In recent years, global health stakeholders have begun to recognize the profound potential that drug shops have to advance public health goals, such as those related to malaria diagnosis and treatment, child health, and family planning. These outlets, for reasons of convenience and cost, are the first choice of care for millions of people - and until recently, they have largely been ignored. “Drug shops and pharmacies are important sources of health care, particularly in rural areas or urban slums with few public clinics.
In the poorest, most remote areas of the world, health services are often hard to come by. Communities are marginalized economically and geographically; people often do not seek preventative care and are not reached by primary and secondary health services.
MSH's May 2015 newsletter highlights the global health impact of pharmaceutical management: Ensuring access to affordable, quality medicines saves lives (subscribe).
by Jonathan D. Quick, MD, MPH
Health care is largely dependent upon essential medicines for preventing infection, reducing pain, and treating illness. The development of effective medicines, however, is only the beginning.
Quality care means getting the right medicine, in the right dose, at an affordable price, for all the people who need it.
Cross-posted with permission from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Blog, Impatient Optimists.
Primary health care has many different definitions, but can be defined simply as the first place where people seek care. Within this definition, private sector providers constitute an important source of primary health care in many parts of the world.
Private providers of primary health
The October/November issue of the Global Health Impact Newsletter (subscribe) focuses on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and MSH's response, including what is needed to save lives, contain Ebola (or any similar outbreak), and maintain essential health services: stronger health systems.
A Note from Dr. Jonathan Quick Dr. Jonathan D. QuickThe Ebola outbreak in West Africa is unprecedented. Already, over 13,000 people have been affected and over 5,000 lives lost. What’s more, this outbreak was preventable.
Tuesday, November 4, was my first day back at MSH headquarters since returning from Liberia nearly three weeks ago on October 21. I volunteered to go to Liberia—one of three West African countries at the center of the Ebola outbreak—because MSH has a wealth of experience to offer to help resolve one of the great public health challenges of our time.
Management Sciences for Health (MSH) hosted an interactive, three-day, online seminar on the West African Ebola outbreak on LeaderNet.org, October 28-30, 2014. Edited summaries from seminar facilitators (MSH Global Technical Lead on Malaria and Communicable Diseases, A. Frederick Hartman, MD, MPH, Days One-Three, and co-authored by Independent Pandemic Planning Advisor, Lisa Stone, Day Two), appear below. You can access seminar archives, including resources for preparedness and response, by joining LeaderNet.org.
Day One (Oct. 28): Mobilizing community-based care
The unprecedented outbreak and spread of the Ebola virus in three West African countries (Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone) continues to wreak havoc on the lives, economy, and already-strained health systems of the region. The outbreak is particularly high in Liberia with 2,413 people killed by the disease to date.
Are you interested in preparedness and response to an Ebola outbreak? Join us for a three-day interactive, web-based seminar on the West African Ebola outbreak from October 28-30, 2014.
Hosted by Management Sciences for Health, the LeaderNet seminar on Ebola will provide a broad overview of the current West African Ebola outbreak, identify trends and specific interventions that are needed, and show specific MSH technical approaches that can help countries prepare for and respond to any Ebola outbreak.
Dr. Fred Hartman is in Liberia with the MSH Ebola response team; he shared some of what he's seen with the Boston Herald. There isn’t the panic there was at the beginning, but the cases continue to rise. The paradox is that everything on the surface feels normal, but in the neighborhoods this infection is still blazing away and people are still dying of it....
Co-host Robin Young interviews Ian Sliney and Arthur Loryoun of Management Sciences for Health (MSH) about MSH's work with Liberia's government and community leaders to rebuild the health system, stop the spread of Ebola, and restore community confidence on today's NPR/WBUR Boston's Here & Now.
Ramatu Fullah is a 27-year-old woman in the Pujehun district of Sierra Leone. She comes from a poor family and, for years, had to earn her living as a sex worker to take care of her two children. Recently, Ramatu learned skills that enabled her to change her trade through an awareness-raising campaign supported by the USAID West Africa Regional Health Office's Action for West Africa Region II (AWARE II) project, managed by Management Sciences for Health (MSH). Today, Ramatu sells acheke, a local delicacy, on the streets of Sierra Leone.
Nearly 50 countries, including Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Liberia and South Sudan, are considered a fragile or conflict-affected state -- a state that is in conflict, recovering from conflict or crisis, or a state that has collapsed or has a strong and repressive government. Over nearly 40 years of working in fragile states, Management Sciences for Health (MSH) has identified best practices, lessons learned, and appropriate interventions for a myriad of situations in fragile states.
The theme of this year’s Global Health Council annual conference was Securing a Healthier Future in a Changing World. As populations are shifting, so are their health priorities. Increasing urbanization has led to more people living in and around cities, creating a series of problems that are new to public health professionals. Nutritional challenges, the need for improved water and sanitation infrastructure, and addressing the issue of unregulated health care providers are all problems facing governments, ministries, NGOs, donors, and populations.
That point was made often by the Honorable Dr. Walter T. Gwenigale, Minister of Health and Social Welfare of the Republic of Liberia (also widely known as Dr. G in Liberia) at a conference, co-sponsored by MSH on June 9 and 10 at the US Institute of Peace.
Fragile states such as Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Liberia, and Southern Sudan have among the worst health statistics – especially for women and children. For political, economic, security and other reasons they can be extremely challenging work environments.