GenH Challenge: Submit your Ideas

In recognition of the impact midwives are creating across the world, Johnson & Johnson has launched a new initiative – the GenH Challenge. Midwives are everyday pioneers of ingenuity, although many might not realise it, or feel particularly comfortable referring to themselves in such a way! This exciting opportunity hopes to encourage midwives to see themselves as innovators with the power to help to create the healthiest generation in human history – “GenH”.

The GenH Challenge is looking to discover brand new ideas from the front lines of care that can change the trajectory of health. If this sounds daunting, don’t worry! The competition welcomes ideas in their earliest stages, and it welcomes small ideas that have the potential to create great impact.

The initiative launched on 19 June 2017 at the 31st Triennial ICM Congress, with midwives coming together with Johnson & Johnson’s GenH Challenge team to talk about what human-centred design really means in an interactive workshop. Human-centred design, the J&J team explained, is one of those terms that many people find off-putting, as it sounds a little like jargon, but it simply means designing everything we do with the person we’re trying to serve at the heart of it all. It is putting a human being first and doing everything else from there. It is what most midwives are doing every single day from the moment they arrive at work.

Midwives have always, by the very nature of what they do, exemplified human centred design. When an expecting mother comes to a midwife with a question or a worry, the midwife focuses on the human in front of them. The GenH Challenge is therefore an opportunity for midwives to be supported in what they already do, day in and day out, and to connect those at the front lines of care with the resources they need to make the greatest impact possible.

So perhaps it’s time to ask yourself: what can I affect? What problems do I see, and what can I make better? If you’re starting to think of an idea, or even a seed of an idea, Girls’ Globe encourages you wholeheartedly to register, and to submit your application. Nobody else can see the world through your eyes, nobody else can speak up with your voice, and so your unique ideas really do matter!

Applications from anywhere in the world are eligible, and so long as your team includes someone who works at the front lines of care, any for-profit or non-profit organizations can apply. The only other rules are that your idea must have received under $250,000 in funding or been in development for 5 years or under.

You can apply any time until 4 October 2017. Full guidelines are available at www.genhchallenge.com.

Even if you don’t currently think of yourself as an innovator, you truly can be a pioneer of ingenuity by taking part in this exciting opportunity. This is your chance to transform midwifery for the future. Good luck!

Meet the Midwife for Life Award Winners

The Save the Children and ICM Midwife for Life Award is an international recognition of exceptional midwives. Presented this morning at the ICM Congress by Patricia Erb, CEO of Save the Children Canada, the award seeks to recognise those who show great vision and leadership in midwifery. Two new winners were announced and I had the opportunity to speak with them about their achievements.

Amina Sultani, from Afghanistan, is a midwifery specialist for the Afghanistan Ministry of Public Health and Vice President of the Afghanistan Midwives Association.

Loveluck Mwasha, from Tanzania, who has been a steadfast advocate for, and a mentor to, midwives in Tanzania for many years. She’s the Vice President of the Tanzania Midwives Association and a midwifery teacher.

Girls’ Globe is at the 31st ICM Triennial Congress in Toronto, Canada. See all of the Girls’ Globe LIVE coverage here

Top Tips for Successful Storytelling!

As part of the pre-ICM Congress activities, Girls’ Globe – in collaboration with Johnson & Johnson – organized and hosted a Social and Digital Media Training for young midwives enrolled in the Young Midwifery Leaders (YML) programme. The aim of the training session was to equip young people with the tools they need to engage in social and digital media both during and after the 31st ICM Triennial Congress. The young midwives also learned skills that will allow them to advocate more effectively for midwifery in their communities and globally.

Here are our top tips for creating successful and powerful messages!

These apply not only to YMLs at the ICM Congress, but to anyone, anywhere, at anytime, who would like to improve their storytelling skills. Here we go!

Blogging Tips

#1: Define your passion: write something you care about and tell a human-centered story.

#2: Ask yourself why? Why is this story/your passion important to share with others?

#3: Think quality! Reference correctly, include sources, use pictures you’re allowed to use, have someone edit your work.

#4: Keep it simple and short! Avoid technical language and avoid repetition.

#5: Dare to be yourself and know that your voice, your opinions and your story matter.

#6: Encourage readers to take action – include relevant handles and hashtags!

#7: Share your post and get engaged in online conversations

Creative Digital Storytelling Tips

#1: Use your creativity! And always remember: be yourself! 

#2: Good lightning and good sound. Preferably shoot in daylight and check that your microphone is working properly.

#3: Always have nice background and settings – avoid a white wall. Sit in front of your colourful bookcase, stand on the sidewalk in your city get comfortable in your garden.

#4: Use the right mode – portrait or horizontal – for the respective channels you’ll be using.

