About Author

Romuladus Azuine

Dr. Romuladus ‘Romey’ Emeka Azuine is the founder and Executive Director of the Global Health and Education Projects, an international 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Riverdale, Maryland, USA. Romey can be reached at info@globalhealthprojects.org

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After working in science and research for more than a decade, I have come to realize that one of the greatest mistakes that distinguished members of our research / scientific community make is to assume that the impact of their work stems from the number of scholarly publications that they produce. I argue otherwise. In our new and evolving technological age, one Facebook post, one Twitter tweet, one LinkedIn article, one Youtube video, may have more societal and life-changing impact than a handful of peer-reviewed papers. I further argue that scientists and researchers who are able to make this reality transition are those that I call the “scientists of the future.” I bet you, there aren’t many of them, but there should be.

The reality is that the world is changing. Those, including researchers and scientists who wish to get to the next of engagement with their populace must do so where those people are. The truth is that very few people read scholarly journals, but more and increasingly more people are reading social media. If you want to engage them, then go to them where they are and engage them there.

It would be fortuitous to expect scientists or researchers to be social media experts. Thus it is important to identify and hire experts in social media who can leverage their skills and reach to assist you to reach and sustain followers in the community via new and non-traditional media.

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National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6 and ends on May 12, Florence Nightingale’s birthday. These permanent dates enhance planning and position National Nurses Week as an established recognition event. As of 1998, May 8 was designated National Student Nurses Day, to be celebrated annually. And as of 2003, National School Nurse Day is celebrated on the Wednesday within National Nurses Week each year.

The nursing profession has been supported and promoted by the American Nurses Association (ANA) since 1896. Each of ANA’s state and territorial nurses associations promotes the nursing profession at the state and regional levels. Each conducts celebrations on these dates to recognize the contributions that nurses and nursing make to the community.

The ANA supports and encourages National Nurses Week recognition programs through the state and district nurses associations, other speciality nursing organizations, educational facilities, and independent health care companies and institutions.

FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE PLEDGE


This modified “Hippocratic Oath” was composed in 1893 by Mrs. Lystra E. Gretter and a Committee for the Farrand Training School for Nurses in Detroit, MI. It was called the Florence Nightingale Pledge as a token of esteem for the founder of modern nursing.

Follow this link to celebrate with the Nurses at this National Nurses Week

American Nurses Association Inc.

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Over two decades ago, I spent a substantial part of my early life in my little village in southeast Nigeria greening my father’s compound. Fueled with passion for plants and the environment and no formal training in horticulture, agriculture, or botany, I turned our compound into a miniature botanical garden that was the talk of the town at that time. I had over 100 species of plants. Tropical, temperate, annuals, perennials, you name it, I had it. It was a blast and the most fascinating period of my life.

Fast forward two decades later I am pleasantly surprised to see how my passion for plants and the environment has come full circle several miles away from my village. In the global capital of Washington, DC, I am a leading a community-based revolution for the environment. The Family Tree Adoption Program (FTAP) that I conceptualized a few years ago has become the foundation for a County-wide program in my Prince George’s County, Maryland.

FTAP is a grassroots program that provides free native trees and shrubs to private homeowners in Prince George’s (PG) County, Maryland. FTAP is greening communities by increasing tree canopy, which, in turn, improves air and water quality, community aesthetics, and provides benefits for years to come.

I believe that the best employees are those who exhibit the greatest passion for what they do. In the absence of passion, knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) pale. It is easy to grow the KSA but it is difficult to sow or even grow passion, because you come to the table with passion. The absence of this burning fire of passion is what you see in doctors, lawyers, or other top professionals who make so much money but you can tell when you see them that they are not happy. Sounds familiar?

So, when next you see me, ask me about free trees! FTAP is truly the fruit of passion that led to innovation. Rather than pursuing your KSA, I recommend that you pursue your passion. So, what is your passion? Do you know?

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The Maryland Environmental Health Network (MdEHN) seeks to fill the position of Director in early 2017.

