Refugee Care: Emergency Phase

March 11th, 2022 by INMED
Posted in International Public Health|

 

Despite skilled negotiation when conflict appears imminent, the pre-emergency phase, diplomatic forces often fail. Conflict irrupts. Civilians are threatened with violence, repression, hunger, and disease. Faced with little alternative, they flee their homes seeking immediate safety, commonly traveling by foot with only the barest of possessions or provisions.

 

On Thursday, February 20, 2022, Russian forces invaded Ukraine with air, ground, and see offensives. Threatened with their lives, at least 1 million Ukrainians – almost exclusively women and children – fled the country westward towards safety in the European Union. Entering the fourth week of war, the number of international refugees has swelled to over 3 million.

 

Now begins the Emergency Phase. Imagine yourself tasked with the responsibility to provide care for tens of thousands displaced persons arriving every day. What can you anticipate they will need? Immediately, shelter from the elements. In the case of Ukrainians, protection from the bitter cold. They will be hungry. Food insecurity is a hallmark of refugee flight. Many will be acutely ill with pneumonia, dysentery, and traumatic injuries. Those with chronic diseases, such as heart failure and chronic lung disease, will be without their medications and suffering exacerbations.

 

You as the refugee care leader must also be prepared to deliver their babies, care for their newborns, and manage the emergency complications. Yes, refugee women will deliver on schedule just like the rest of humanity. And you must also prevent and monitor for acute contagious diseases which flourish among marginalized people in close living quarters: measles, scabies, COVID-19.

 

If the crisis continues for weeks or months, and people are not able to return to their homes, then a new set of needs must also be addressed as we next into the Maintenance Phase.

Refugee Care: Pre-Emergency Phase

March 4th, 2022 by INMED
Posted in International Public Health|

 

This winter I am teaching the INMED International Refugee Care Course. In January and February, we explored the notable crises in Venezuela, Yemen, Syria, and surrounding nations. 12 days ago, as hundreds of thousands of women and children fled Ukraine, an INMED learner remarked with angst, “My gosh, we are seeing a refugee crisis unfold in real time!”

 

Refugee crises, sadly, have to become so pervasive that an entire discipline has been created to equip leaders in refugee care. In these coming weeks, we will explore the four recognized phases: Pre-Emergency, Emergency, Maintenance, and Resolution.

 

The first phase is Pre-Emergency. This is when we see potential danger and take decisive action to mitigate the risk that vulnerable people will be forced from their homes. Think back to the rhetoric between Russia, Ukraine, and world leaders during the months of January and February 2022. Threats were exchanged. Mediators were engaged. Offers were floated. Promises were made.

 

Indeed, the pre-emergency phase calls for diligent observation to identify hazardous situations and immediately intervene with negotiation and mitigation. Organizations like the International Crisis Group, Carter Center, and Stockholm International Peace Research Institute purposely monitor and mobilize to such hazards. The United Nations itself was founded with the mission of the maintenance of international peace and security.”

 

The pre-emergency phase is also the time to organize humanitarian responders, position supplies, and develop action plans. Because if negotiation fails, conflict ensues, and people flee for safety, we now enter into the Emergency Phase.

 

Ukraine, INMED, and You

February 25th, 2022 by INMED
Posted in International Health News & Inspiration|

 

Amid the mushrooming violence throughout Ukraine, who of all is most likely to suffer? The soldiers? Indeed, some have died. The political and business personnel? Certainly, some have already lost fortunes. However, all modern wars are characterized by one frightening consistency: it is the most vulnerable who are most likely to perish. Quoting the British Medical Journal, “In many war zones, violent deaths are often only a tiny proportion of overall deaths. Populations face a deterioration of their already poor health status, and excess deaths from infectious diseases will usually greatly outnumber deaths due to direct violence.” While the invasion of Ukraine only occurred days ago, analysts are already forecasting massive civilian mortality from trauma, cold, pneumonia and diarrhea, and soon, all compounded by starvation.

