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."
MSH President & CEO Jonathan D. Quick says: "Let this be a loud call to action for greater investment in strong local health systems and global networks..." in today's The New York Times.
"Let this be a loud call to action for greater investment in strong local health systems and global networks to prevent, detect and respond to public health threats. We know how to prevent the next local outbreak from becoming the world’s next major epidemic," says MSH President & CEO Jonathan D. Quick in a Letter to the Editor, published today in The New York Times.
Dr. Dahn, the chief medical officer of Liberia’s Ministry of Health, and her colleagues express dismay that missed information from 1982 contributed to the gravely flawed conventional wisdom that Ebola was absent in West Africa. An even greater error of conventional wisdom was the longstanding misjudgment by experts that Ebola was a “dead-end event,” killing its human host too quickly to spread out of control.
World Health Worker Week (April 6-10, 2015) is an opportunity to mobilize communities, partners, and policymakers in support of health workers in your community and around the world. It is a time to celebrate, raise awareness, and renew commitments to health workers having the training, supplies and support they need to do their jobs safely and effectively.
Meet some of the health worker heroes among us!
Muhamed Mulongo, acting district health officer, Uganda
Dr. Muhamed MulongoPhoto credit: Cindy Shiner/MSH
Muhamed Mulongo decided when he was a boy to become a doctor after accompanying his sister to the hospital in the middle of the night during difficult labor. The baby died.
I said to myself, 'I should be a doctor I think'.
Now he is the only surgical doctor in the eastern Ugandan district of Bulambuli.
You work here only when you love your job.
You always have to improvise. You have no choice -- you have to save people in the process.
We support health workers at all levels -- ministries of health, community volunteers, midwives, medicine shop owners, nursing officers, and more -- so that every woman and newborn, even in the most remote areas, has the opportunity for a healthy life.
Envision a world where everyone has the opportunity for a healthy life!
Delegates learn about pharmaceutical management from Systems for Improving Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program staff while visiting Mokopane Hospital in Limpopo Province, South Africa.Photo credit: Bright Phiri/MSH
Management Sciences for Health (MSH) sponsored a Congressional Staff Study Tour to South Africa and Zambia in February 2015 to examine the local impact of US funded health capacity strengthening in Southern Africa. During the trip, site visits and meetings highlighted the impact of local health capacity building efforts in pharmaceutical management of essential medicines and HIV & AIDS drugs and technical and managerial development opportunities for community workers.
Increasing access to essential medicines and supplies for maternal health requires a systems approach that includes: improving governance of pharmaceutical systems, strengthening supply chain management, increasing the availability of information for decision-making, developing appropriate financing strategies and promoting rational use of medicines and supplies.
A postnatal woman with her newborn and mother-in-law.Photo credit: Emily Phillips/MSH Afghanistan
Last month I represented Management Sciences for Health (MSH) at Oxfam India’s South Asia Consultation on Maternal Health in Kathmandu, Nepal. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss significant maternal health programming experiences in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, and to suggest strategic directions for Oxfam India’s future maternal health programming. More than 30 representatives from governments, national and international universities, and nongovernmental organizations attended.
“I started feeling this coughing… so I went to the health center and got tested. It was positive for TB,” says Grace*, a young Ugandan woman. She started on medicines, but after two months, she stopped adhering to treatment.
They told me to continue with the drugs for five more months, but I stopped.
I thought I was ok.
She started coughing again, went to the hospital, and was diagnosed with multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). MDR-TB cannot be treated with two of the most powerful first-line treatment anti-TB drugs. Her treatment regimen? Six months of injections and two years of drugs.
As we reflect on lessons learned from the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) and set strategies for improving global maternal health, it’s time to identify what has worked and what more is needed to not only avert preventable maternal deaths, but also provide quality health care for every woman.
In a paper published last month, Tamil Kendall, a post-doctoral fellow of the Maternal Health Task Force, summarizes priorities for maternal health research in low- and middle-income countries based on three broad questions she asked 26 maternal health researchers from five continents:
1. Critical maternal health knowledge gaps
“We know what to do. But the interactions between the interventions and the health system have not been studied”