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Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

If the inaugural 2015 PIHC Case Competition is any indication, the promise of future Canadian contributions to global health is bright indeed.

Partners In Health Canada hosted its first annual Spotlight On Global Health Aug. 23 in Toronto. The afternoon consisted of a networking session, two guest speakers, and a fictional case competition that challenged the more than 50 attendees to explore ways of reducing maternal, newborn, and child mortality and morbidity rates in a developing country setting.

The case was set in Haiti, post-Millennium Development Goals. All participants received the case package a week in advance and came prepared with initial thoughts, questions, and/or potential solutions. During the Spotlight, nine teams of three – eight people had one hour to discuss, agree on, and document their innovative solutions. Each group received gentle guidance by a facilitator well-versed in the case.

Dr. Lawrence Loh, Dr. David LaPierre, and PIH Canada director Mark Brender served as judges and ranked cases in a blind review. So without further ado…

Case Competition Spotlight

Part of our winning team!

Your Winning Team

Congratulations to Michelle Amri, Samara Strub, Thrmiga Sathiaymoorthy, and Nancy Wu for their winning proposal to the 2015 PIHC Case Competition! The winning team addressed the delay in the decision to seek care by mothers with a proposal for a culturally sensitive women’s empowerment program. The aim of the program is to ensure women are aware of their right to access health services, and to better understand and help break potential barriers to delay.

The proposal was a detailed multi-step outline, which included the following activities:

1. Building partnerships with communities
2. Collaborating with religious and political leaders with the support of community advocates
3. Developing a local women’s forum, headed by Community Health Workers (CHWs), to understand women’s concerns
4. Running a pilot project, while engaging both men and women, to address systemic issues
5. Continuous training workshops for CHWs and past CHWs to recommend women in communities to become leaders for pilot projects for sustainable and self-run results

Potential risks cited included of a shortage of human capital, gender power imbalances, and opposition to changing existing practices from those in positions of authority.

In regards to monitoring and evaluation initiatives, aside from monitoring maternal mortality rates and domestic violence, the team also proposed tracking quantitative and qualitative measures during the local forums (e.g. how frequently do women seek care, how many women in the past 6 months encountered a health problem and attempted to find a solution, and whether the men in the family provide support).

Case Competition Spotlight

Some of our runners-up!

Your Runners-Up

Second place: Aylin Manduric, Lena Faust, Jing Bian, Winston Li, Rhonda Boateng, and Jerico Espinas

Proposed Initiative: Prenatal education program (including: WHO’s breastfeeding framework, good nutrition habits, prenatal tips) and provision of nutrient supplements to pregnant women through local churches.

Third place: Mohammed Firdouse, Marco Chan, Seline Tam, Tul-Zahra Rida, Delaney Hines, and Yoshi Perera

Proposed Initiative: Giving cellphones to pregnant women who will receive texts related to encouraging the decision to seek care.

All facilitators and case winners will be invited to join the team to create the case study for next year. We look forward to the exciting growth of this project and an even bigger and better Spotlight next year!

Your Testimonials

It was exciting to be a part of PIH Canada's first case competition! I look forward to what the team will come up with next year!
- Aylin Manduric, B.A. International Relations

"Competing in the case competition afforded me a tremendous opportunity to apply my knowledge, skills, and experience in global public health to combat maternal, newborn, and child mortality and morbidity rates in Haiti. While all team members expressed opinions in targeting varying health issues and suggested respectful solutions, it was the opportunity to engage in dialogue and collaborate with other passionate individuals that led to a great learning experience. The case competition experience was fantastic, but I have to admit, winning truly took the cake!"
- Michelle Amri, MPA

The case competition was an amazing experience! I truly enjoyed facilitating a team of like-minded individuals to brainstorm ways to reduce maternal mortality in Haiti, while enhancing our knowledge and understanding of global health. I would definitely recommend students and professionals to compete in the future!
- Selena Hussain, BSc. Honours in Human Kinetics (University of Guelph)

For photos of the event, head over to our Facebook album:

On Sunday, August 23rd, Partners In Health Canada hosted the Spotlight On Global Health. More than 50 students and...

Posted by Partners In Health Canada on Wednesday, 26 August 2015

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