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Medical Missions 101

Childhood Malnutrition: Community-Based Care and Support – Part 2

Growing the Moringa Plant for Nutrition and Health There are a number of health initiatives that can help communities make permanent changes toward ending malnutrition. One such project centers on the moringa plant. Specifically, it provides seeds and training for people to cultivate moringa in communities with high levels of

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Childhood Malnutrition: Community-Based Care and Support – Part 1

There is no greater challenge to child survival in the developing world than malnutrition. Managing malnutrition is outside the realm of normal practice for healthcare professionals trained in western countries. As such, it needs to be something health professionals planning to work in the developing world context need to review regularly.  

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INSTRUCT, EDUCATE, PREPARE

Learning to be a doctor and clinican in Kenya is a bit different than in the USA, but the fundamentals of human character are not. 

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Using the Surgical Safety Checklist to Save Lives

The Alliance for Patient Safety estimates there are 7 million disabling surgical complications and 1 million surgical-related deaths worldwide each year. They identify three primary problems with surgical safety: 1) It is unrecognized as a public health issue.
There is a lack of data on surgery and outcomes (especially in developing countries). There is a failure to use existing safety know-how.

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Facilitating Empowerment of Local Healthcare Systems

One point I have tried to make over the years is that global health programs will build confidence in the local health workers, or they will diminish it. The amount of direction and ownership that the local health system has over the global health project determines the resulting outcome.

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The Church and Global Access to Health Care

Christian Mission hospitals and health programs account for about 50% of all healthcare delivered in Sub-Saharan Africa (Olivier, et al., 2015). That figure is probably closer to 70% of the truly functional healthcare services delivered.  Sadly however, many of these facilities have closed, those that remain are fighting for survival.

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Creating Empowering Cross-cultural Partnerships

Creating empowering partnerships cross-culturally that are based on mutual design sounds easy, but nothing could be further from the truth. Mutual design based on community participation is one of the most difficult and complex aspects of designing and implementing global health initiatives. Avoiding Manipulation in Community Development If done well,

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Ensuring Safe Short-term Surgical Initiatives

Ensuring adherence to clinical practice guidelines, clinical pathways, and other evidence-based recommendations could not have more value than it does in short-term surgical initiatives. Few if any global health initiatives have as much to offer as surgical initiatives, however they also represent the highest potential for adverse outcomes.

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Short-term Surgical Missions: How can we make them safe for patients?

Are we prepared to care for surgical patients in developing countries. Have we thought about the challenges of operating on malnourished children, the delayed healing process from poor nutrition, need for longer post operative admission because patients will often need to walk home, or be transported long distances across challenging terrain etc.

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Community Assessment

In designing and planning global health initiatives, figuring out who the stakeholders are is a critical first step. Each community has leaders and influencers, and those involved in healthcare are critical for this kind of project. Partnership begins with identifying stakeholders and assessing their needs.

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