Global Lessons in Mother and Child Health

Dr. Jenn Brenner has lead the University of Calgary’s long standing partnerships with universities in East Africa, addressing child, youth, and maternal health outcomes. She is currently working on the Healthy Child Uganda project, which supports adolescent sexual and reproductive health needs. In Global Lessons in Mother and Child Health, Dr. Brenner discusses the importance of learning from low resource countries, stating that “more is not always better”. For example, skin to skin care is a technique that involves the placing of a newborn child on their mother’s chest immediately following their birth. For premature babies, it has been proven to be incredibly beneficial as compared to placing them in an incubator for the first 24 hours.

With the Covid 19 Pandemic, a new element has been added to Healthy Adolescents and Young People (HAY!) to address how the pandemic has impacted health outcomes for young people. A large part of Dr. Brenner’s work has involved working with Community Health Workers (CHW’s), who have been equipped with mobile technologies to raise awareness surrounding Covid-19 and prevention measures. Dr. Brenner states that there is a need for such volunteers in Canada as well. CHW’s have the insight and knowledge to care for their communities on a personal level. In times where we’ve looked to our families or neighbours for child related advice, CHW’s provide the opportunity to learn from direct community members.

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