#5: Edit your video to make the most out of it. There are several apps and tools that you can use to make it more lively.

Digital Media and Advocacy Tips

#1: Know what’s up and be heard! Stay up-to-date use relevant handles and hashtags.

#2: Stay true to yourself – be your creative self and remember, your perspective is unique.

#3: Go live! Use Facebook Live and/or Instagram Live when capturing a speaker verbatim in real time.

#4: Know the facts! Take notes during events you’re sharing stories from, and make sure that what you’re sharing is accurate.

#5: Get visual! Add photos and videos to increase visibility and offer your own perspective.

Are you ready to put these into practice? Submit your application to become a Girls’ Globe Blogger and join our global network of engaged women and girls from all over the world!

Meet Midwife Dorcas: training to save lives at birth

In celebration of midwives worldwide, Kupona Foundation colleague, Dorcas – a midwife trainer at our sister organization, CCBRT – shares how her team is ensuring mothers and babies in the Dar es Salaam region survive and thrive.

Being a Midwife is Something Precious

“For the past 37 years, being a midwife has meant doing everything I can to save the lives of mothers and babies in Tanzania’s largest city, Dar es Salaam.

Midwife Dorcas, photographed by Sala Lewis

Tanzania has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. Approximately 22 women die every day from mostly preventable complications in pregnancy or childbirth1. For the last 6 years, my team and I have worked to strengthen the quality of care provided in 23 health facilities in the Dar es Salaam region with the ultimate goal of seeing that mortality statistic reduced to zero.

As the Senior Midwife Trainer for CCBRT’s  Maternal and Newborn Health Capacity Building Team, I train medical teams in all 23 of our partner facilities. I work to empower the maternal health teams already in those facilities with the mentoring, training and resources they need to save more lives. Last year, we learned maternal mortality had reduced by 40% in the Dar es Salaam region thanks to our efforts, partnerships, and the support of the Government of Tanzania.”

High Quality Maternal Health Care for Every Woman

“I divide my time between three regional hospitals, smaller dispensaries, and health centers. The volume of patients at each facility varies depending on the day, but the goal is the same: provide the best care possible to mothers and babies. And that’s why I’m here.

One of these facilities serves 70,000 people, and hosts monthly antenatal care clinics for over 700 pregnant women. CCBRT has supported this hospital since 2011. We began by performing an SBMR (Standards Based Management and Recognition)2 assessment to identify the facility’s quality of care. This facility scored 2% (perfection is a score of 100%). While staff were dedicated to helping mothers and babies, they did not have the equipment, tools, and skills to provide high-quality care to their patients.

We began by working with staff to collect data on current operations, find the gaps in equipment and skills, and identify the key issues. We then hosted training to address the root cause of the problem and teach the intervention needed to solve it.

In November 2015, the facility’s quality of care had improved to 87% on the SBMR assessment. I was so proud. In 2011, the facility delivered 406 babies. As the skills and confidence of their service providers increased, so did the number of babies they delivered. In 2015, the hardworking staff surpassed this goal and assisted with 1,386 deliveries, with zero maternal deaths.

When I go back to the facility, I see the entire team is busy attending to patients. The matron is managing her team efficiently, and it has been fantastic to witness her growth as a leader over the years. As soon as a new staff member joins the team, they receive an orientation of the SBMR tool so that they understand the metrics we use. I see staff members, once young and inexperienced, assisting in the labor ward, performing their tasks expertly and respectfully.

I always say, it’s a long journey. But in this long journey, you cannot go by yourself. You need to have people around you. Collaborate with them. Do things together, work together to serve one goal. I’m proud to say that this is what we do with our partner facilities, each and every day, on the CCBRT Capacity Building team.”

Kupona Foundation empowers people and communities in Tanzania by improving their access to quality healthcare. 100% of our resources are dedicated to the continuation and sustainable growth of our sister organization in Tanzania, CCBRT. Since 2009, Kupona has raised over $3 million to support treatment, training, capital projects and organizational development at CCBRT. In that time, CCBRT has provided over 75,000 life changing surgeries for correctable impairments, over 570,000 clinical consultations, and, through training and capacity building efforts, has supported the safe delivery of over 550,000 babies. Learn more at kuponfoundation.org.

  1. Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey (TDHS) 2010, National Bureau of Statistics, Tanzania, April 2011, Dar es Salaam
  2. Measured by Standards-Based Management and Recognition (SBMR) assessments, developed by Jhpiego, an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University.

Girls’ Globe will be present at the 31st International Confederation of Midwives Triennial Congress – bringing you live coverage from Toronto, Canada via our #ICMLive hub. To keep up to date with all the action, use #ICMLive to join in online.