MdEHN was formed 5 years ago through the support and vision of key funders, with guidance from a Steering Committee of issue experts, and under the leadership of Rebecca Ruggles. MdEHN functions under the auspices of the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers which serves as its fiscal agent.

MdEHN has three full-time staff:  Rebecca Ruggles, Director; Allison Rich, Children’s Environmental Health Specialist, and Rebecca Rehr, Public Health Advocacy Coordinator.

Rebecca Ruggles will leave her role as founding director at the end of 2016 or in early 2017. The Director position is responsible for strategic planning, project oversight, partner and funder relations, grant-writing, and staff coordination.

We seek candidates who are able to support our strong staff and enable their work to continue, as guided by our strategic plan, vision, mission, and values. The new director will be a professional with knowledge of public health, advocacy, environmental health, and/or non-profit management.  Passion for issues of environmental justice and equity in Maryland is central to our organization.  The next director will also take MdEHN in new directions, forging new partnerships, and competing successfully for new funding streams.

The position can be structured to accommodate schedule preferences, including the possibility of working on a part-time basis and with flexibility for the work to be performed both on-site and remotely.

Applicants should send a confidential letter of inquiry to the email address below discussing the following:

  • Your background or training in public health, environmental health, or related fields
  • Your knowledge of the Maryland landscape (or a similar state)
  • Your philosophy of leadership and team management
  • Specific skills, contacts, or relevant knowledge that you can offer – particularly in
    • Strategic Planning for small non-profits
    • Funder Relations and Grant Writing
    • Advocacy
  • Why you would like to join MdEHN

Further Information

Rebecca Ruggles is available to talk by phone or email to discuss this opportunity informally.

Please review the organization website MdEHN.org and the summary below of our vision, mission, values, roles, and strategic priorities before contacting Rebecca to schedule a time to speak.

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pubmed-logoThe International Journal of MCH and AIDS (IJMA), one of the two scholarly journals published by GHEP, has been accepted for indexing in PubMed and PubMed Central, two prestigious journal indexing and abstracting services and databases of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

This means that the full text of all articles published in IJMA will become available on PMC and PubMed effective immediately. For authors this means greater discoverability, potentially increased readership and citations in the field of research.

With its acceptance, IJMA joins the league of other prestigious global health journals who use the PubMed and PMC platforms to disseminate their work to millions of readers around the world who rely on the integrity of NLM and NIH who curate these indexing services following intense scrutiny and pre-acceptance technical and academic reviews.

Dr. Romuladus Azuine, IJMA Editor-in-Chief, said that he was excited about the tremendous visibility that the PubMed and PMC indexing would bestow upon the journal, adding that he looks forward to pushing forward in his efforts to distinguish the journal and its acceptability to the wider research community.

“Our indexing in these two services also sets the stage for the next phase of the journal’s development in the dissemination of pioneering work in the field of MCH and AIDS, as well as global health,” Dr. Azuine said while reacting to the news in Washington, DC, USA.

GHEP’s second scholarly journal, the International Journal of Translational Medical Research and Public Health (IJTMRPH) is currently reviewing manuscripts for its first volume set to publish in mid-to late Fall 2016. Readers can read more about the journals by clicking on IJMA and on IJTMRPH.

PUBMED CENTRAL

PubMed Central® (PMC) is a free full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM)sections are noted with plus and minus signs so that you can add and subtract content blocks.

pmc-logo-downloadIn keeping with NLM’s legislative mandate to collect and preserve the biomedical literature, PMC serves as a digital counterpart to NLM’s extensive print journal collection. Launched in February 2000, PMC was developed and is managed by NLM’s National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Readers can learn more by clicking on the PMC link.

 

PUBMED

PubMed comprises more than 26 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites sections are noted with plus and minus signs so that you can add and subtract content blocks.

pubmed-logoPubMed also provides access to additional relevant web sites and links to the other NCBI molecular biology resources. PubMed is a free resource that is developed and maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), at the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), located at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Readers can learn more by clicking on PubMed link.

