Dear Friends,

In early May, I was fortunate to attend the 2019 Congress of the World Confederation for Physical Therapy, held in Geneva. WCPT brings together physical therapists from all over the world to provide a global perspective on the profession and to offer continuing education courses. I was thrilled, and humbled, to see HVO so well represented! There were colleagues from Bhutan, Haiti, Rwanda, and Tanzania who gave presentations and represented their countries on panel discussions. Many volunteers also presented and reconnected with their colleagues from project sites. At an HVO social event, it was wonderful to see people from across the globe sharing their experiences and conversing about techniques and methods used at their workplace. 

Later in the month, the World Health Organization held their 72nd World Health Assembly in Geneva - a chance for global delegates from member countries to discuss global health issues and directions for the future.  

The two events, though unrelated, reminded me of HVO’s role in training young professionals and giving them opportunities to expand their knowledge and professional network, and to develop their leadership skills. All of these elements contribute to building and strengthening the capacity of health care systems both at our sites and nationally. This is not a short-term approach, but a long view towards the future which so defines HVO and our approach. That long-term perspective is a key response when people ask me, “ Why HVO?”

As I think back on those meetings in Geneva, I wonder how many of our colleagues at project sites, who are currently emerging leaders, will someday represent their country at a future World Health Assembly. I will be proud to say that HVO played a role in their professional development.

Nancy A. Kelly
Executive Director
Health workers in Uganda
Internal medicine personnel consult on rounds in Uganda.

Last month, HVO expanded its partnerships in Uganda to Kabale University School of Medicine in southwest Uganda with the announcement of new internal medicine and pediatrics projects.
What We're Watching
The East African country’s campaign to end cervical cancer through the HPV vaccine has had to overcome cultural taboos and rumours about infertility – but it’s saving lives.

Rwanda Countryside
There is a high demand for global health experiences among medical students. However, creating and engaging successful global health experiences for students is not without significant challenges for faculty. Lack of broad global health knowledge, first hand experiences in a variety of global health settings, and limited faculty engagement in global health activities at their home institutions may limit overall effectiveness. Thus, sabbaticals may provide unique opportunities for faculty re-invigoration and development of new teaching and/or research activities in global health.

At work overseas
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What's New at HVO
We have established the Rita Feinberg Fellowship for Long-Term Volunteers to enable HVO to meet requests from our partner institutions that require volunteers for focused, long-term (3-6 month) assignments at specific project sites. There are four Feinberg Fellowship projects currently seeking volunteer applicants, including pathology & forensics medicine, pediatric medical education, spinal orthopaedics, and quality assurance.

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