Health Systems Strengthening

Health Systems Strengthening (HSS)

 {Photo credit: Pinky Patel}A photo from A Corridor of Contrasts.Photo credit: Pinky Patel

This week, African Strategies for Health (ASH)—a USAID-funded, MSH-led project that identifies public health best practices in sub-Saharan Africa and advocates for their adoption—has been attending the International Conference on Urban Health from May 24 through 27 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. At the conference, ASH has been sharing A Corridor of Contrasts, a report compiling photographs and stories of the people living along the West African Abidjan to Lagos transport corridor, which crosses Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria.

In partnership with USAID’s Africa Bureau and Bureau of Global Health, ASH sent me and a photographer, Pinky Patel, to West Africa this past January to document life along the Abidjan to Lagos transport corridor. We traveled the majority of the road through Benin, Togo, Ghana, and Cote d’Ivoire, talking with and photographing people from all walks of life with the goal of learning how cities influence health. Our experience is documented in A Corridor of Contrasts.

South African poster encouraging appropriate use of antimicrobials, developed for Pharmacy Week 2014.

Antimicrobial resistance is a major threat to the long-term security of public health and has the potential to negatively impact our society. It is a serious and growing global health security risk, which needs to be prioritised at local and international levels.

-Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, South African Minister of Health

Last May, the World Health Assembly called for global action to address the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program in South Africa (SIAPS-SA), understanding the need for a coordinated national response, worked closely with the National Department of Health (NDoH) on the development of the National Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Strategy Framework 2014-2024 and the institutionalization of a self-assessment and continuous quality improvement approach to enhance infection prevention and control (IPC) programs.

{Photo credit: Rui Pires}Photo credit: Rui Pires

More than 10 years ago, Management Sciences for Health (MSH) developed its Leadership Development Program (LDP), a structured program for leadership development that ties together personal development and real life challenges, utilizing a team-based, action learning approach to improve health outcomes.

This week, May 26 through May 28, all health leaders and managers interested in the LDP, and the new and improved LDP Plus (LDP+), are invited to participate in a free, three-day online seminar on MSH’s LeaderNet.

 {Photo Credit: Brigid Boettler/MSH}Ibil Surya, William Yeung, and Meggie Mwoka at Youth Lead side event, May 19, 2015.Photo Credit: Brigid Boettler/MSH

This post originally appeared on LMGforHealth.org. USAID's Leadership, Management & Governance (LMG) Project is led by Management Sciences for Health (MSH) with a consortium of partners.

“Age is not an issue when it comes to experience and knowledge,” said Katja Iversen, CEO of Women Deliver at Youth Lead: Setting Priorities for Adolescent Health. The World Health Assembly (WHA) side event wrapped up almost two weeks of young leaders sharing their experience and knowledge in Geneva at global consultations of health agendas and the creation of the new Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s, and Adolescents’ Health.

{Photo credit: Katy Doyle/MSH, Lesotho}Photo credit: Katy Doyle/MSH, Lesotho

For more than three years, TOMS Giving (TOMS), and Management Sciences for Health (MSH) have partnered to address critical health and social issues facing mothers and children in rural sub-Saharan Africa.

Together, MSH and TOMS have helped nearly 1,000,000 moms and kids in Uganda and Lesotho stay healthy.  

How are MSH and TOMS ensuring a successful partnership? Utilizing complementary innovation and expertise toward aligned social impact goals. TOMS is known for their innovative One for One® philanthropy model—for each pair of shoes that is purchased in higher-income countries, TOMS provides a pair of shoes for a child or caregiver in need—one for one. But often times, the logistics of providing these shoes in rural areas in Africa can be daunting. That’s where MSH comes in: For over 40 years, MSH has helped build locally-led, locally-run health systems in over 130 countries, including among the poorest and most vulnerable populations in some of the hardest-to-reach regions of the world.

{Photo credit: Mark Tuschman.}Photo credit: Mark Tuschman.

Are you strengthening youth leaders in a low or middle-income country? Take the Youth Leadership Program Survey now

Young people are the next generation of leaders.

