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Medical Missions 101

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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What are Vertical and Horizontal Approaches to Health?

Vertical and horizontal approaches to health have some fundamental differences. Vertical programs often have a preventive focus but they stem from a curative care model. As such they employ a western problem solving approach, and are often disease or health issue specific, such as AIDS or malaria. In essence, they

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Community Based Health Care

The best single resource for learning and understanding Community Based Health Care (CBHC) programs is a book entitled Setting Up Community Health Programmes: A Practical Manual for Use in Developing Countries by Dr. Ted Lankester. It is available in the US through the Hesperian Foundation (see www.hesperian.org). In Chapter 1

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Poverty: A Marred Identity

New on Medical Missions 101 Blog: Systemic poverty often plagues the places where global health professionals serve. Grappling with this crushing reality can be overwhelming. Community health education is one tool that can help improve the well-being and dignity of those who suffer from the effects of poverty.

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Spending Time in Her Shoes

The experience of life in the developed world is very different from that of the developing world. How can western health educators understand the lives of the people they serve? They need personal knowledge of the daily challenges that people in the local community face.

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