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International collaborations

McGill Nurses for Highlands Hope

McGill Nurses for Highlands Hope receive funding from Grand Challenges Canada for their project 'Turning hope into action: Youth peer health education in rural Tanzania.' Full article in the McGill Reporter: McGill nurses turn hope into action.

McGill Nurses for Highlands Hope was established in 2006 to provide education and practice opportunities between McGill University's School of Nursing and Highlands Hope Umbrella, a nongovernment organization that brings together community, professional, and volunteer networks to address the challenge of HIV/AIDS and related social problems in the Njombe region of the Southern Highlands of Tanzania.

Nurse Neema using the Point-of-Care (PoC) CD4 Testing Program in rural Njombe, Tanzania. /photo M. Wilson

Program Objectives

  • Provide instrumental resources to support sustainable health promotion projects originating from the Highlands Hope Umbrella.
  • Provide educational and research opportunities for McGill University's School of Nursing students pursuing graduate studies in Global Health.
  • Support Highlands Hope Umbrella members, in particular CHAKUNIMU Peer Health Educators and Kibena Women Association, in addressing the needs of people, including orphaned and vulnerable children, living with HIV/AIDS and other health and social issues.

Edmund Munubi, Manager at Tanganyika Wattle (TANWAT) Company Hospital visits Faculty of Medicine at McGill (2012). Owen Egan

Program Highlights

McGill Nurses for Highlands Hope has supported fellowships, scholarships, visiting scholars and student projects. It has also provided instrumental support so that nurses and community health workers have materials and increased skills to use in their daily work.

Visiting Scholars

Edmund Munubi, Manager at Tanganyika Wattle (TANWAT) Company Hospital (2012)

Bathseba Liduke, RN, and Evangelista Kayombo, RN, Tanganyika Wattle (TANWAT) Company Hospital (2009)

Student projects

Andra Leimanis - Factors influencing implementation of home based care in Tanganyika Wattle Company Hospital villages (2008).

Jacquie Bocking – Factors affecting adherence to antiretroviral therapy in Tanganyika Wattle Company Hospital HIV Clinical Treatment Centre (2008).

Amy Low – Exploring the needs of clients using community home-based care in Njombe, Tanzania (2009).

Veronique Fraser – They test with their eyes: Rapid appraisal of barriers and facilitators to voluntary counseling and testing in Njombe, Tanzania (2009).

Kristin Gagnon – A home care kit training intervention for Peer Health Educators delivering community home-based care in rural Njombe, Tanzania (2010).

Ryan Lomenda – Primary school students’ knowledge, attitudes and practice regarding HIV/AIDS in Njombe, Tanzania (2010).

Joyce Ngabire - Sustainablility of peer health education in primary schools in a low-resourced setting - building on students' leadership skills (2012).

Maggie Wilson - Evaluating the implementation of Point-of-Care (PoC) CD4 Testing Program for the Monitoring and Management of HIV/AIDS in rural Njombe, Tanzania (2013).

Andrea Willett - Evaluating the sustainablility of a Point-of-Care (PoC) CD4 Testing Program for the Monitoring and Management of HIV/AIDS in rural Njombe, Tanzania (in progress).

Instrumental support

Support from our generous donors is vital to our continued success. Donations have enabled McGill Nurses for Highlands Hope to:

  • Support and evaluate the implementation of a Point-of-Care (PoC) CD4 Testing Program for the monitoring and management of HIV/AIDS in Njombe, Tanzania
  • Support, implement and evaluate Youth Peer Health Education about 'Ukimwi' (HIV/AIDS) in 6 primary schools
  • Print Mawazo na Nyenzo- Ukimwi (Tools and Ideas - AIDS) book to distribute to nurse educators and peer counselors
    Who said 13 was unlucky? Here are the 13 Canadians who raised well over the target $13,000 for MNHH at Uhuru Peak, Jan. 13, 2014
  • Purchase Nursing and biomedical texts to update TANWAT Nursing library
  • Support computer purchase and training workshops
  • Purchase home based care kits for use in community home-based care programs
  • Provide instrumental support for school fees, books, uniforms for children under the care of Kibena Women Association

A group of generous (and fit)  Montrealers climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro as a fundraiser for Hope School in Iringa, Tanzania. The school’s “Let them Learn” program has been successful in reducing teen pregnancies, preventing abuse, and increasing the rate of successful school completion among its female students.

Thanks to the work of Kristin Gagnon (MSc(A) 2011) and creativity and printing by Origami Tactical Creativity and Branding, the home-based care resource manual Mwongozo Wa Haraka 1.0 was released in 2012!

For further information, please contact:

Madeleine Buck, N, BScN, MSc
Chair, McGill Nurses for Highlands Hope
Ingram School of Nursing,
McGill University
3506 University, Room 211
Montreal, QC H3A 2A7
Tel: 514-398-4155
madeleine [dot] buck [at] mcgill [dot] ca

Donations can be made payable to:
McGill University - c/o McGill Nurses for Highlands Hope.
All gifts directly support our projects in Tanzania and a high degree of scrutiny is observed in ensuring that funds are used for their intended purpose. To make a donation, please send a cheque made out to McGill University - c/o McGill Nurses for Highlands Hope by mail to the address indicated on the left. Alternatively, donate on-line - Ingram School of Nursing; McGill Nurses for Highlands Hope


Reproductive Outcomes and Migration: an International Research Collaboration (ROAM)

ROAM Collaborators at the EUROEPI 2009 European Congress of Epidemiology in Warsaw, Poland, August 2009 - Anita Gagnon

What is ROAM?

