Capacity Building in Resource Limited Settings

McGill-led Capacity building initiatives

Global Health Research and Training at the Department of Family Medicine

The Department of Family Medicine is involved in collaborative global health projects both locally and abroad. Much of the Department’s research is focused on strengthening primary care, among immigrants and aboriginal populations in Canada, and in low income countries. Current projects include participatory research and capacity building in Ecuador, mental health care in Belize, a social determinants research project called CLEAR, and family medicine clinical opportunities in Tanzania, China, Lithuania, Israel, Pweru, Nepal, and Haiti. The Department of Family Medicine is also home to the Participatory Research at McGill (PRAM) Centre whose mission is to further scholarship and promote the knowledge, expertise and training for participatory research and community engagement in health care. Additionally, the Department also houses the Humanitarian Studies Initiative and participates in the Anisnabe Kekendazone Network Environment for Aboriginal Health Research (AK-NEAHR).


Training Program in Infectious Diseases in Ethiopia- Collaboration between McGill University and Addis Ababa University

Ethiopia, now the 2nd most populated country in Africa, boasts an impressive economic growth, but still has one of the lowest Human Development Index scores (173/187) and life expectancies in the world. A shortage of medical professionals (only 2,152 medical doctors) has critical consequences not only on delivery of care to the population, but also severely limits the capacity to train additional health professionals. With support from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education, Addis Ababa University developed partnerships with international institutions in an attempt to address this gap and expand training capacity. The joint AAU/McGill Infectious Diseases subspecialty Training Program is one such partnership. This program is designed to address the tremendous need for high quality faculty in Infectious Diseases (ID) in Ethiopian medical schools and hospitals, and is based at the largest tertiary care and training centre in the country (Tikur Anbessa Hospital).


Department of Medicine's Global Health Initiative in Haiti

The goal of this initiative is to continue the implementation of a partnership between Department of Medicine and two hospitals in Haiti. The McGill team is working with Partners in Health and Zanmi Lasante (PIH/ZL) in their efforts to rebuild Haiti’s health care system. The goal is also to provide a model of health care delivery and medical education.  The initiative supports staff members of the Department of Medicine to go on one-month rotations, supervising three senior Internal Medicine residents from McGill. Cost of travel and lodging is reimbursed via the Department of Medicine. During the rotation, staff members and residents provide clinical service, educational and technical assistance, capacity building, bedside teaching, and case discussions.

McGill Department of Pediatrics' Global Child Health Program

Around 6.6 million children under the age of 5 die each year, and most of these deaths are preventable. In 2014, the Global Child Health Program was established within the McGill Department of Pediatrics and is coordinated by a multi-disciplinary committee wishing to broaden the Montreal Children’s Hospital’s (MCH) involvement in global health activities. This program builds on the long –standing engagement and expertise in global health of members of the MCH and the Department of Pediatrics. It aims to contribute sustainably to the health and well-being of children in resource-limited settings by establishing mutually beneficial, lasting partnerships with pediatric centres in low-income countries. These collaborations allow multidisciplinary staff at the hospital to capitalize on their expertise by engaging in meaningful medical education and innovative research with local health care professionals in these partner centres. The program adheres to the principles of sustainability and capacity-building by working collaboratively with local health care professionals to meet the medical education and research needs that they self-identify. Lessons learned from these collaborations will also help to improve the care received by the large multicultural population served by our department, as well as vulnerable children living in our community. The program has ongoing partnerships with the Hôpital Saint-Michel in Jacmel, Haiti and with the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Kigali, Rwanda. In addition, to these partnerships, the program also provides global child health teaching to pediatric residents and other health care professionals in the McGill University Health Centre network and the Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal.

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Non-Communicable Disease Programs

Non-communicable diseases (NCD) such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes are now the most common causes of death worldwide. Non-communicable casualties represent 60% of total mortality (approximately 38 million deaths annually). NCD rates are increasing in low and middle income countries, primarily because of changes in lifestyle. NCD epidemiology involves risk factor identification, interventions to reduce disease burden, synthesis of individual studies as well as economic studies to help inform public policy. Our diversified Department is well positioned to play important roles in these multidisciplinary research activities. The Global Noncommunicable Diseases Program (GNCDP) is led by a multi-disciplinary steering committee wishing to increase mobilization of McGill’s health professionals and researchers in activities pertaining to noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in low-resource settings. It maintains partnerships with international sites, promoting and collaborating in research, capacity-building, and educational activities through equal and mutually beneficial exchange. The GNCDP was launched in 2019 within the Department of Medicine, the Department of Pediatrics, and the McGill Global Health Programs

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    McGill GHP Logo (McGill crest separated by a vertical bar from a purple globe and a partial arc with "McGill Global health Programs" in English & French)

McGill University is located on land which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst Indigenous peoples, including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinabeg nations. McGill honours recognizes and respects these nations as the traditional stewards of the lands and waters on which peoples of the world now gather. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island. We are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land.

Learn more about Indigenous Initiatives at McGill.

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