Who Has The Very BEST Healthcare?

January 6th, 2023 by INMED
Posted in International Public Health|


This provocative question evokes sentiments of national pride, social justice, and personal experiences. It’s also a pivotal question, influencing the design and resources for healthcare. A compelling follow up to “Who has the very best healthcare?” is to clarify, “By what criteria shall we judge quality of healthcare?” Consider the following benchmarks:


  • Cost. Health expenditures per capita loosely correlates with quality of healthcare. United States: $11,800 per person, Canada: $5,800, Chile: $2,400, Turkey: $1,300, Ghana $221
  • Health Outcomes. Commonly used measures include life expectancy, child mortality, and years of potential life lost. Life expectancy in the US: 79, Canada: 83, Chile: 80, Turkey: 78, Ghana: 63.
  • Compassion. Authorities broadly agree on the essential nature of compassion in healthcare. Yet scholarly research has yet to identify an acceptable objective measure.


Compassion is a virtue better observed or experienced than quantified. Muhammad is a 13-year-old in the nation of Ghana, west Africa. For months he has suffered from severe scabies, an infestation of the skin causing relentless itching, weight loss, cellulitis and sepsis. See the above left photo. The volunteer physician caring for him in Ghana, Burton Adrian, is a graduate of the INMED Master’s Degree in International Health. Dr. Adrian made the diagnosis, and upon discovering that the needed medication was not available, he searched the country to locate it. Muhammad’s photo on the right was taken two months after treatment.


“Who has the very best healthcare?” Those who receive it with compassion! On Fri-Sat, June 9-10, INMED is hosting hundreds of professionals like Burton Adrian at the 2023 Humanitarian Health Conference. This gathering will increase knowledge and skill surrounding diseases connected with poverty, community health and development, and career decision making. Moreover, the 2023 Humanitarian Health Conference could be your very best opportunity to talk together with inspiring colleagues, whose priority is health care infused with compassion.


Can You Solve This Case Of Tropical Fever?

December 23rd, 2022 by INMED
Posted in Low-Resource Healthcare Pearls|



Maria, the seven-year-old girl in this photo, presents to you at the Clinical Evangelica Morava on the remote western coast of Honduras. Her parents explain that five days ago she suddenly developed fever, vomiting, severe headache, and pain on moving her eyes. Several other children in the neighborhood have been similarly ill since the onset of the rainy season with its customary heat and mosquitoes.


On physical examination you note that Maria is lethargic, has generalized lymph node enlargement with clear lungs and a slow heart rate relative to her fever of 39 degrees. She has a fine rash on her extremities. You quickly perform thick and thin blood smears with Giemsa stain, but you do not identify any ring-like Plasmodium parasites within red blood cells that would suggest malaria.


Your initial differential diagnosis is broad: influenza, dengue, typhoid fever, mononucleosis, malaria with negative blood smear. You initiate intravenous fluids and antipyretics. Over the next hours Maria develops hypothermia, severe abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, decreased mental status, and bleeding from her gums and nose. You now suspect the Maria is suffering from dengue – an arbovirus infection.


Which ONE of the following is a characteristic of severe dengue fever?


A. Leukocytosis with increased band forms
B. Increased urinary output
C. Abnormal vascular permeability with spontaneous bleeding
D. Predictable improvement in response to gamma globulin infusion
E. Decreasing hematocrit


Explanation: Abnormal vascular permeability with spontaneous bleeding, fever, and low platelet count are key criteria for diagnosis of severe dengue fever. Leukopenia (low white blood cell count), increasing hematocrit, and decreased urinary output commonly accompany severe dengue fever. Gamma globulin is of no therapeutic benefit. The correct answer is C.


You continue to treat Maria’s hypotension and shock, taking care to not administer aspirin or nonsteriodal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) as they may increase bleeding tendency. Vitamin K supplementation may be useful given her coagulopathy, but the Clinica has none in stock. Meanwhile, Maria’s parents politely but persistently press you for information about her illness.


Of the following statements about dengue fever which ONE is NOT true?


