US Global Health Policy

U.S. Global Health Policy

{Photo credit: MSH}Photo credit: MSH

This year, the theme of International Day of Persons with Disabilities is Inclusion matters: access and empowerment for people of all abilities. Far too often, people with disabilities face barriers to inclusion, and are not able to access transportation, employment, education, and other aspects of society.

In a world with a considerable unmet need for appropriate wheelchairs, enormous access challenges for those who do have a wheelchair, a glut of well-intentioned donations of inappropriate wheelchairs languishing in backrooms and landfills, where do you begin to help people who need wheelchairs? Over the last seven years, the World Health Organization (WHO)—with generous support from the US Agency for International Development (USAID)—has established guidelines for appropriate wheelchair provision, developed curricula for wheelchair professionals, and brought together a cadre of passionate supporters for appropriate wheelchair service provision in low resource settings. Training materials are now available, some in many languages including French, Spanish, Portuguese, Turkish, Romanian, Khmer, Thai, and Chinese.

{Photo credit: Warren Zelman}Photo credit: Warren Zelman

This week, at the 46th Union World Conference on Lung Health (hashtag ), the US Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded and Management Sciences for Health (MSH)-led, Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program is launching a new tool to improve how the safety and effectiveness of medicines is monitored in low- and middle-income countries.

All medicines undergo rigorous clinical testing prior to being made publicly available. Continuing to monitor the safety and effectiveness of medicines in real world settings, also referred to as pharmacovigilance, is critically important to ensure that medicines can be used over a prolonged period of time, in conjunction with other medicines, among new patient populations, and in patients with multiple illnesses. 

Low- and middle-income countries, however, often lack the resources, capacity, and systems required to effectively implement pharmacovigilance activities. They often rely heavily on passive reporting methods which can underestimate potential medicines use issues.

{Photo credit: Olumade Badejo/MSH}Photo credit: Olumade Badejo/MSH

Update, 1/11/16: Join MSH at the International Family Planning Conference, January 25-28, 2016, in Indonesia. Get ICFP2016 details here.

Original post continues:

This blog post is a web-formatted version of the Global Health Impact newsletter: Family Planning: The Win-Win-Win for Health (November 2015). (View or share the email version here.) We welcome your feedback and questions in the comments. On social media, use hashtag and tag .  Subscribe

 {Photo credit: Rui Pires}This Accredited Drug Shop (ADS) in Kibaale district, Uganda, is one of nearly 1,500 small private vendors supported by MSH that provide rural access to family planning commodities, counseling, and referrals.Photo credit: Rui Pires

This week, conference organizers announced that the anticipated 2015 International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) in Nusa Dua, Indonesia would be postponed due to a volcanic ash cloud limiting air travel and presenting health concerns. We stand in solidarity with all those in the region. Although the conference is postponed, the family planning conversation must go on.

Earlier this fall, the 193 member states at the 70th United Nations General Assembly ratified and launched the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Now, stakeholders are determining together how to achieve the 17 goals and 169 targets.  Management Sciences for Health (MSH) works primarily toward Goal 3: to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages and related targets by 2030.

 {Photo credit: DRC-IHP/MSH.}A healthy, exclusively breastfed, five-month old Ataadji and mom, Thérèse. In two months, his weight increased from six to sixteen pounds.Photo credit: DRC-IHP/MSH.

This post is part of the  blog and event series on proven, impactful practices that are advancing maternal, newborn, and child survival. The series is sponsored by MSH, Jhpiego, and Save the Children.

At three months old, Thérèse’s baby boy Ataadji was malnourished and unhealthy, weighing in at only six pounds. Within two months, Ataadji had transformed into a thriving, healthy baby boy and his weight had nearly tripled. The keys to this success? An Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) support group and exclusive breastfeeding.

 {Photo credit: MSH staff}Several MSH delegates gather at the Global MNH conference.Photo credit: MSH staff

The Global Maternal and Newborn Health Conference held last week in Mexico City was an action-packed three days of presentations and conversations about state-of-the-art strategies to improve maternal and newborn health. Throughout it all, the following key themes stood out as critical for the post-2015 development agenda, particularly in the context of pursuing universal health coverage (UHC).

{Photo credit: Warren Zelman, Democratic Republic of the Congo}Photo credit: Warren Zelman, Democratic Republic of the Congo

This post originally appeared on the Frontline Health Workers Coalition blog.

I grew up in a village in northwestern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and although I’m now a doctor and live in Kinshasa, I remember those days well.

I know what it’s like to live 23 kilometers from the nearest health center and to navigate forests and floods to get there. I know how a lack of something simple like antibiotics can cause a quick death. I’ve lost many peers from the village over the years and a lot of family members.

In fact, that’s why I became a physician.

 {Photo credit: Michele Alexander/MSH}Speakers on the Social Good Summit stage discuss AIDS activism.Photo credit: Michele Alexander/MSH

Every September, New York City transforms into a hub of development activity as thousands of representatives from governments, non-governmental organizations, civil society, and the private sector gather for the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). This September was no exception as the 70th UNGA kicked off by inaugurating the world’s new sustainable development goals (the SDGs or Global Goals).

On September 27 and 28, I joined hundreds of others in New York City for the Social Good Summit, an exciting two-day conference examining the impact of technology and new media on social good initiatives around the world. Hosted by Mashable, the UN Foundation, UNDP, and 92Y, this annual event brings together notables from all sectors from celebrities to government leaders. Some of the most impactful speakers included Nelson Mandela’s grandson Ndaba Mandela discussing AIDS activism; Facebook’s Naomi Gleit sharing how social media played a key role in connecting people and mobilizing support immediately following the April 25, 2015 Nepal earthquake; and UNFPA’s Babatunde Osotimehin and celebrity advocate Ashley Judd highlighting the importance of access to reproductive health services.

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