2014 Newsletter

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Facilitating $120 Million World Bank Proposal for Vietnam’s Healthcare System CONSAMS: An Exemplary South-South Collaboration

Women and Health Task Force: The Way Forward HWAI: Advocating for the Global Health Workforce

SeedGrants.org In July of this year we launched our new crowdfunding platform SeedGrants.org. For our launch we chose five exciting projects to feature. For more information about projects we’re currently seeking to fund, please visit us online at www.seedgrants.org. Meas Chanthan wants to provide women working in construction in Cambodia with hygiene, sexual health, and women’s health education.

Mike Isherwood’s project would train “backpack medics” to travel to remote areas of Burma to provide much needed medical services.

Thank you for taking the time to read through this newsletter and familiarize yourself more with the exciting projects that GHETS is facilitating. As you may see, GHETS has continued to grow its impact and remain a pivotal advocate on a variety of global health issues ranging from occupational health to water and sanitation to human resources for health. While GHETS may be a small non-profit, its size is in no way indicative of its impact. GHETS’ systematic approach is to be the broker for international collaboration. Many of the small grants that GHETS gives are to enable people from around the world to engage in meaningful South-South collaborations through international conferences, student exchanges, and regional university consortiums where faculty members can share ideas and overcome challenges together. A unique hallmark of GHETS partners is that they are willing to take innovative risks. They are advocates for the health of their communities and are invested in their holistic wellbeing. We encourage our partners to work with their governments to see a progression of sustainable health change. Health is not medicine. Health is literacy, agriculture, labor, and social equality.

“While GHETS may be a small non-profit, its size is in no We are thankful for the selfless work of our part- way indicative ners and we invite you to participate in any way of its impact.” that you can to help us support them.

Ssekadde Daniel wants to provide access to clean and reliable water to students at a Ugandan school, helping to avoid typhoid, diarrhea and cholera.

Rosena Baptiste is seeking funding to build a “living fence” around their Haiti birthing center to provide sustainable food and supplemental income to local families.

Dear GHETS Family and Friends,

Wishing you good health and much joy always. Edwin Wetoyi’s project would provide HIV and AIDS education in western Kenya to increase awareness, reduce stigma, and reduce transmission.

In Solidarity,

Mary Mikhail, MPH Executive Director


Utilizing interprofessional collaboration to improve women’s health globally. The Women and Health Task Force (WHTF) is comprised of health professionals, academics and advocates from over 22 countries who educate, advocate, and implement health programs to improve women’s health around the globe. The WHTF is based on the belief that healthy and empowered women improve the health of their families and communities. Women’s health is more than reproductive health, it is their health throughout their lifespan. Their mission is to work with communities to learn women’s perspectives about what they want and need. They help by mentoring women to be health leaders and teach health professions’ students the knowledge and skills to meet women’s needs. Through the support of GHETS, they fund projects that give women the necessary skills to as-

sess their problems and improve their own care. They also developed the Women’s Health Learning Package, a comprehensive educational tool incorporating case studies and discussion of women’s health topics in global, regional and country settings that is used at training institutions around the world.

GHETS provides mini grants to members of the WHTF to fund their innovative, community based projects. An example of one of these projects is Dr. Rukhsana Ayub Aslam’s project in Pakistan, which utilizes services learning as a strategy for community based education and social responsibility. Dr. Shakuntala Chhabra also received a mini grant to conduct a study in India that examines men’s roles and perceptions of maternity care while promoting and supporting community based maternal care. The WHTF envisions a world where healthy empowered women are recognized and contribute to their communities, where gender equity is a reality for all, and where women’s human rights are respected.


Deyanira González de León serves as the Chair of the WHTF Management Committee My participation as a member of the WHTF since 2002 has not only broadened the scope of my academic work, but also my understanding about women’s lives and needs in many places of the complex world in which we live. I have learned many things from my colleagues of the WHTF, which is today a mature and collaborative group. We value and acknowledge the support from the GHETS , because their solidarity and financial support towards the WHTF has been crucial for the development of its work.


Dr. Oathokwa Nkomazana

It is with great pleasure that we welcome Dr Oathokwa Nkomazana to our GHETS Board of Directors. Dr Nkomazana has been a GHETS partner for many years through the Consortium of New Medical Schools in Southern Africa (CONSAMS). She is among the founding faculty of the University of Botswana Medical School and is currently the curriculum coordinator. She is an ophthalmologist and has served as the Head of Ophthalmology at Princess Marina Hospital since 2002. Internationally, Dr Nkomazana was a member of the World Health Organization Guidelines Development group for the WHO/PEPFAR initiative on scaling up transformative medical nursing and midwifery education. She is currently the Principal Investigator/ Director of a number of internationally funded projects.

Welcome Doctor Nkomazana!

The Consortium of New Southern African Medical Schools (CONSAMS) is an association that was formed in 2011 to allow members to have a unified approach to common problems they face and provide assistance to each other in various areas. The association is open to all new medical schools in Africa that are public and who are not more than 5 years old at the time of joining. GHETS continues to support CONSAMS by facilitating faculty and student exchange among members.