 

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globenewsNearly 300 people from different parts of the Washington, DC metro region received direct services and other life-saving public health information at the 2016 Community Health and Environment Fair held Saturday, May 14 at the Riverdale Elementary School in Prince George’s County, MD.

The health fair was organized by the non-profit Global Health and Education Projects, Inc. (GHEP), in collaboration with a coalition of 34 notable government and non-governmental organizations and health care and social services professionals drawn from Maryland, DC, and Virginia, including Georgetown University Hospital, Howard University Hospital, Doctor’s Community Hospital, and several agencies of the State of Maryland and Prince George’s County.  The health fair comprised of a general workshop session, care delivery, and health information and awareness exhibitions by participating agencies.

GHEP Executive Director, Romuladus E. Azuine, DrPH, MPH, RN, said that the theme of the health fair and workshops was: “Health and Environment: Connections for Healthy Lives, Healthy Communities” was important in highlighting the intricate connection between human health and the environment which is the foundation for improving individual and community health and wellness.

“We do not have to wait for diseases and calamities such as the Zika Virus to jolt us into understanding the importance of health and environmental education and information empowerment for our people and communities. That is why we are holding this health fair today which has brought for-profit and non-profit partners together for a common cause,” Dr. Azuine said.

According to Dr. Azuine, “once we understand the triangle of health, environment and diseases,  we will fully understand that the health of each and every one of us is related to each other and that we must build our health together as healthy people and healthy communities.”

guest-speaker-img_0398In his welcome remarks, the Deputy Mayor of the City of Riverdale Park, Dr. Alan Thompson, praised GHEP for its commitment to the community and for bringing enormous resources to the city which will lead to improvement in not only health of the individuals, but also health of the city.

Special Guest at the event and Council Member Deni Taveras representing District 2 at Prince George’s County Council decried the lack of mental health professionals serving minorities who are at higher risk of suffering mental health problems. She said that it was time for individuals and communities to come together and shatter the stereotypes and break stigma around mental health treatment and help-seeking for mental health in our minority communities.

Community leaders at the event include MD State Delegate Alonzo T. Washington representing District 22, PG County; Mr. Martin Ezemma, Director of International Business at PG County Economic Development Corporation; Mr. James Morrow of the PG County Community Emergency Response Team; Dr. Clifford Thomas, a community activist; Lt. CDR Lawrence Momodu of the US Public Health Service; Earl Harley, MD, FAAP from Georgetown University Hospital and Millicent Collins, MD, FAAP, a Pediatrician from the Howard University Hospital..

Attendees at the health fair received several health care services including screening for high blood pressure, blood sugar, eye examination, ear, nose, and throat examinations, well-child visits, immunization information, and several health promotion information and sources of resources for health and social services.

Guest Speaker and Lead Workshop presenter, Lt. CDR Dr. Lawrence Momodu underscored the importance of physical and mental health prevention for individuals and the entire family. Dr. Momodu who is a Pharmacist and Nurse called on the community to get above board and learn to protect themselves from preventable health diseases.

tkdThe highpoint of the event was an outdoor physical activity, anti-bullying, and violence prevention workshop and demonstration facilitated by Dr. Clifford Thomas of the We Lead By Example, Inc./Tae Kwon Do Ramblers Self-Defense Systems based in Bladensburg, MD. Dr. Thomas led the children and members of the community in outdoor exercise that highlighted both physical activity, physical fitness and development of anti-bullying strategies for the entire family.

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In this edition of Let Us Know (LUK), IJMA Blog Co-Editor Eta Ashu interviews Mr. Isaac Eranga, a maternal and child health activist and health writer from Nigeria. He calls attention to the problems of unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions that deserve immediate action. 


QUESTION: If GHEP were implement one project in the field of Sexual and Reproductive Health, more specifically in Nigeria, what would you recommend?

Answer: If the organization were to tackle a problem in Nigeria, I would suggest that the organization tackles the problems of unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions should be top in the scale of preference.

Limited access to sexual and reproductive health information and services leaves many African women and girls of all ages, powerless to prevent pregnancies that they do not want and cannot afford. Unsafe abortion is often their last resort.