A. Dengue vaccine is indicated for administration to people living in regions with high mosquito density.

B. The vector for dengue is the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

C. Dengue most commonly occurs in Southeast Asia and Latin America.

D. Treatment is essentially supportive with particular attention to hemodynamic status.

E. Infection may progress to complications that include hemorrhage and shock.


Explanation: WHO recommends the dengue vaccine CYD-TDV for people ages 9 to 45—only in geographic settings with a high burden of dengue disease and only be given to persons with confirmed prior dengue virus infection. The vector for dengue virus is the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which feeds during the early morning and late afternoon. The mosquito is adapted to the human habitat, often bites indoors, and breeds in small quantities of water. Dengue is distributed throughout the tropics, causing sporadic cases or large epidemics, especially in Southeast Asia and Latin America. Commonly recognized complications include thrombocytopenia, bleeding, and hypovolemia. Treatment is supportive, with particular attention to hematocrit, blood pressure and urine output, and adequate hydration. The correct answer is A.



World Health Organization. Dengue and severe dengue. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs117/en/. Accessed January 1, 2023.


Dengue fever is a classic disease of poverty – one associated with insects and poor housing, and one that calls for broad social development as well as medical interventions. The heartening response of many to Maria’s illness is to offer their personal time and talent to protect those like her. Together let’s continue to emphasize interventions that empower marginalized communities to combat poverty and to care for their own.


WHY Did Jesus Come?

December 9th, 2022 by INMED
Posted in International Health News & Inspiration|


At Christmas time we focus most on the details of Jesus Christ’s birth: the prophecies, star, virgin mother, impoverished setting, jubilant angels, and frightened shepherds. These indeed are intriguing and worthy of celebration. But let’s look deeper beyond the details of how Jesus came and inquire why Jesus came.


Jesus’ contemporaries largely hoped and anticipated that he would be their liberator from the oppression of harsh Roman rule. They expected Jesus and his followers would win political power and rule by decree. Similar sentiments exist even into today. But look carefully into the public statements of Jesus, recorded by the four independent authors of the Gospels, and the purpose of coming described by Jesus himself appears markedly different:



Rather than rule by way of might, Jesus advocated humble service to one another. Mark 10:42-45 declares, “Whosoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all.” What an extraordinary contrast to the hierarchical and dictatorial structures that characterize most human societies. Jesus advocates a polar opposite definition of power (leading by example) and greatness (humility in service to one another). Many INMED grads continue to prioritize this modality of service towards humanity.


Jesus closes this short discourse with another profound statement: “For even the Son of Man (his title) did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” What compelled Christ to come and give his life was not simply to model a lifestyle, but also to redeem the sin of humankind. For deep dive into this greater purpose, read Jesus’ explanation documented in John chapter 3.


Helping Babies Breathe On Life’s Most Dangerous Day

November 25th, 2022 by INMED
Posted in Low-Resource Healthcare Pearls|



What is the most dangerous day in a person’s entire life? Perhaps the one when a teenager receives his or her driver’s license, the first big college party event, rock climbing or back woods vacation? Worldwide data actually demonstrate that the highest risk of death – life’s most dangerous day – is the first 24 hours after birth. Why is this so? Newborns are particularly vulnerable. The transition from mother’s protective environment to the outside world involves drastic changes. One of the most extreme is the necessity to immediately begin breathing air for the very first time. Failure of babies to successfully clear the natural fluid from their lungs and fill them with oxygen within one minute of birth will likely mean death, and for this reason some one million babies die each year.


The bright side of this situation is that assisting babies with simply, immediate resuscitation is usually lifesaving. Stimulating a baby, keeping he or she warm and dry, and providing ventilation when necessary is often all that is needed to guide a newborn through the critical transition to life outside mother’s womb. Through my personal experience providing maternal-newborn care in Angola I’ve witnessed first hand how quickly babies in respiratory distress improve with such care, and how rapidly and enthusiastically health care personnel can acquire these basic newborn resuscitation skills.


Helping Babies Breathe (HBB)  is an evidence-based program to teach basic newborn resuscitation techniques to healthcare leaders who can in turn teach them to birth attendants and midwives in the world’s resource-restricted communities. HBB has a companion course, Essential Care for Every Baby and Small Babies, that provides additional important newborn health skill, INMED provides Helping Babies Breathe and Essential Care for Every Baby and Small Babies at least twice each year, and next in Kansas City on June 7-8, 2023. Equip yourself to help one million babies each year survive life’s most dangerous day.

What Causes Malnutrition In Pregnancy?

November 11th, 2022 by INMED
Posted in Low-Resource Healthcare Pearls|


Malnutrition especially impacts pregnant women around the globe. The challenges of food security, poverty, anemia, malnutrition, low birth weight, and failure to thrive are all inextricably interwoven. Worldwide, the effect of protein-calorie malnutrition is correlated with low-birth-weight infants, maternal anemia, preterm labor, immune suppression, and loss of work productivity.


