate to accept an invitation to serve as visiting midwifery faculty in Liberia with the Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP), a public-private collaboration with Seed Global Health, the Peace Corps, and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. For me, it was a dream come true to be able to support the goal of strengthening health education and delivery in Africa.” Shakira Franklyn, a volunteer faculty member through GHSP, served in Liberia delivering care and partnering with local colleagues to strengthen midwifery in Liberia. Read more about her experience in this article from the American College of Nurse-Midwives’ newsletter, Quickening, published in Fall 2017.

Hope for Midwifery in Liberia

Karen Shulman, Senior Manager of Strategic PartnershipsBlog, Liberia, Midwifery, Uncategorized

Midwives are the heart of maternal and child health around the world. The support, care and advice they give during pregnancy, labor and the postpartum period is essential for the wellbeing of mothers, families, and communities. Seed Global Health is proud to teach and train midwives, and we’ve been doing so in Liberia since 2016. Dr. Nicole Geller, a nurse midwife, is in her second years of service as a visiting faculty member, helping to build the future of midwifery practice in Liberia.  She shared her thoughts with me on her work and her great hopes for midwifery in the country as she continues to help build the next generation of midwives and local leadership. -KS Midwifery in Liberia is making great progress.  There is more to do and it is exciting to see that, right now, there is a … Read More

Thankful More than Ever for Health Workers

Seed Global HealthBlog, Medicine, Midwifery, Nursing

It’s the time of year when many of us join family and friends to reflect on all that we have to be thankful for. While we may focus on the achievements and successes in our own lives, we should also reflect on how far together, our world, has progressed. The global poverty rate has been halved since 2000, with some research suggesting that someone escapes extreme poverty every 1.2 seconds. Around the world, under-five mortality rate has decreased by 56 percent and about 20 000 fewer children died every day in 2016 than in 1990. Global average life expectancy increased by 5 years between 2000 and 2015, the fastest increase since the 1960s. As we reflect with gratitude on these achievements, now more than ever, we wholeheartedly thank the millions of health workers around the world who are making this progress a reality. They … Read More