It is on record that Nigeria has the highest burden of maternal deaths in Africa (40,000 – African Union 2013 Status Report on Maternal Newborn and Child Health).

Globally, Africa bears 62% of maternal deaths caused by unsafe abortion. Unsafe abortions claims the lives of at least 29,000 African women and girls each year – most of whom are in their prime years of life (15 – 49 years).

According to Dr. Oluwarotimi of the Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria, 23% of adolescents in Nigeria, have unwanted pregnancies. Therefore, the issues of unwanted pregnancies and unwanted abortion must be tackled. This can be done through comprehensive sexuality education. In carrying out this, peer educators are to be trained and given an assignment of mentoring a limited number of females, especially teenagers in secondary schools.

Unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions impose significant costs on families and Nigerian health systems. There is a tendency of not taking proper care of pregnancy that is not wanted. This nonchalant attitude could lead to lead to a wide range of complications that could occur the period of pregnancy, childbirth, or the postpartum period.

Complications after unsafe abortions causes 13 percent of maternal death, says the report quoted earlier.

About Isaac Eranga
I am Isaac Eranga, I was a former Managing editor of the African Journal of Reproductive Health. I am an MPH candidate with the Peoples Open Access Education Initiative. I am an editorial board member of the International Journal of MCH and AIDS. I am also a member of the Canadian Coalition of Global Health Research. I recently obtained a post graduate continuing medical education in Medical Ethics from the Norwegian Medical Association. In 2014, I was awarded an award for excellence as family planning champion by the Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative. I am currently a social media volunteer with IJMA. I authored a book – Understanding Basic Facts about Breast and Cervical Cancers published in 2015.

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In this edition of Let Us Know (LUK), IJMA Blog Co-Editor Eta Ashu encounters Adedotun Owolabi, a young, dynamic and ambitious public health scientist who discusses the urgent need to address child health and Nutrition in Nigeria. 


LUK: If the Global Health and Education Projects, Inc. (GHEP) were implement one project in the field of maternal and child health in developing countries, specifically in Nigeria, what would you recommend?

Answer: New findings estimate that nearly 4 in 10 Nigerian children of less than five years of age are stunted, the second highest rate of arrested development in the world, and the highest in Africa.

Child health in Nigeria requires a holistic approach as the later life of any child depends on its onset. Nutrition being the major factor that cuts across human life cycle from pregnancy to infancy through childhood unto adulthood has lost professional and important attention. Malnutrition is an important determinant of maternal and Child health, it encompasses stunting, wasting and deficiencies of essential minerals and vitamins (collectively refer to as micronutrients). Malnutrition, besides weakening the immune system accounts for a high level of morbidity and mortality especially among children under the ages of 5.

Malnutrition in Nigeria accounts for over 50% under 5 morbidity rate, the cause of this high level of malnutrition  includes inappropriate breast feeding (exclusive breastfeeding rate of 13%); and inappropriate use of complementary feeds. Seven in ten (76 percent) of children aged age 6-9 months receive complementary foods, but most time it’s given too early or too late with local gruels that are not standardized. Thirty five percent of Nigerian babies receive complementary feeds that are inadequate in energy, protein, and micronutrients such as iron, zinc, iodine and vitamin A. Micronutrient deficiencies are reported as follows; iron – 76.1%, vitamin A – 29.5%, zinc – 12.8%.

LUK: What is the Way Forward? Are you advocating for Intense Nutrition?

Answer: Beyond providing the tools for stemming the tide of malnourishment and eliminating child morbidity and mortality occurrence, there is a need for intensive awareness campaigns on the impact of poor nutrition on child health, short and long term consequences of poor nutrition in children. Advocacy should include seminars/presentations on nutrition for the first 1000 days of life. Target groups should include adult of marriageable ages and pregnant women receiving anti natal and post natal.

Exclusive breastfeeding should be advocated for the first six months of life because growth faltering, malnutrition and infection have been observed to set in at about the sixth month, when complementary feeding is introduced. Most deaths from malnutrition occur in the first two years of the baby’s life.

