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.
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!
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."
In the Geita District in Tanzania’s Lake Zone, some 10 kilometers from the nearest health facility, a one-year-old girl child wakes up crying with a severe fever. “We used to walk more than 10 kilometers to present our sick children to Geita Regional Hospital,” says Joyce Bahati, the girl’s mother.
Access to proper diagnosis and medicine is critical when a child develops a severe fever. A long journey can delay treatment, or for some, discourage seeking care altogether. In rural sub-Saharan Africa, where the nearest fully-functional health facility may be, at best, a three-hour journey on foot, women and children often turn first to community-based caregivers and medicines sellers or small health dispensaries as first providers of primary health care, including severe fever.
For five years, the USAID-funded, MSH-led Leadership, Management and Sustainability project in Haiti (LMS/Haiti) worked with the Ministry of Health and Population (MSPP) and local NGOs to ensure a steady supply of family planning commodities to nearly 300 facilities throughout the country amid bone-rattling roads, surging rivers, and rocky footpaths.
Said Dr. Georges Dubuche, General Director of the MSPP, at the project’s closing ceremony April 14:
It is with real pride and great emotion that I salute LMS/Haiti.
LMS/Haiti’s greatest success, as everyone present can attest, was to guarantee the availability of family planning commodities at all times to ministry sites, with zero stock-out.
Dr. Georges Dubuche, General Director of the MSPP.Photo: MSH staff
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.