Global to Local, in partnership with PATH, looked closely at several areas where Global Health has had great success. PATH's Landscape Analysis identified the following strategies for G2L's consideration:
Training Community Health Workers (CHWs): Not all health information needs to come from a doctor or nurse. People recruited from local communities can be trained to provide health education, connect people with essential services, and coordinate with primary care providers to ensure that medical advice is understood and being followed. In addition, CHWs can help overcome language and cultural barriers to provide on-site services in situations where clients can’t always make it to a doctor’s office.
- Linking health with economic development: The link between health and wealth is particularly strong in the United States. Microcredit, microenterprise development, savings programs and other economic development interventions have helped to improve health around the world.
- Using technology to transform practices: Right now, HIV patients in South Africa are receiving text messages reminding them to take their medications. In Uganda, isolated farmers are using mobile applications to check market prices and identify solutions to pests and diseases.
- Creating campaigns for specific health issues: Targeted campaigns on using bed nets to fight malaria and encouraging testing to learn HIV status have been very successful in the developing world.
- Partnering with and building capacity of local organizations: International health organizations depend on strong local partners for project implementation, understanding that local knowledge and the credibility that these organizations have with the people they serve are key to long-term success and sustainability. SeaTac and Tukwila are home to many excellent organizations who are working hard to address the needs of the people they serve.
- Linking primary care with public health services: In many developing countries, providing primary health services is the responsibility of the National Health Department. Clinics from the national level down to the local level are administered by the Health Department and as a result there is no separation between “primary” and “public” health services.
Making Global to Local
G2L identified communities that face the greatest disparities in the region. Twice as many people in South King County (the cities of SeaTac and Tukwila specifically) live below the federal poverty line than the overall King County average. Seventeen percent of all kindergarten students in Tukwila are homeless, and these cities experience 150 percent more diabetes related deaths that the King County Average.
Recognizing that solutions must be community-driven, G2L conducted an in-depth assessment within the cities of SeaTac and Tukwila to better understand their needs and assets. Through a series of focus groups in various languages, interviews with stakeholders and surveys of local medical and social service providers, G2L found the following challenges:
Limited economic opportunities
Language and cultural barriers
Difficulty navigating the health and social service system
Limited sense that people can take control over their hectic lives
G2L also worked with PATH to identify successful global health strategies that could be modified to respond to these local challenges. This work focused attention in key program areas:
Using Community Health Workers
Linking health with economic development
Partnering with and building capacity of local organizations
Leveraging public-private partnerships
Integrating public and primary health care
Using technology to transform practices