Global Health Education Leader Expands Scope to Highlight Community Health Workers

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CFHI Partners with Omni Med to Offer New Program in Mukono District, Uganda

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Through this new partnership, CFHI will expand its program offerings to central Uganda and offer its participants the unique opportunity to contribute to locally-led capacity building and quality assurance.

Child Family Health International (CFHI), a nonprofit organization that has provided transformative global health experiences to over 8,000 participants since 1992, today announced its partnership with grassroots global health leader Omni Med. Omni Med is scaling up village and district level health capacity through training and surveillance of village health teams in Uganda. Through this new partnership, CFHI will expand its program offerings to central Uganda and offer its participants the unique opportunity to contribute to locally-led capacity building and quality assurance.

Omni Med was founded in 1998 on the belief that all people have a right to health and quality healthcare regardless of their nationality or income. Its President and Founder, Dr. Ed O’Neil Jr, is the author of two books, Awakening Hippocrates: A Primer on Health, Poverty, and Global Service and A Practical Guide to Global Health Service. He is also Chair of a Brookings Institution Taskforce on Health Service in Sub-Saharan Africa, a practicing emergency physician at Caritas St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Boston, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine, and Adjunct Faculty at George Washington University School of Medicine. Since 2008, Omni Med has focused its efforts in Uganda where its accomplishments include training over 1,200 community health workers, the construction of protected water sources and cookstoves, and conducting two randomized trials examining the impacts of their programs. “We believe strongly that it is not enough to feel good about what we do--we have to measure the impact we make, and then adjust our programs based on the data,” observes Dr. O’Neil. “We are one of the few service organizations out there where students actually participate in ongoing research trials, and have some input into program design an implementation.”

The CFHI-Omni Med program, “Community Health Workers & Global Health,” will be based in Uganda’s Mukono District, approximately 13 miles outside of Kampala. Here, CFHI Global Health Scholars will assist the Ugandan Ministry of Health with the training and maintenance of village health teams (VHTs), which play a vital role in the local healthcare system. CFHI scholars will also take part in home visits, gaining firsthand exposure to socioeconomic determinants of health and local public health challenges like malaria, HIV, and diarrheal illness. “No student should plan to come to Uganda to change the way things are; that is hubris,” states Dr. O’Neil. “Rather, students should come join our program if they seek a long-term cooperative, sustainable venture that is driven by local government and Omni Med staff and seek to make ongoing, measurable impact.”

This innovative new program will serve as a strong addition to CFHI’s existing Global Health Education Programs in Uganda, “Exploring HIV & Maternal/Child Health” and “Nutrition, Food Security, and Sustainable Agriculture,” both of which opened in April 2014.

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Founded in 1992, CFHI (http://www.cfhi.org) is a non-governmental organization (NGO) operating at the grassroots level to provide transformative global health education experiences and community empowerment in underserved communities around the world. CFHI offers 30+ Global Health Education Programs designed to broaden students' perspectives about global health - as well as a variety of community health initiatives and projects - in developing countries including Bolivia, Ecuador, India, Argentina, Mexico, Uganda, South Africa, Ghana and the Philippines. More than 8,000 students have participated in CFHI programs to date. CFHI has been granted Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC).

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Lauren Talamo
Child Family Health International (CFHI)
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