Maternal causes of newborn low birth weight include all EXCEPT which ONE of the following?


A. Protein malnutrition

B. Intestinal malabsorption

C. Iron deficiency anemia

D. B vitamin deficiency anemia

E. Eggs and beans as primary source of dietary protein


Explanation: Malnutrition and anemia are challenging for any person, but the added complication during pregnancy is that all forms of malnutrition and anemia can reduce fetal growth. Treating malnutrition and anemia with supplementation of calories, protein, iron, and vitamin B improves fetal growth and birth outcomes. Soybeans, black beans, pinto beans, lentils, white beans, and black-eyed peas are among the variety of superb bean protein sources. The correct answer is E: Eggs and beans as primary source of dietary protein.

Dr Luc: Ebola Fighter and INMED Grad in Action

October 28th, 2022 by INMED
Posted in INMED Grads In Action|


“Ebola and HIV/AIDS were the reasons for me coming to Africa. I’ve been through 4 Ebola outbreaks so far,” says Luc Victor, UN physician in east Africa. “In the last 36 days we’ve had 109 confirmed cases of Ebola and 51 deaths.” Sadly, 15 of these deaths were among healthcare personnel. But Dr. Victor is undeterred. “I have been living and working in the African continent since 2006. I always wanted a career in healthcare. I also wanted a job that involved the international humanitarian relief and the international diplomatic spheres.” In pursuit of these opportunities, Dr. Victor earned the  INMED Professional Certificate in International Medicine and Public Health, and is now about to complete the Master’s Degree in International Health.


“Studying international public health definitely gave me further depth and breadth in my current career path,” observes Dr. Victor. “It’s really heartbreaking when it comes to protection of civilians.  The innocent indeed are the first and sometimes the only ones that suffer. Although healthcare should not necessarily involve politics and diplomacy, in peacekeeping the politics and diplomacy are needed to make sure everyone is safe from the most exigent harm – the scourge of war, unrest, and diseases like Ebola that kill two-thirds of people infected.”


Can You Manage This Child’s Malnutrition?

October 14th, 2022 by INMED
Posted in Low-Resource Healthcare Pearls|


The five-year-old child in this photo presents to your health center in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. History is obtained from family members, who explain that eight months ago their farm was attacked by bandits. The family has been on the move by foot since then, seeking asylum and being frequently harassed. No one in the family, including this child named Aamir, has eaten regularly in months. What’s more, in recent days Aamir has developed fever, diarrhea, and lethargy.


Upon initial physical examination you note that Aamir is poorly responsive to stimulation. His temperature is 38 degrees C, respirations are 30 per minute, pulse is 90 bpm, and blood pressure is unobtainable. He has a mid-upper arm circumference of 107mm, hair discoloration that is red in color, and loss of adipose tissue with no peripheral edema. He has no appetite and refuses to drink. Aamir’s mid-arm circumference and skin fold thickness measurements are well below the norm. You have no laboratory or radiology support for further investigation.


The first priority in the management of this child with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) is which ONE of the following:


A  Emergency treatment of coexisting medical illnesses.

B  Assignment to a community-based renutrition program.

C  Administration of vitamin A, zinc, and iron supplements.

D  Refeeding 100 kcal/kg/day with standard WHO ready-to-eat food (RUTF).

E  Rehydration with 10ml/kg/hr of half-strength WHO Oral Rehydration Solution by mouth or nasogastric feeding.


Explanation: The management of SAM can be separated into two stages. The first stage is stabilization: immediately correct hydration and acid-base alterations. The second stage is rehabilitation. Rehabilitation can begin as soon as medical problems are reasonably stable and rehydration is complete. It may be necessary to begin initial refeeding slowly in persons who have SAM because of damage to the intestinal mucosa. During rehabilitation, micronutrient supplements and attention to any coexisting medical illnesses may also be indicated. The correct answer is E.


“Why Do I Need the Master’s Degree in International Health?”

September 30th, 2022 by INMED
Posted in INMED Action Steps For You|


“You want to do international healthcare? Then just go! You don’t need any special skill.” These words from my esteemed medical professor were spoken from his inexperience. Working to improve health in low-resource, cross-cultural communities requires more than simply a willingness to “go.” Imagine the challenges you would face this week serving amid cholera in Haiti, Ebola in Congo, or trauma injuries in Ukraine or Florida. Effectiveness in such settings also requires immense expertise.


