Community Development – Inspiring Results in Nepal

January 16th, 2021 by INMED
Posted in International Public Health|

 

Comprehensive community development is essential for human well-being. Growth in health, education, and economic activity contribute profoundly towards community development. But fostering such growth across cultures and amid low resources is a profound challenge. Today, INMED announces our newest partnership with an NGO demonstrating inspiring results: the Health Environmental Learning Program (H.E.L.P.) of Nepal.

 

H.E.L.P. is a Nepali-lead community development organization working for over twenty years to empower low-income people of the Himalayas. Responding to community-initiated requests, H.E.L.P. provides training in literacy, agricultural and animal husbandry, and maternal and child health education. All trainers are Nepali civic and church leaders working to meet both physical and spiritual needs.

 

As an INMED International Public Health Training Site, H.E.L.P. provides INMED learners an experience based out of the Nepali city of Dhulikhel. From this location, they accompany H.E.L.P facilitators and participate in education experiences surrounding literacy, agriculture, and health. Moreover, INMED learners enjoy witnessing the exemplary success of grassroots community leaders serving their own people to achieve often-elusive community development.

 

International Refugee Care

January 8th, 2021 by INMED
Posted in International Public Health|

 

Women and children. These comprise most international refugees seeking relief and asylum – more refugees than at any time since the end of WWII. Rohingya people expelled from Miramar, Syrians uprooted by ISIS, Africans in-flight from Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram, and central Americans fleeing armed gangs. Most refugees enter another developing country – locales with few existing resources and already fragile infrastructures.

 

What can you and I do on behalf of such people? First, stay informed. Follow a trustworthy news source that tracks the plight of refugees. Second, look for opportunities in your home city to assist. Relocated refugees benefit from help with language skills, driver education, and aid with enrolling their children in school. Third, increase your knowledge of refugee care. Master, for example, your understanding of the four recognized phases: the pre-emergency/mitigation phase, emergency relief phase, post-emergency/maintenance phase, and the resolution/repatriation phase. Throughout these phases, refugee care leaders must attend to complex issues over security, dependency, mental health, location of settlements, and host-refugee relations.

 

International Refugee Care, an INMED Professional Certificate Course, began just this week. This comprehensive online class is 10 weeks of structured learning, and earns 2 hours of academic credit towards the Master’s Degree in International Health (MIH). Moreover, it will prepare you for effective service on behalf of refugees at home or with an esteemed international organization like the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

Healthcare for Marginalized Americans

January 1st, 2021 by INMED
Posted in INMED Action Steps For You|

Many United States residents live on the margins of society. Often, they are minorities, lower-income, non-English speakers, migrants, veterans, disabled, or elderly. Their access to healthcare is obstructed at multiple levels, including transportation, payment options, health literacy, and lack of healthcare facilities and personnel. What’s more, weaknesses within the United States’ public health apparatus – dramatically exposed throughout the 2020 pandemic – and chronically deficient social infrastructures (schools, nutrition, foster care and more) frequently contribute to marginalized people being unable to maintain health and prevent disease.

 

Healthcare for Marginalized Americans, INMED’s newest Professional Certificate Course, begins with the Winter 2021 Term on January 4. This learning experience explores the complex patchwork of ingredients which comprise United States health care systems, with special attention towards its effectiveness for marginalized people. The profound impact of social determinants of health are examined, health resources are evaluated, obstacles to care are identified, as are “work around” solutions commonly used by marginalized people. Existing and potential solutions to the healthcare dilemma for the United States’ most vulnerable people are explored, and course participants are challenged to advocate for a more equitable US health care system.

 

Fred Loper, Community Health Centers of Oklahoma physician, will guide learners through this 10-week online, two-credit hour course that also qualifies for requirements of the INMED Professional Masters degree in International Health (MIH). No resident of the worlds wealthiest nation should continue to live without resources for health. Investigate how you yourself could become part of the solution, and join INMED for Healthcare for Marginalized Americans.

 

Glory, terror, good news, savior, Christ!

December 25th, 2020 by INMED
Posted in Global Health News & Inspiration|

 

Humanity this year is beset by disease, isolation, poverty, racism, fascism and overwhelming emotional stress. Today, this chaotic season is also marked with a holiday remembering Jesus Christ. The narrative of his birth – described in detail by three separate witnesses and a host of historians – includes an announcement by angelic beings to the worlds loneliest citizens: “Do not be afraid… I proclaim good news… Your Savior is born… He is Christ.”