 

I witnessed this heart wrenching truth firsthand. In the 1990s I served in the nation of Angola, in southern Africa, best known for its ongoing civil war since 1962. My primary care clinics consistently cared for children suffering from measles, pregnant women febrile from malaria, and them all suffering chronic malnutrition. Where were the men? Either fighting the war or already in the grave. The vision for INMED to equip healthcare professionals to serve the world’s vulnerable people was born in the context of the Angola Civil War.

 

What can you do this week on behalf of Ukrainian people? First, consider an immediate gift to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. UNHCR is responsible for coordinating the multinational aid for of Ukrainians who have fled in recent days. UNHCR is almost entirely funded by donations, and I vouch from personal experience in Iraq with the efficiency of their humanitarian service. Second, offer your time and talent to a refugee care agency in your home city. Refugees typically arrive no money, no language skill, and no friends. Your assist would be treasured. In the United States, contact the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

 

Finally, consider a long-term investment into the lives of those who are refugees, displaced, chronically ill, or impoverished. The INMED Master’s Degree in International Health (MIH) provides a deep learning experience into the skills necessary to effectively care for and empower such people. Included in the MIH are courses in disaster management, refugee care, and even healthcare for marginalized Americans.

 

As you proceed today, please remember this blog post image. This Ukrainian mother and baby are at extreme risk for death from trauma, cold, pneumonia and diarrhea, and soon, starvation. Our actions today can truly preserve their lives.

 

Inspiring and In-Person: 2022 Humanitarian Health Conference Registration Now Open!

January 28th, 2022 by INMED
Posted in INMED Action Steps For You|

 

“Let us not lose heart in doing good!” This admonition from Paul of Tarsus, an early follower of Christ, for millennia has inspired people throughout calamity, conflict, and most recently, Covid. Please join me in Kansas City on June 10-11 for the 17th annual Humanitarian Health Conference – an event affirming that we, too, have not lost heart in doing good.

 

Be inspired through plenary presentations by Sam Fabiano of the Pan-African College of Christian Surgeons and Sean Mark of Kansas City’s University Health/Truman Medical Center. Be equipped through breakout session tracks in community health, patient care, career development, and hands-on skills in ultrasound, newborn resuscitation, and cervical cancer screening. Become connected with the local and international service organizations with whom you can explore volunteer options face-to-face.

 

Also, come early to the HHC! On Wednesday, June 8, we are offering Professional Qualification Courses in Helping Mothers Survive, Essential Care for Every Baby and Small Babies, and Obstetrics Ultrasound for Primary Care. Thursday, June 9, take in Helping Babies Breathe, Hands-On Skills for Low-Resource Healthcare, and Ultrasound for Primary Care.

 

One final element of “not losing heart in doing good” deserves special attention: the stellar people whom you will meet and with whom you may serve for years in the future. So, save the date in your calendar and register now for the 2022 Humanitarian Health Conference!

 

What Is the Difference Between the Master’s Degree in International Health (MIH) and a Master’s Degree In Public Health (MPH)?

January 21st, 2022 by INMED
Posted in INMED Action Steps For You|

 

The INMED Master’s Degree in International Health (MIH) shares some broad elements in common with a Master’s Degree in Public Health (MPH), including skills in epidemiology, biostatistics, behavioral and environmental sciences, and public health  management. The MIH, however, is distinctively focused on mobilizing and equipping healthcare professionals on behalf of marginalized people: those who are poor, undereducated, minorities, disabled, elderly, veterans, refugees, migrants, chronically ill, and victims of war or disaster. To this end, the MIH emphasizing the skill in diseases of poverty, maternal-newborn health, international public health interventions, cross-cultural skills, disaster management, health leadership, and health professions education.

 

Another MIH distinctive include an International Service-Learning Experience at one of INMED’s renowned Training Sites. This experience in one of twenty-five nations gives learners substantial professional growth opportunity by applying their skills on behalf of low-resource and cross-cultural communities, with the benefit of on-site supervision.

