Issue 14 - Fall 2020
- Message from the Chair
- APHA Annual Meeting Goes Virtual!
- Member Spotlight: Vanessa Chilombo and Frances Dean
- A little bit of history of the IH Section
- Committee and Working Group Updates
- Member News
- Featured Working Group: Global Maternal and Child Health Network
Member Spotlight: Frances Dean and Vanessa Chilombo Da Costa
There can be no real growth without healthy populations. No sustainable development without tackling disease and malnutrition. No international security without assisting crisis-ridden countries. And no hope for the spread of freedom, democracy and human dignity unless we treat health as a basic human right.
IH Section Councilor, Dr. Mark Strand, lead author on COVID and pharmacy paper. International Health Section Councilor, Dr. Mark Strand, was the lead author on a paper highlighting the contributions of community pharmacy to COVID response and mitigation. Community pharmacists assist patients to manage disease and prevent complications. Despite the enormous challenge the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has dealt to the health care system, community pharmacists have maintained the delivery of critical health services to communities, including those most at risk for COVID-19. Community pharmacists are in a key position to deliver priority pandemic responses including point-of-care testing for chronic disease management, vaccinations, and COVID-19 testing. Here is a link to the paper, from the CDC journal Preventing Chronic Disease. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7380294/
IH Breastfeeding Form Liaison and section member, Dr. Jennifer Yourkavitch, authored two guidance documents on breastfeeding and child nutrition. Dr. Yourkavitch, along with her colleagues, have released two guidance documents that members may find useful. The first is entitled Recommendations and Considerations for the Use and Cleaning of Lactation Rooms During the COVID-19 Pandemic. The second is an internal risk assessment tool developed for USAID Advancing Nutrition offices around the world. This tool assesses the risk of COVID-19 transmission during events and interactions that are/were part of common public health interventions. Although it was developed as an internal management tool, it could be useful to other organizations that are trying to make their public health events and interactions safe.
Honoring APHA champion of community-based primary health care (CBPHC) Connie Gates, MPH. Connie is a champion of CBPHC and was the winner of the IH Section's 2018 Gordon-Wyon Award for Community-Oriented Public Health, Epidemiology and Practice. Connie was just diagnosed with very advanced cancer. She is very weak and in the hospital and is not expected to recover. She is still able to appreciate messages from old friends and colleagues. You can text her at 919-929-0650 or send a card to her P.O. Box 291, Carrboro, NC 27510, or email a message for her to Ray Martin at email@example.com and he'll convey it to her. She has made a lifetime contribution toward changing the traditional paradigm for effective global health strategies from a medical hospital-based approach to a broader public health community approach, most notably through her educational efforts, including presentations at APHA conferences, of the ground-breaking Jamkhed project in India. She was a regular, prominent participant in the annual pre-APHA conference workshop of the IH Section's CBPHC working group.
Get to know the Global Maternal and Child Health Network
1. What is the Global MCH Network?
The Global Maternal and Child Health Network (GMCHN) is an intersectoral working group of APHA members interested in global MCH. The GMCHN was founded by members of the Maternal and Child Health Section and the International Health Section in 2015 in order to create an intersectional space in which to contribute to scientific learning, policy development, and engagement on global MCH. All members of APHA are welcome to join.
The GMCHN addresses comprehensive reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent health at the global level mirroring public health, healthcare, education, workforce, and economic international development priorities.
The GMCHN Steering Committee meets monthly to plan and implement global MCH activities, including business meetings at the APHA Annual Meeting, informational webinars, and policy development.
Members of the GMCHN have been very active developing global MCH-related policy. Most recently, the GMCHN led a team comprised of members from six APHA Sections to develop the APHA policy “A Global Call to Action to Improve Health Through Investment in Maternal Mental Health, which was adopted in 2019 (20192)." Prior, the GMCHN authored the policy “Promoting Leadership to Scale Up of Oral Rehydration Salts with Zinc Uptake and Reduce Diarrhea Mortality Globally in Children Under-5 Years,” which was adopted in 2018 (20181).
We have also been working to establish our presence as global MCH educators. In 2019, the GMCHN organized an APHA webinar entitled “New Policies to Reduce Diarrhea Mortality in Children Under Age 5 a Booster for Leadership and Advocacy,” which was attended by an international and domestic audience.
2. Tell us about yourselves.
Dr. Ify Udo currently serves as a Co-Chair for the Global Maternal and Child Health Network. Prior to this, she was a MCH Section Student Fellow with the MCH Health Section and later served as a Senior MCH Fellow. Ify is a global health professional with over 10 years’ experience in domestic and global maternal and child health. She is a Senior Public Health Advisor at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and currently serves as the PEPFAR Deputy Country Coordinator in Uganda.
Dr. Kathryn Mishkin has over 12 years of public health and women’s empowerment experience. A Fulbright alumna and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, she has cultivated her passion for maternal, infant, and child health and women’s rights through work in 13 countries. Like Ify, she started her APHA experience through the MCH Section’s Student Fellows program and also served as Senior Fellow. With the GMCHN, she led the development of APHA policy 20192 and contributed to the authorship of APHA policy 20181. In addition to serving as a Co-Chair of the GMCHN, she is a Maternal and Child Health Section Councilor and a Policy Committee Co-Chair in the Women’s Caucus. In her professional life, Kathryn serves as the Associate Director of Evaluation for March of Dimes.
3. What are your working group's goal(s) for the next year?
The GMCHN aims to increase the membership of its Steering Committee to engage members on diverse topics within global MCH. We welcome new members. Those interested in joining are encouraged to contact the Co-Chairs (contact information below):
At present, we are planning our Annual Meeting business meeting, which will be open to all APHA Annual Meeting attendees. We use this forum as a means for global MCH professionals and students to network, learn about the GMCHN, and identify opportunities to get involved.
The GMCHN will host an invited speaker session hosted via the APHA Global Health Office, entitled “COVID-19 & Outcomes Children’s Health for the Youngest Among Us: Global Response and Intervention in a Pandemic Public Health Emergency.” This session will discuss the prediction by development economists that ‘children are likely to be the most serious COVID 19 pandemic victims, describe the Better Care Network’s response for protection of children during the pandemic, and present global resources.
Members of GMCHN are working on advocating for APHA’s adoption of the Global Child Thrive Act (HR 4864), which is bipartisan U.S. legislation that aims to strengthen the implementation of policies that advance early childhood development internationally. The bill addresses physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development for children younger than eight years old.
In addition, members of the Network are planning on leading the authorship of a new APHA policy statement related to facilitating positive birth experiences in the global arena. A call for interest for those interested in joining the author team will be emailed out to the IH Section membership soon.