 

We at INMED are deeply concerned about disease, isolation, poverty, and more, especially because these afflictions overwhelmingly disable our worlds lowliest citizens. To the maximum of our strengths we continue to empower compassionate, visionary professionals with the knowledge and skills to effectively intervene. Human beings are capable of enormous good, and we constantly witness this attribute among our faculty, learners, and graduates.

 

But we are also keenly aware of humanity’s weaknesses; how easily we all are tempted by pride, power, and prestige – fleeting yet irresistible as they are. It is for this reason that we all need a savior, one with power to forgive our sin and focus our forces for good. And today, with the angel of old we also rejoice in the good news. Our savior is born. He is Christ!

Liberation: Covid-19 and World War II

December 19th, 2020 by INMED
Posted in International Public Health|

 

Dachau, first Nazi concentration camp built by on German soil, became the model for torture, slavery, and extermination replicated throughout the Third Reich. Early on morning of April 28, 1945, surviving prisoners were amazed to observe SS officers raising a white flag over Dachau – acknowledging the approaching liberators of the Seventh US Army. Yet Dachau guards continued to keep the prisoners in check with automatic firing guns. And tragically, prisoners continued to be executed until Allied troops arrived the following day.

 

The parallels with today’s COVID-19 pandemic are striking: Our worlds citizens continue to be prisoner to an infectious agent that has sickened 75 million, killed 1.7 million, and claimed 3,300 lives in the USA today alone. The virus has also confined people to their homes, cost their jobs, closed their children’s schools, and obliterated their savings, and often vanquished their hope.

 

Yet, hope is on the horizon. Like the prison guards training their guns on the prisoners, the viral enemy continues to infect and inflict miserable suffering upon our human family. But its reign is ending. Liberation is in sight. We need only to cling fast to our survival skills.

 

Helping Babies Breathe – in Pakistan

December 4th, 2020 by INMED
Posted in INMED Grads In Action|

 

“I am passionate about the health of women and their babies!” declares Hibba Haider, Pakistani pediatrician and INMED HBB graduate. “I am well aware of the gravity of Pakistan having the world’s worst infant mortality rate. But I am also inspired how some African countries that have dramatically improved their infant mortality. So, I asked myself, Why can’t we do this in Pakistan? So I organized a 2019 course to teach Helping Babies Breathe at my alma mater, Fatima Jinnah Medical University in Lahore, Pakistan. To build expertise and momentum, I recruited local pediatricians, obstetricians, neonatologists, and neonatal nurses to do the teaching and to recruit their colleagues to participate” In all, 300 midwives, obstetric nurses, and community health workers received HBB training at our events!”

 

“Another reason I chose to offer this training at Fatima Jinnah Medical University,” says Hibba Haider (far right), “is that FJMU in the entire world is the ONLY ALL FEMALE Medical University. It offers unique gynecological and obstetrics expertise for learners acquiring these skills and for patients who desperately need the skilled care.” What is next for HBB and newborn care in Pakistan? “We’ll be back at Fatima Jinnah Medical University in December to offer the HBB refresher course, along with a comprehensive update conference for ObGyn and Pediatric faculty, residents, medical students, and midwives – people who are passionate like myself about the welfare of women and babies in Pakistan!”

YOU and COVID-19 Critical Professional Shortages

November 27th, 2020 by INMED
Posted in INMED Action Steps For You|

 

“Care is about more than a room with a hospital bed. It’s about medical professionals taking care of patients. If you don’t have the staff to do that, people are going to die.” So declares CEO of the Texas Organization of Rural & Community Hospitals, John Henderson. At this moment, medical centers in over half of the fifty United States report dangerous shortages of nurses, physicians, laboratory technicians and other specialists – this in the face of 176,572 new COVID-19 diagnoses and 1,283 deaths yesterday alone. As a result, many precarious patients are being transferred to better-staffed medical centers in other states.

 

Managing this pandemic – and healthcare as a whole – is taxing and requires multiple resources: testing, medication, technology, buildings, logistics, and skilled personnel. INMED is a training center, equipping healthcare professionals with crucial skills to care for the planet’s most vulnerable people – including how to better manage personal stress and even compassion fatigue.

 

Healthcare for Marginalized Americans and International Refugee Care are two highly-anticipated INMED courses beginning in the 2021 Winter Term on January 4th. Such courses can be taken for continuing medical education, and also credited towards the INMED Professional Master’s Degree in International Health. Ultimately, the greatest outcome is YOU being prepared for today’s critical professional shortages.