 

A third MIH distinctive is the reasonable tuition. Currently at just $8704 total tuition, the MIH is substantially less expensive than MPH degrees which typically range from $16,000 to $60,000 in tuition and fees. The only additional MIH expense is cost of travel associated with the International Service-Learning Experience.

 

In short, an MPH degree is a solid credential in the broad field of public health. The Master’s Degree in International Health (MIH) degree is specially focused on skills and experience to promote the wellbeing of low-resources people.

Why Do We Still Have Refugees?

January 7th, 2022 by INMED
Posted in International Public Health|

Why do we still have refugees? As critical as is this question, a thoughtful inquiry begins with still deeper questions: why do we still have war, poverty, or social injustice? One week each month, I am the emergency physician for a small Missouri town. Almost every patient is compelled to come to my ER suffer from the physical consequences of some failure within society or human character. Similarly, international refugees are almost always flee to another nation because of profound social or human failures.

 

This world map indicates the countries of origin of today’s international refugees. The greatest numbers are fleeing from the nations in red color: Afghanistan, Syria, Sudan, and Colombia, followed nations in gold color by Yemen and Congo. Why do these nations create refugees? We must begin with deeper questions. Why are these nations replete with war, poverty, social injustice – or simultaneously all three?

 

Imagine yourself being a citizen in one of these nations, responsible for a young family. How would you respond to conditions that cause your loved ones hunger, cold, physical violence, false imprisonment, or utter destitution? You, like these 70 million others, would likely leave your home behind and attempt a perilous journey to a better locale.

 

Durable solutions to the cause of international refugees lie in mitigating conditions which force families from their homes. Space here does not permit a suitable analysis of war, poverty, or social injustice. But the corruption underlying them all is blatant disregard for the value of human life.

 

This 2022 Winter Term I am teaching the INMED International Refugee Care Course, a graduate-level course that earns 2 of academic credit hours towards the Master’s Degree in International Health (MIH). In this context, learners will equip themselves for the phases of international refugee care and thus provide significant aid to these, our worlds most vulnerable citizens. And together we, as caring human beings, will also confront the deeper question, why do we still have refugees?

 

New For You From INMED In 2022

January 1st, 2022 by INMED
Posted in INMED Action Steps For You|

 

One positive outcome of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has been enhanced capacity at INMED to develop new learning opportunities. Here’s welcome news for those like you who are concerned over hunger in Afghanistan, mass casualty in Yemen, and Omicron everywhere. New in 2022 INMED is offering:

 

Professional Qualification Course in Hands-On Skills for Low-Resource Healthcare. This experience is designed to provide professionals a review of mostly commonly needed clinical skills for settings with a dearth of specialists. Included are hands-on sessions covering wound care and suturing, extremity trauma and immobilization, complicated obstetrics, newborn resuscitation, tropical fever evaluation, and community health survey techniques. Take advantage of Hands-On Skills for Low-Resource Healthcare in Kansas City, MO, on June 9, the day before the 2022 Humanitarian Health Conference!

 

Professional Qualification Course in Essential Care for Every Baby and Small Babies. Infants need warmth, hygiene, umbilical cord care, eye care, breastfeeding, and proven-effective medications and immunizations. But many around the world go without. This is an evidence-based educational program to prepare healthcare professionals to teach basic baby care techniques in low-resource locations to benefit midwives, mid-level providers, and community health workers. Arrive two days before the 2022 Humanitarian Health Conference, and learn Essential Care for Every Baby and Small Babies in Kansas City, MO, on June 8.

 

INMED 2022 Winter Term also begins on Monday, Jan 10, with International Refugee Care, Healthcare for Marginalized Americans, Epidemiology, and more. In the springtime, look for INMED’s new Obstetrics Ultrasound for Primary Care Course and long-anticipated Helping Mothers Survive curriculum.

 

What other new learning opportunities would you like to see from INMED? Please share your ideas by penning a message to [email protected]

 

What Is The Genesis Of Christmas?