To this end, INMED offers the Master’s Degree in International Health (MIH). This 32-credit hour program is specifically designed for healthcare professionals and healthcare profession students to work with distinction under such challenges. The MIH is built on our 20-year’s providing international health education and service-learning in 25 nations. Equipped in this way, recipients of the MIH are prepared to lead comprehensive health promotion and disease intervention efforts in the world’s very most difficult settings


The MIH total tuition is currently $8704, and payment is made only each time one registers for a course. Most MIH learners take one course at a time, finishing the degree in about 18 months. In addition to course work and a scholarly project, the degree includes an international service-learning (rotation) at an INMED Training Site in medicine, nursing, or public health. The entire degree, except the service-learning, can be done online if desired. Please visit the MIH FAQs.


Mark Wardle is a professor at Rocky Vista University and is also earning the MIH. “I have been involved with caring for vulnerable populations since before I started medical school. I discovered INMED in 2020, and have been thrilled with my interactions with them. The knowledge and skills taught by INMED not only helped to fill gaps in my global health experience but have inspired me more than I can say. INMED has helped me grow as a physician, a professor, a researcher, and as a person. I can’t thank them enough!”


Do you want to do serious good in the field of international healthcare? Then please go serve with honor in Haiti, Congo, Ukraine, or Florida. But go equipped. Go with the Master’s Degree in International Health.

Judy Weimer, Nurses International, and INMED Grads in Action!

September 16th, 2022 by INMED
Posted in INMED Grads In Action|


“It’s Judy Weimer from your 2021 Fall Professional Certificate Course in International Nursing and Public Health.  I wanted to let you know how helpful it has been to me!  I am managing the conversion of a Med-Surg course for Nurses International, which will allow open access to everyone!  I am going to develop a unit on diseases of poverty, similar to the INMED.  I also made a presentation of this subject for Global Response Management, the group I served with in Reynosa, Mexico, among the migrants seeking safety and refuge.”


The excitement in Judy Weimer’s words is palpable! Like most people in the field of healthcare for marginalized people, she is altruistic, energetics, and visionary. Following her experience caring for migrants on the border, Judy recognized a need to update her skills, leading to her course registration with INMED. Judy also equipped herself with INMED training in ultrasound, newborn resuscitation, and newborn baby care.


Like myself, Judy is passionate about multiplying skill capacity among other healthcare professionals. She continues, “I am honored to lead the efforts of getting our Medical-Surgical class online, and I’m especially pleased with the new lessons on diseases of poverty and maternal-newborn care. Feeling a bit overwhelmed by the project, but I’m grateful for your input as we work diligently to share these essential nursing skills worldwide!”


2022 Roatan Learn and Serve Conference

September 2nd, 2022 by INMED
Posted in INMED Action Steps For You|


“Equipping Healthcare Professional at Clinica Esperanza, Roatan, Honduras”


Join INMED faculty for an educational conference and service experience on the island of Roatan, off the northern coast of Honduras! Learn nuances of emergency care alongside Honduran medical personnel, earning 9 hours of Continuing Medical Education. Serve at the renowned Clinica Esperanza primary care facility, where Spanish is useful but not required. And enjoy the island’s sightseeing and snorkeling opportunities.


Despite its remarkable beaches and beautiful weather, many Roatan residents live in sustained poverty and suffer from common chronic diseases, as well as from malaria, dengue, intestinal parasites, malnutrition, and sexually transmitted illnesses. Roatan’s preexisting medical care system consists only of overburdened government facilities that lack the most basic resources. Clinica Esperanza’s vision is to provide the finest medical care possible to all Roatan residents, regardless of income status. The clinic was launched in 2001 and now performs over 2,500 consultations a month. The clinic is also progressively adding additional services, including laboratory, ultrasound, and minor procedures. Medical education is a high priority at Clinica Esperanza, with supervision provided by both American and Honduran physicians and nurses. View photos of Clinica Esperanza.


The 2022 Roatan Learn and Serve Conference will be hosted at Clinica Esperanza and The Meridian Hotel. Dates are Oct 27 – Nov 1, 2022. Registration is open to healthcare personnel from the full spectrum of professions. View all the Conference Details and please Apply Now. I’ll look forward to learning and serving along with you in Roatan Honduras on Oct 27!