 

Today’s Grads from Uganda, Pakistan, Haiti, South Africa, and Kirksville, MO

November 20th, 2020 by INMED
Posted in Healthcare Education|

 

The spirit of Thanksgiving, can you name some advantages that protections against COVID-19 infection have brought into your life? At INMED, the movement toward online learning has opened up participation for our international learners. Case in point: meet today’s graduates of INMED 2020 Early Fall Professional Certificate in International Medicine & Public Health. These include learners from Uganda, Pakistan, Haiti, South Africa, and Kirksville, Missouri.

 

What inspiring perspective results from incorporating learners with such breath of culture and experience! These learners all participated in a community health survey simulation, for example, dramatically highlighting the challenge often encountered in real life. A very well-meaning North American visiting a rural home in the Indian subcontinent and asking questions about education and nutrition risks misunderstanding about the outsider’s motives. Our international classmates helped to guide the north Americans towards better outcomes by first very clearly explaining their intentions for the health survey.

 

With the 2021 Winter Term, beginning on January 4, watch for several new INMED learning opportunities that span the globe, including the Professional Certificate Course in International Refugee Care!

COVID-19 Vaccine for the Lowest Income Nations?

November 13th, 2020 by INMED
Posted in International Public Health|

 

Very encouraging news this week: highly scientific research has proved 90 percent efficacy for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. In the coming months this, along with other vaccine prospects, will continue receiving vigorous safety and benefit analysis. Meanwhile, Pfizer anticipates production of roughly 1,5 billion doses of this two-dose vaccine during the next year. Mainstream media reports that the world’s most wealthy nations have already pre-purchased some 80% of these doses.

 

Market economics aside, what about the plight of low-income nations who have neither the financial resources nor political clout to reserve COVID-19 vaccine? One may argue that COVID-19 is not impacting lower income nations. Not true. India, Iran, and Kazakhstan are severely afflicted. One may also argue that such nations can purchase the vaccine from lower cost providers. Unfortunately, some notable nations are already distributing vaccine that has clearly not been vigorously proven safe and effective.

 

The world has witnessed vaccine in equity before. Effective vaccines against several leading killers – measles, pertussis, polio – became available in the 1960s. However, by the 1970s, less than 5 percent of infants and children in low countries were vaccinated. Inspired by the success of smallpox eradication, in 1974 the WHO coordinated a worldwide effort: the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) that rapidly corrected this travesty.

 

Immediately Action: Health leaders worldwide should immediately advocate for a parallel goal, assuring that income is not a barrier and that those most marginalized be given priority in vaccination against COVID-19. The existing EPI structure and leadership could be harnessed to achieve these ends. In addition to saving vulnerable lives, such action would add more encouraging news: Compassion and care are also safe and effective.

 

Worthy Ambition: Reopen a Closed Hospital in India

November 6th, 2020 by INMED
Posted in INMED Grads In Action|

 

Looking for a worthy career goal? Need an inspiring role model? Consider Ann Miriam, INMED learner and physician with Emmanuel Hospital Association in NE India. Writes Dr. Miriam, “My husband (Vijay Anand Ismavel, a paediatric surgeon) and I (an anesthesiologist) have been working at the Makunda Christian Leprosy and General Hospital in northeast India since 1993. We restarted this closed down hospital at that time.” The hospital had become inoperative 10 years ten earlier when the American and Western European staff longer had their visas renewed to remain in India.

 

Now, Drs. Miriam and Ismavel are highly qualified, and could have easily remained working in their original city physician, but “They wanted to take their medical skills to the people who needed them the most — the farther away and the larger the number the better,” observes The Civil Society. “When they turned up at the Makunda Hospital they found it was just the kind of challenge they were looking for. It was in a decrepit state, located on grounds over hundreds of acres and it had a vast catchment of under-served poor rural people.”

 

Today, Makunda Christian Leprosy and General Hospital each year serves 100,000 outpatients, 17,000 hospital admissions, oversees 6,000 deliveries, and performs some 3,000 surgical procedures. A research project by the Wharton School of Business was done on the impact of Makunda Christian Leprosy and General Hospital, who published these inspiring result: The Makunda Model: An observational study of high quality, accessible healthcare in low-resource settings.

 

Says Dr. Miriam, “The success of the work at Makunda is all due to God’s grace and the hard work of numerous highly committed staff.” Enjoy this nicely produced full interview with Dr. Miriam and her husband Dr. Ismavel on YouTube.