The Division of Family Planning and Women’s Global Health in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women’s Health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center began its global health initiatives in 2006 with the generous support of the Einstein Global Health Center. We are grateful for their continuing support as our work has expanded. The institutional mission of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine's Global Health Center is to promote the ideal of health for all. The center's goals and objectives include the domains of education, research and service with the ultimate goal of reducing disparities in health and alleviating human suffering. Committed to reducing maternal mortality and morbidity, the faculty from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology have previously worked in Haiti and Sub-Saharan Africa: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Rwanda and Uganda. In 2012, the department joined the Clinton Health Access Initiative with a seven year commitment to the Human Resources for Health initiative in Rwanda. The role of the faculty is to facilitate residency training and has been on site primarily at the University Hospital in Butare but also in Kigali for the past consecutive two years. In addition, since 2007, departmental faculty members have voluntarily contributed to training local physicians and health workers in the rural environment of Kibogora, Rwanda where they have established an ongoing birthing center.
The department is one of the largest and most diverse in the United States. There are two Chanaian Professors of Maternal-Fetal Medicine who are actively involved in the educational responsibility of the annual training of 46 residents and 23 subspecialty fellows. The community we serve is the Bronx, New York, which is the home to the majority of Ghanaians in the United States. The 2010 United States census reported there are 108,389 Americans of Ghanaian background.
In keeping with the national goal endorsed by the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons to increase the number of specialists in obstetrics and gynecology Dr. Irwin R. Merkatz proposes to partner with Ghanaian physician educators to expand the existing training of residents at two sites, an urban hospital, Ridge Hospital in Accra and a semi-urban district hospital site, Tetteh Quarshie Memorial Hospital, in the Akupem Ridge located in the eastern region of Ghana. The clinical experiences and exchange of both culture and language gained through this partnership will benefit the mutual communities we serve in both Ghana and the Bronx populations. In addition, as an academic institution, the ever-increasing interest of US medical students and residents in women’s global health is further fostered through education and field exposure with our faculty.