Advocating for Health Workers: Interview with Vince Blaser

CommunicationsBlog, Medicine, Midwifery, Nursing

Health workers are the backbone of strong health systems and thriving communities. Yet by 2030, the world will face a shortage of up to 18 million providers – hurting primarily those in low- & middle-income countries. That means mothers will go without necessary care, newborns will go without the assistance often needed to take their first breath of life, and countless patients will forgo the quality nursing and medical care they need and deserve. Vince Blaser is the Director of the Frontline Health Workers Coalition (FHWC), an alliance of organizations working together to urge greater and more strategic U.S. investment in frontline health workers in developing countries as a cost-effective way to save lives and foster a healthier, safer and more prosperous world. Seed Global Health is a proud member of FHWC, adding a point-of-view that investments in doctors, nurses, … Read More

Collaborating Across Sectors to Improve Child Health Outcomes in Malawi

CommunicationsBlog, Malawi, Medicine, Midwifery, Nursing

Last month, the Paediatrics and Child Health Association of Malawi hosted their first conference, Using a Multidisciplinary Team Approach to Improve Child Health Outcomes in Malawi. Sponsored by Seed Global Health, the Global Health Service Partnership, Rice 360° Institute for Global Health and GIZ, the conference brought together over 200 participants, including Child health nurses, midwives, pediatricians, social workers, legal practitioners, and Ministry of Health representatives, to develop innovative and multi-sectoral solutions to ensuring the healthy growth and development of children all over Malawi. To learn about the outcomes and successes of the conference we spoke to two of the organizers: Dr. Bridget Malewezi, Seed Global Health’s Malawi Country Director, and Mr. Maureen D. Majamanda, Senior Lecturer from the Pediatric Nursing Department at Kamuzu College of Nursing. What inspired the conference?  Dr. Bridget Malewezi (BM): Under the Global Health Service … Read More

Celebrating Women Leaders in Global Health

CommunicationsBlog, Medicine, Midwifery, Nursing

Around the world, women carry a disproportionate burden of disease and death as a result of inequities in access to basic health care, nutrition, and education. Despite this, leadership in global health is largely dominated by men – only 8 of 34 World Health Organization executive board positions are women and fewer than 1 in 4 global health leadership positions at the top 50 U.S. medical schools are filled by women. This week, Stanford School of Medicine’s will host the first Women Leaders in Global Health summit. This convening will celebrate women who are leading important progress in global health, and bring together a variety of stakeholders from governments, NGOs, and academia to focus on advancing women in the global health field. Seed Global Health CEO, Dr. Vanessa Kerry, and our Malawi Country Director, Dr. Bridget Malewezi, will collaborate with … Read More

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

#ICMLive: Women Leading Today for a Healthier Tomorrow – Monday Plenary

Zack LangwayBlog, Midwifery

Midwives are pillars of health and stability in their communities. Whether providing care for pregnant women or counseling and support after birth for mom and baby, these health heroes make all the difference in the world. Midwives, many of them women, are not only local leaders, but are part of an important tradition of women’s leadership in health and wellness. It’s fitting, then, that in Monday’s morning plenary here at the ICM Triennial Congress in Toronto, women leaders from across global health and wellness were in the spotlight. Beginning the morning, Jane Philpott, the Minister for Health of Canada, remarked on her experience as a family doctor, delivering children in high-resource settings in Canada as well as low-resource, rural settings in Niger, where “one in seven women would expect to die in childbirth.” Remarking on the everyday leadership midwives carry … Read More

Building Midwifery – For and With the Next Generation

Dr. Vanessa Kerry, CEO, and Linda Jacobsen, CNM, Chief Midwifery Officer, Seed Global HealthBlog, Midwifery

No woman should die during pregnancy or childbirth. Period. How to prevent this? Midwives. As midwives converge on Toronto for the 31st International Confederation of Midwives Triennial, we are reminded just how essential midwives are to the care of mothers, babies, families, and communities around the world. From antenatal care to labor and delivery and nutrition counseling, the work of midwives ensures that mom and baby have the best chance to survive birth and thrive as a new family. When properly trained, midwives are able to provide 87 percent of essential maternal care, helping share the burden with doctors and other health professionals so that mothers receive quality, confident care from midwives. Yet the world sits on the precipice of a midwifery crisis, because there simply aren’t enough of these heroes in communities around the world. Today, only 22 percent … Read More

Little Changes, Big Difference

Zack LangwayBlog, Midwifery, Tanzania

For Wreatha Carner, it’s the little things that she knows can make the biggest difference. A Certified Nurse Midwife based out of Las Cruces, New Mexico, Wreatha has spent this year serving as a Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP) Volunteer teaching, training, and working alongside midwives in Tanzania. “As a clinical instructor, some of my 4 or 5 person student groups perform as many as 15 births between them in 8 hours,” said Wreatha, describing the busy conditions under which midwives work. In a country facing a dire shortage of midwives and other skilled health professionals, only 4 midwives are in service for every 10,000 patients across Tanzania. So in addition to training and teaching the next generation of Tanzanian midwives – helping to build capacity, strengthen the pipeline of skilled midwives in Tanzania, and ultimately “train the trainers” for … Read More

Respectful Maternity Care in Midwifery

Linda Robinson, CNMBlog, Malawi, Midwifery

A mother has an unplanned Caesarian and her tubes are tied without her consent. A woman is scolded when her child dies of malaria when she admits he was not sleeping under a mosquito net. A baby is delivered by the maid at the health center because the midwife has not responded to the late night call. All of these are examples of disrespectful care that women should not need to tolerate. Yet too many women have too few choices: they have no money for private care, few resources, poor education, and a growing fear of health care that only get worse when they receive such inadequate and disrespectful care. There is no more vulnerable time in a woman’s life than when she is laboring, anticipating the birth of her child. The global lifetime maternal mortality risk is 1 in … Read More

Nicole Geller: Reflections on a Year of Service

CommunicationsBlog, Liberia, Midwifery

I have served as a Nurse Educator in Liberia for nearly a year, and have learned more in these months of service than I have in a long time. Every day, I am inspired by another challenge. And while I am not sure I could have done this work earlier in my career – I think I needed to grow into my role and gain some diverse experiences to feel confident – I do often feel like a new nurse, challenged and inspired, all over again. Most of all, I learned this year that no matter where I go or how long I work as a nurse, when I walk into a new clinical setting, I will be tested. My background is very different than my Liberian colleagues and it took time to adjust to my surroundings. But my fellow midwives … Read More

Photo Gallery: Championing Midwives in Malawi

Zack LangwayBlog, Malawi, Midwifery, Nursing

In the days ahead of International Day of the Midwife, Seed Global Health joined The Association of Malawian Midwives and several other partners to convene, empower, and champion Malawi’s midwives. More than 75 participants from across Malawi, including training institutions and students, were present for this conference. The photos below were taken by our Malawi Country Representative, Dr. Bridget Malewezi, during the gathering.