Global Familymed Foundation is starting 2015 with incredible momentum, exciting news, amazing projects, and some really neat ways to support "Heath for All" this year. The first big news is our name change, as we officially launch GFF from GGF (Global Generation Foundation). Read on to find out more about our projects and how you can help ...
GFF selected our first sponsorship candidate! We have committed to provide tuition and research support for Dr. Batwala Moses, a family medicine resident in Uganda. Moses studies at Makerere University in Kampala, but he is deeply committed to serving the rural community of Jinja. In a country with only one doctor for 12,000 people, they are fortunate to have one so dedicated to their needs.
Moses first trained as a nurse, and he enjoyed his job but wished to do more for the community. He next trained as a clinical officer - a health worker in East Africa intended to fill gaps in areas where no doctors live. He worked in each of those jobs for a number of years before attending medical school in an effort to provide care for more serious illnesses. In medical school, he learned about the variety of illnesses, but still wished there was more he could do. He has been working in Kagoma and Butembe health centres since graduating, and still felt there was more to learn to serve his community. "I am interested in improving my skills and being able to serve the community better", he says. So he enrolled in Family Medicine residency in 2014. He had no funds for tuition, he had to move his family (with four children) to Kampala, but he knew this was his path.
Deeply committed to the health of rural people, Dr. Batwala has trained village health teams in Eastern Uganda. Upon the completion of his Masters research, Dr. Batwala plans to on returning to this community on graduation.
To finish his education in family medicine, it will cost $2,000 per year for the next three years; along with some additional costs in research, administration and statistical support. GFF is committed to fund Dr. Batwala’s tuition. Please help us raise $8,000 to ensure Batwala Moses can finish his training and serve the long-term health care needs of the Jinja community.
Christine (our Executive Director) will be speaking at Calgary's 22nd PechaKucha on February 20th. PechaKucha is Japanese for "chit chat", starting there over a decade ago, and now these popular events are held in over 700 cities worldwide. Each presenter will show 20 slides, for 20 seconds each slide. The theme for this winter's event is "Global". So, GFF is an obvious choice! Our topic? Innovative Investments in Global Health.
Join us at Civic on Third by purchasing tickets here. You'll also get the chance to hear the hilarious and entertaining wildlife expert Brian Keating (formerly of the Calgary Zoo). To learn more about the format, watch some interesting past presentations here.
The fourth annual East Africa Family Medicine conference was held in Nairobi, Kenya this year. With GFF support, including a generous donation from the Hillman Fund of Rose Charities, this conference brought over 40 leaders and students in Family Medicine training in the region. With your support, we brought five people from Uganda, two from Rwanda, and one from Tanzania to gather together.
The theme for this year's conference was "research as advocacy for family medicine". Many students were able to showcase their research projects. We heard about how Makerere University in Uganda examined whether they could begin distance-based education. We heard about many of the new Family Medicine programs cropping up in Kenya. We heard the heartbreaking stories of preventable maternal deaths in rural areas. We heard how there is a new group called Afri-won supporting new African family doctors. And we all talked about how to create research proving the value of family medicine that we all know to be true. The cost effectiveness, the increased patient satisfaction, the better health outcomes... GFF looks forward to seeing how our colleagues will work to capture this in the future.
Patan Academy of Health Science (PAHS) lies in the Kathmandu valley. It's a remarkable medical school that was designed to educate doctors that would serve the rural poor. There was a meeting of the International Advisory Board where the local faculty described how they were achieving this, and also launching new MPH and Nursing programs. In visiting the training sites at Gorkha and Amp Pipal, medical students described how they were learning about the illnesses in these communities and getting first-hand experience. Delivering babies, assisting in surgery, working in public health. GFF will be returning to find out how to support the rural training, and to learn more about their family medicine training that will launch with the first graduates.
GFF was in Myanmar (Burma) in September and will be returning in May 2015 (with friends from Queens University in Canada). The Myanmar Medical Association has created the College of Family Physicians and intends to begin Family Medicine training this year. We were asked to do academic consulting around how to make sure their graduates can meet the needs of their community. Christine ran interactive workshops on creating curriculum that was community-focused and relevant to the context of daily life.