How many times do we say this, or some version of it? Yet, do we examine the rhetoric behind it? What does it mean to strengthen youth leaders and what do programs that embody this mantra look like?

This month, with support from USAID’s Office of Population and Reproductive Health, the Leadership, Management & Governance (LMG) Project proudly launches www.YouthLeadGlobal.org, a community for youth leaders that also aims to gather information on programs that are developing youth leaders around the world with an online survey. With our collaborating networks, the International Youth Alliance for Family Planning (IYAFP) and Youth Health and Rights Coalition (YHRC), we are initiating a global search for promising youth leadership programs and approaches.

Meet Sophie.

I'd like to introduce you to a special mother. Her name is Mama Sophie (meet her in this video). Seven months pregnant and experiencing pain, Sophie went to the Dipeta Health Facility in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC):

I thought maybe the baby was changing position in the womb, but…[they told me the baby was coming].

Sophie was frightened: she had lost two babies before. She wasn’t the only person concerned. Dipeta Health Facility has an incubator, but doesn't have a reliable source of electricity to use it.

When I delivered... I could see people were worried… But, Mama Esther, the birth attendant said: ‘Mardochée will grow up in the Kangaroo Mother style.'

Trained by the birth attendant on Kangaroo Mother Care, Sophie held Mardochée skin-to-skin close against her chest -- wrapped in a cloth like a kangaroo protecting a newborn in its pouch -- for days and days.

{Photo credit: Genaye Eshetu/MSH}Photo credit: Genaye Eshetu/MSH

Going to Geneva for the 68th Session of the World Health Assembly (WHA)? Please join Management Sciences for Health (MSH) for three WHA side events: two on Monday, May 18th (a breakfast call to action on gestational diabetes screening, and an evening panel discussion on building global health resilience); and one on Tuesday, May 19th (a lunch panel discussion on setting adolescent health priorities). Please RSVP to each event separately. We hope to see you in Geneva!

(Not going to Geneva? Follow this blog for updates. On Twitter, follow , , and , and hashtags .)

Saving the Lives of Women & Newborns through Gestational Diabetes Screening: A Call to Action

Monday, May 18, 2015
8:00 am – 9:30am (08h00 - 09h30)
Vieux Bois restaurant, at the entrance to the Palais des Nations, Avenue de la Paix 12

{Photo credit: Todd Shapera, Rwanda}Photo credit: Todd Shapera, Rwanda

Rwanda is one of the "biggest success stories" of countries improving child survival since 2000, the BBC World News reported April 29, 2015, linking to a podcast on BBC's The Inquiry.  

Randy Wilson, Principal Technical Advisor, Management Sciences for Health (MSH), spoke with BBC The Inquiry's Helena Merriman about MSH's role supporting Rwanda's efforts, including training community health workers with RapidSMS to saves lives. Said Wilson:

We helped to introduce RapidSMS within the districts, training 45,000 community health workers, many of whom who had never touched a cell phone in their life.

Wilson continued: "If there's even the slightest evidence" of a health concern, RapidSMS "encourages the community health worker not only to refer, but also to accompany, the mother to a facility where they get proper care."

{Screenshot, BBC, April 29, 2015}Screenshot, BBC, April 29, 2015According to the BBC:

 {Photo credit: Diana Tumuhairwe/MSH}A multidrug-resistant TB patient from Kitgum, Uganda. He lost his job because of his illness.Photo credit: Diana Tumuhairwe/MSH

Health workers throughout the developing world provide vital services and improve the lives of the people they serve, and yet they are often invisible. These men and women conduct community outreach, provide key prevention messages in the community, and deliver clinical care, treatment, and follow-up. In Uganda, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) TRACK TB project, led by Management Sciences for Health (MSH), supports 52 community linkage facilitators to help increase tuberculosis (TB) case detection and treatment success rates.

As their name suggests, they serve as the link between the patient and the health facility. The facilitators receive a monthly allowance, mobile phones, paid airtime, and transportation reimbursement as they track treatment adherence of TB patients in and around Kampala, Uganda’s capital. The facilitators are critical to successful implementation of the World Health Organization’s DOTS (directly observed treatment short-course) strategy, which helps patients adhere to treatment.

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