Bringing together disaster relief and primary care

Lynda Redwood-Campbell in Mozambique with the Canadian Red Cross.

Lynda Redwood-Campbell is a professor with the Department of Family Medicine as well as an active member of the Canadian Red Cross International Emergency Response Unit (ERU) team.

This spring, Redwood-Campbell travelled to Mozambique with the Canadian Red Cross to support the disaster response after Cyclone Idai. The cyclone was one of the worst in Mozambique’s history, affecting over 1.8 million people, destroying approximately 111,000 homes and half a million hectares of agricultural land.

Redwood-Campbell was deployed as a senior medical officer where she, along with a team, focused on treating choleramalaria, and supporting maternal and child health. The team helped to reduce the burden on the strained local hospital and built capacity by providing training opportunities for local staff.

Upon returning to Hamilton, Redwood-Campbell had the opportunity to reflect on her experience and how it impacts her work back home,

“The work that I do when I’m in the field is really important for the work that I do here. I think it gives a different perspective of what is going on in the world,” she said. “We have a lot of learners here at the university who are very interested in knowing more about what is happening in the world; about poverty, about inequities in health.

“So being able to go to the field and actually see that and come back and ask more research questions and be thinking about how can we move some of this forward… I think is really important.”

Having worked for both organizations for a number of years, Redwood-Campbell said she is pleased to see them coming together. The Department of Family Medicine and the Canadian Red Cross recently announced a strategic alliance that is supporting a number of initiatives both globally and locally.

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