A research collaboration was begun in 2004 involving Anita Gagnon,Associate Professor, McGill Ingram School of Nursing and Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology and Nurse Scientist, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Canada and Rhonda Small, Epidemiologist, Mother & Child Health Research, LaTrobe University, Melbourne, Australia. This led to a broader international collaboration on migration and reproductive health with investigators from the European Perinatal Epidemiology Network. Reproductive Outcomes and Migration: an International Research Collaboration (ROAM) currently consists of 33 researchers from 13 countries. Although all aspects of migrant women’s reproductive health are of interest to ROAM, the collaboration has begun its work by focusing on perinatal health.

What has been learned in ROAM?

  • Meta-analyses of data from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Finland, Norway and Sweden showed that compared with receiving country-born women, Somali-born were less likely to give birth preterm or to have infants of low birthweight, but experienced an excess of caesarean sections and stillbirths. Disparities were not readily explained and raise concerns about the provision of maternity care for Somali women post migration.
    See: Small R, Gagnon AJ, Gissler M, Zeitlin J, Bennis M, Glazier R, Haelterman E, Martens G, Urquia M, Vangen S. Somali women and their pregnancy outcomes post-migration: data from six receiving countries. British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Dec 2008, 115(13): 1630-1640.
  • A systematic review of over 10 years of literature and meta-analyses showed that Asian, North African and sub-Saharan African migrants were at greater risk of feto-infant mortality than ‘majority’ receiving populations, and Asian and sub-Saharan African migrants at greater risk of preterm birth.
    See: Gagnon AJ, Zimbeck M, Zeitlin J and the ROAM collaboration. Migration to western industrialized countries and perinatal health: A systematic review. Social Science and Medicine 2009, 69: 934-946 OR CPHA National Conference, Halifax, June 2008.
  • A related systematic review showed that mortality risk among babies born to migrants is not consistently higher, but appears to be greatest among refugees, non-European migrants to Europe, and foreign-born blacks in the US.
    See: Gissler M, Alexander S, Macfarlane A, Small R, Stray-Pedersen B, Zeitlin J, Zimbeck M, Gagnon A for the ROAM collaboration. Stillbirths and infant deaths among migrants in industrialised countries. Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica 2009, 28: 134-148.
  • Another systematic review and meta-regression analysis found that the association between migration and low birth weight and pre-term birth varies by migrant subgroup and it is sensitive to the definitions of the migrant and reference groups.
    See: Urquia M, Glazier R, Blondel B, Zeitlin J, Gissler M, McFarlane A, Ng E, Heaman M, Stray-Pedersen B, Gagnon AJ. International Migration and Adverse Birth Outcomes: Role of Ethnicity, Region of Origin and Destination. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. Published online 19 Aug 2009.
  • In collaboration with EURO-PERISTAT, the ROAM collaboration sought a consensus on migration indicators to use internationally for perinatal indicator sets, routine perinatal surveys and research studies. An international panel of clinicians, epidemiologists, and experts in health information systems from 22 countries recommend: Gissler M, Gagnon AJ, Zimbeck M, Zeitlin J. Migration and perinatal health: An international Delphi survey. WFPHA 12th World Congress on Public Health Abstracts CD, April 27-May 1, 2009 Istanbul, Turkey. OR CPHA National Conference, Halifax, June 2008.

ROAM Contact Information

Anita Gagnon, N, MPH, PhD
McGill Ingram School of Nursing
3506 University St
Montreal, QC
H3A 2A7
anita [dot] gagnon [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Rhonda Small, PhD
Mother and Child Health Research
Faculty of Health Sciences,
LaTrobe University,
324-328 Lt Lonsdale St
Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
r [dot] small [at] latrobe [dot] edu [dot] au

International Organization for Migration-McGill Ingram School of Nursing Partnership

What is the International Organization for Migration (IOM)?

“Established in 1951, IOM is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration and works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners. IOM works to help ensure the orderly and humane management of migration, to promote international cooperation on migration issues, to assist in the search for practical solutions to migration problems and to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced people. IOM works in the four broad areas of migration management:

  • Migration and development
  • Facilitating migration
  • Regulating migration
  • Forced migration” (IOM website)

What is the IOM Migration Health Department?

“The Migration Health Department (MHD) addresses the needs of individual migrants as well as the public health needs of hosting communities through policies and practices corresponding to the emerging challenges facing mobile populations today. MHD responds to the needs of any type of migrant population and throughout all phases of the migration process, including post-emergency situations, through preventive health interventions, diagnostic services, medical treatment, medical evacuations, mental health and psycho-social assistance, health promotion, health education, environmental hygiene and control, local capacity building and rehabilitation of health infrastructures.” (IOM Migration Health Department)

Why an IOM-McGill School of Nursing Partnership?

The Global Health Studies (GHS) curriculum within the Masters program includes a migration health component. As with other GHS components, a partnership was sought, this one with an agency involved in clinical care and potentially research with migrants. This partnership was established with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Migration Health Department. Current site-specific activities take place in Thailand, Uganda and Kenya.
See: Hickey J, Gagnon A, Merry L. Partnering With Migrant Friendly Organizations: A Case Example From A Canadian School of Nursing. Nurse Education Today. In press.
Or search CPHA conference site for CPHA National Conference, Halifax, June 2008.