Enlightenment is essential both in urban and rural settings as there are some residents who may have the means but due to ignorance or negligence do not give their children the appropriate food they need to aid their proper growth and help them start out healthy early in life. Most places of work in Nigeria do not have crèches for the mothers to keep their babies and breastfeed; this in turn does not in any way encourage the practice of exclusive breastfeeding among busy mothers. Workplaces should be encouraged make it a policy to have crèches.

The life of children should be given the urgent attention it deserves for the healthy growth of the next generation.

About Owolabi Joshus Adedotun

Adedotun Owolabi is a young dynamic and ambitious public health scientist, a graduate of food science and technology from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria. He holds a master’s degree in human nutrition from Nigeria’s premier university, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.

His research interest lies between the intersections of child health and nutrition, nutrition education concerning prevailing health problems and the methods of preventing and controlling them, promotion of food and nutrition security, maternal and child care, including family planning, prevention and control of locally endemic and epidemic diseases.

Adedotun Owolabi has been selected by the United Nations information service, Geneva, to participate at the 2015 edition of graduate study program. He is a recipient of an excellence award offered by Nigerian top executives in the medicine and pharmaceutical industries based on his international business network strength.

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In this edition of Let Us Know (LUK), IJMA Blog Co-Editor Eta Ashu interviews Dr. Olaoluwa Pheabian Akinwale, the Director of Research (Neglected Tropical Diseases) and head of the Molecular Parasitology Research Laboratory, Public Health Division, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research. He calls for urgent action on Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). 


LUK: If GHEP were implement one project in the field of Infectious Disease and Chronic Diseases, specifically in Nigeria, what would you recommend?

Answer: If GHEP was to carry out one project in the field of Infectious and Chronic diseases, more specifically in Nigeria, I would you recommend schistosomiasis, a neglected tropical disease (NTD). This is because in Nigeria there is a low level of knowledge and awareness of NTDs and their prevention compared with knowledge and awareness on HIV and malaria, and this is really having a negative impact on local funding for research on NTDs.


The country has the greatest burden for NTDs in sub-Saharan Africa, having the highest prevalence of helminth infections such as hookworm, schistosomiasis, ascariasis, trichuriasis, and lymphatic filariasis.

For example, schistosomiasis is widely distributed in Nigeria and is hyper-endemic in many states of the north and southwest with moderate to low endemicity in the southeast. The infection occurs in all the states of the federation, while an estimated 33.5 million people, mainly children aged 5–19 years, are currently at risk of the infection. The country is on the verge of completing epidemiological mapping of schistosomiasis with 32 out of 36 states completely mapped. Though there is a National Control Program established in 1988, the program itself has not witnessed large-scale control efforts.

Huge treatment gaps still exist with only about 3,907,807 people currently accessing treatment through mass drug administration (MDA), thus a compelling need to scale up MDA program in Nigeria. To further improve MDA in the country, a number of knowledge gaps needs to be filled, which include – a better understanding of the minimum coverage rate of MDA that will have an impact on transmission, factors responsible for continuous mission in many endemic areas in spite of repeated chemotherapy, and determinants of treatment coverage rates in endemic communities.

Nigeria being a country with the greatest burden of most of the NTDs in Africa, my current focus therefore is to improve our understanding of more effective ways to address these issues through operational research.

About Dr. Akinwale

Dr. Olaoluwa Pheabian Akinwale is the Director of Research (Neglected Tropical Diseases) and head of the Molecular Parasitology Research Laboratory, Public Health Division, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research. Her research group consists of research scientists who specialize in various aspects of public health including molecular parasitology, epidemiology, molecular entomology, sociology, research ethics, and biostatistics. The group has enjoyed close successful collaborative research links with national and international experts to develop molecular diagnostic assays for parasite detection and characterization of their agents of transmission. Dr Akinwale has published extensively in national and international peer reviewed scientific journals. At the academic level, she has been involved in the teaching at postgraduate levels courses on parasitology and molecular biology of tropical parasites, and has served on several committees and institutional administrative assignments.

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