CONSAMS activities this year include a joint workshop on Evidence Based Medicine held at the University of Namibia, external moderation of exams between member schools, external curriculum review, accreditation visits between the various schools, a workshop in Ndola/Kitwe in an effort to integrate the curriculum, exposure and benchmarking visit to Oulu University in Finland, as well as many international collaborations that were forged through CONSAMS members’ attendance and participation in regional and international forums.


A Model in Family Medicine Curriculum Development

GHETS staff developed a World Bank Request for Proposal (RFP) which awarded $120 million to Vietnam’s healthcare system to develop a new model health system for rural and urban communities in alignment with the community oriented primary care (COPC) model, based on fam-

ily medicine. GHETS is also helping with faculty development and training and curriculum updates for the public medical school in Cambodia. Both the school in Cambodia and Vietnam will collaborate together in a South-South exchange to promote the COPC model.

GHETS staff and partners host, moderate, CHAMPIONS and coordinate a variety of learning opporof FAMILY MEDICINE tunities to build the COPC infrastructure in Southeast Asia

Dr. Steve Cummings leads a seminar on “The Importance of Primary Care to the Health of the Population” to faculty at University of Health Sciences, Cambodia.

Five graduates of the Masters in Family Medicine Distant Learning Program, a collaboration with Laos University of Health Sciences, receive their degrees.

Dr. Phoutone Vangkonevilay DDS, DPH, MSc, Vice President of Health Sciences, Ministry of Health, Laos, addresses ARPAC meeting, Kuching Malaysia.

HEALTH WORKFORCE ADVOCACY INITIATIVE GHETS now at the forefront of advocacy in issues of human resources for health (HRH) In July 2014, GHETS became the chair of HWAI, the civil society arm of WHO’s Global Health Workforce Alliance. HWAI is an advocacy platform that seeks to empower its members to make demands related to the global health workforce crisis. Members can then use HWAI as a vehicle to make these demands to policy makers at regional and global levels. In 2014, HWAI members have been involved in various consultations on the need

to meet the new UN Sustainable Development Goals. HWAI has also been actively involved in various working groups addressing the Global HRH Strategy. In the upcoming months, we will seek suggestions from leaders of health training schools. We hope to make HWAI a platform to help their training programs obtain needed reform. As a first step, in September 2014 HWAI hosted a session at the Health Systems

Research Symposium in Cape Town, South Africa entitled “Translating HRH Research into Policy: the Role of Advocacy”. In this session, members of the HWAI steering committee from Nigeria, Malawi, Switzerland, Kenya, and Peru shared their experiences in HRH advocacy and discussed common challenges as well as creative ways in which civil society can be engaged in the dialogue around health workforce issues.

Intern Experience!



Interning at GHETS as the SeedGrants intern this past summer was a wonderful and fulfilling experience. I have been involved in GlobeMed, an organization that connects college students with global health non-profits around the world, for two years. Working at GHETS gave me insight into what the global health field looks like outside of college.

I am so grateful for my experience as the social media and communications intern for GHETS. My favorite part about interning at GHETS was feeling like part of the team, learning about and experiencing what the non-profit sector is like, and meeting a wide array of people in the field of global health and development. It was definitely a hands-on and invaluable opportunity!

OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY IN NICARAGUA PROSSTRAB, the Promocion de Salud y Seguridad de Trabajadores (the Promotion of Workers’ Health and Safety), was created in 2003 as an alliance between a university and a union confederation with the goal of improving workers’ health in Nicaragua. PROSSTRAB is unique in its model of exchange between partners. Workers learn from the researchers, health professionals,

and students in training while researchers and students learn from the workers’ reality. In 2014, a certified course on risk assessment in the construction sector was designed in addition to non-certified trainings on topics ranging from risk prevention to the steps required to secure a hygiene safety license from the Ministry of Labor in Nicaragua.




GlobeMed aims to strengthen the movement for global health equity by empowering students and communities to work together to improve the health of people living in poverty around the world. Our approach: GlobeMed pairs each university-based chapter with a unique, grassroots organization already improving the health of its community. Year after year, students and grassroots leaders collaborate on projects that deepen and expand the organization’s impact. The result: Grassroots organizations develop greater capacity to serve their community and a generation of young people equip themselves with understanding and skills of why and how to change the world. GHETS supported GlobeMed’s new advocacy initiative within GlobeMed’s 2014-2015 global health U curriculum.

The curriculum provides each chapter the opportunity to walk through a year long process of exploring social justice through a systems-level understanding of health. The curriculum is complemented by a strategic action plan for students to practice advocacy in local contexts linked to global outcomes. Students were introduced to this new initiative at our 2014 Leadership Institute in August, and Nicholas Wang, Director of Advocacy, GlobeMed at Northwestern University, had the following to say about his experience. “My biggest takeaway from LI was how excited people are to start our big advocacy push this coming year. I think we are all looking forward to seeing where we can go with this new advocacy emphasis, both on the chapter level and on the network level. GlobeMed is continually expanding into a more comprehensive global health equity organization and growing as a network with an ever-expanding alumni base. The LI was the perfect opportunity to showcase that potential to all of the delegates.”

CO N TAC T U S : (508) 226-5091 x15 i n fo @ g h e t s . o rg w w w. g h e t s . o rg