December 24th, 2021 by INMED
Posted in International Health News & Inspiration|

 

2 billion people in more than 160 countries over these next two days will celebrate Christmas. Most of these consider Christmas the year’s most important holiday. In the United States alone, regardless of faith, 9 in 10 people observe the celebration.

 

How did Christmas begin? The most famous account is recorded in the book of Luke, located near the beginning of the New Testament. You can find it in Luke Chapter 2. With exuberance the author describes great news: the birth of a Savior, the son of a very poor migrant couple who delivered in an animal barn.

 

As you continue reading, Luke describes the boyhood, signs and wonders, and impact of Christ’s words to all humankind. What was he saying then and now? What communiqué is so powerful even thousands of years later?

 

In short, the Savior’s message is forgiveness of every wrongdoing and the assurance of living forever through turning away from wrongdoing and living like Christ – all this proof by him, a dead man, returning to life.

 

This year, how shall we respond to Christmas? Beyond precious friends and family, let’s nurture our hearts by enjoying these good tidings of great joy and pondering the message of the Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

 

Oh, the Places You’ll Go! Oh the People You’ll Meet!

December 18th, 2021 by INMED
Posted in INMED Action Steps For You|

 

Oh, the Places You’ll Go! Oh, the People You’ll Meet! Dr. Seuss’ beloved 1990 best seller also expresses the wonder of being an INMED learner: Oh, the people you will meet!

 

Case in point: this fall’s Graduating Class in International Medicine & Public Health. Juby Thomas is a OB/GYN physician in India, fluent in five languages. Kristin Randa, a Florida State University family medicine global health fellow, logged in from Honduras. Corlina Matthew is a Caribbean national taking advantage of medical school in China. A resident physician in Pittsburgh PA, Oanh Truong’s mother was a 1970s Vietnamese boat person. Laurel Bennett, an American advanced practice nurse, is over serving for eight years in the African nation of Angola. Nnenna Nwabuoku is a Nigerian physician passionate over child health.

 

What are advantages of such a divergent and international learning environment? Opportunity to seriously consider unique ideas, to develop communication clarity, to foster cultural respect, to enhance your network, to discover previously and imagined opportunities. What’s more, INMED grad enjoyed the opportunity for on-site service-learning (rotation) experience at INMED Training Sites in 25 nations.

 

Oh, the Places You’ll Go! Oh, the People You’ll Meet! 

Simply make an INMED Course registration complete

Study disease and health in a fresh new way

With classmates from as far as Bombay!

 

What’s So “Good” about the “Samaritan”?

November 26th, 2021 by INMED
Posted in International Health News & Inspiration|

 

The virtue of the Good Samaritan inspires humanitarian efforts throughout the world. Leaders in disaster response, healthcare, search-and-rescue, and hunger relief all invoke this model of action and compassion. Who was the Samaritan and what was so good about this person? Christ described the account in Luke 10:25-37. Please read entirely:

 

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

 

“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

 

He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

 

“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

 

But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

 

In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

 

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

 

The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

 

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

 

Most striking about this account is the other mindedness of the Samaritan. Was he concerned about his personal schedule? No, he paused his journey. Was he focused on his financial status? No, he freely gave out of his resources. Where his actions motivated by desire for fame? No, Samaritans were despised foreigners and he had no clue Christ would reference him.

 

In concluding, Christ urged, “Go and do likewise.” Many of our colleagues in the caring professionals today follow this other mindedness model of kindness toward those who are disadvantaged, making service for and empowerment of forgotten people an intentional career commitment. Countless lives are preserved through their ongoing devotion, whether in their home communities or in distant locales.

 

But the meaning of the Good Samaritan is even deeper. Remember the context of the account? “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Christ replied to love God and love one another. The imperative of other mindedness is closely tied to our spiritual health. The goodness of the Samaritan’s actions were an expression of the condition of his heart. Today, as we consider those in need, what does our response say about the condition of our hearts?