The Philippines has one of the highest TB burdens in the world—and 2.6% of its more than 286,000 new cases in 2015 were of multi-drug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). This threatens the progress the country has made in addressing the deadly disease over the past few decades and its goal to make the country TB-free by 2030. Further, MDR-TB cases will likely rise steadily in the Philippines and the world over the next two decades.
Health systems strengthening was front and center in discussions held in New York on the sidelines of the 72nd United Nations General Assembly. MSH hosted three events spotlighting how strong health systems are critical to resiliency and stability in fragile environments, at the core for global health security and essential for achieving universal health coverage. Here are some highlights from the week. See more on Twitter @MSHHealthImpact, @MSHACTS and @FCIatMSH.
Resilient and Stable: Building Strong Health Systems to Protect Women, Adolescents, and Children | September 18, 2017
Earlier this year we wrote about our ongoing experience reaching pregnant women in Uganda with a model that we called “pregnancy clubs” – an effort to improve the quality of health services women receive during pregnancy and after delivery by organizing them into groups to discuss their personal experiences and learn important self-care skills, guided by a healthcare provider.
Improving the quality of care that women experience during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period has become a major global priority. Achieving good quality care requires not only clinical improvements, but also a person-centered approach that takes into account women’s and health workers’ needs and perspectives.
Over the past year, Tijuana, Mexico, has seen an influx of U.S.-bound Haitian migrants fleeing communities left in disrepair from the 2010 earthquake and further devastated by Hurricane Matthew in October 2016. These migrants often begin their journey in Latin America and trek through multiple countries and hostile terrain only to find they cannot enter the U.S. once at the border.
Malaria in pregnant women contributes to several negative outcomes including miscarriage, premature birth, labor complications, low birth-weight babies, anemia, and maternal and newborn death. In Sierra Leone, malaria in pregnancy and child mortality rates are especially high: the disease contributes to nearly 40 percent of deaths of children under the age of five.
Pregnancy and childbirth are times of unparalleled change and hope for the future. But for many women, the arrival of a new baby is also a challenging time — one that can be overshadowed by depression.
Follow the conversation at the Commission on the Status of Women: #CSW61
As we prepare to join the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) next week, where the focus will be on women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work, I am reminded of my visit to Malawi last month.
Mettre un enfant au monde est tout un travail différent. Tout le monde peut aider quelqu'un qui est malade, mais tout le monde ne peut pas faire le travail d'une sage-femme--guider une femme et son bébé en toute sécurité pendant la grossesse et l'accouchement. Je sais ce que signifie garder les femmes et les bébés vivants et en bonne santé parce que je suis une sage-femme.
This is the second in a series of four stories about how strong health systems improve the health of women and children.
Nine countries, with support from the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and other partners, launched the Network for Improving Quality of Care for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health last week.
Before the civil war in the late 1990s, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) had a large network of clinics and health facilities. But decades of conflict weakened a fragile health system and robbed this resource-rich country of its potential to become one of sub-Saharan Africa’s wealthiest nations. By 2010, 70 to 80 percent of Congolese people had little or no access to healthcare, and the country suffered from a lack of basic security, communication systems, power, clean water, and transportation.
This post originally appeared on the Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program blog as, "UHC Day 2016: Strong pharmaceutical management boosts access to essential medicines".
When 18-year-old Ianka Barbosa was 7 months pregnant, an ultrasound showed the baby had an abnormally small head, a dreaded sign of microcephaly due to Zika infection. Upon hearing the news, Ianka’s husband fled. In her poor neighborhood of Campina Grande, Brazil, Ianka soon became a young mother alone.
As Ianka’s baby Sophia grows, she may never walk, or talk. She could develop seizures before she reaches six months. By the end of the year there may be a staggering 3,000 Sophias in Brazil – mostly in the poorest places.
This Global Health Impact issue highlights community health and community health workers, and presents a glimpse of MSH's work at the community level, in partnership with national ministries of health, civil society organizations, the private sector, and more.The community is the center of the health system in developing countries.Throughout sub-Saharan Africa, community health workers, often volunteers, represent the foundation of the health system, addressing priority health areas ranging from maternal and newborn health to family planning and infection prevention.
Many years ago I began my public health career in Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl, then a squatter settlement of 1.8 million people, bordering Mexico City in the State of Mexico. Lack of land and unaffordable rents forced poor migrants, streaming in from the country side in search of employment and a better life in the city, to settle in the surrounding peri-urban areas. This large municipality, with few paved streets, was difficult to navigate in the rainy season. During the dry season, the wind would kick up dust storms that made it hard to see a block ahead.
Many child deaths in developing countries are preventable: Children die from treatable conditions, such as pneumonia, diarrhea, and malaria, because families in rural, hard-to-reach, or conflict-ridden areas can’t access or afford the treatments. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), launched in September 2015, set ambitious targets of ending preventable child deaths by 2030 and reducing mortality among children under age five to at least 25 per 1,000 live births.
Management Sciences for Health (MSH) celebrated 10 Years of Improving the Health of Women and Children in Nigeria with 250 stakeholders and supporters at a special event in Abuja on March 31, 2016. Distinguished guests included the chairman of the Nigerian House of Representatives, director of the Federal Ministry of Health in Nigeria, high-level representatives from state governments and partner organizations, and more.
Today, April 7, we celebrate World Health Day, started by the World Health Organization (WHO) to mark its founding in 1948.Amid Ebola, Zika, maternal and child mortality, and other global health challenges, WHO chose diabetes, for the first time, as its World Health Day theme (“Stay super. Beat diabetes”).
"Medicines are a key component of treatments to save lives"
~ Kwesi Eghan, trained Ghanian pharmacist and MSH portfolio manager for the US Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) program in South Sudan and Afghanistan A child in Tanzania has a fever for three days. A pregnant woman in Namibia is taking antiretroviral therapy (ART) to treat HIV and prevent transmission of HIV to her baby. A man in Swaziland suffers from drug-resistant TB and struggles to adhere to treatment.
A woman. A newborn. A child. In many countries, their basic health and rights are tenuous. These women, newborns, and children are the health system.
A woman is ostracized: abandoned by her husband, her family, and her community. She suffered a fistula after giving birth to her son. After 20-plus years, an operation repairs her fistula; now, she is teaching again, and a part of the community.
Impact. Scale. Sustainability. As public health professionals, we are dedicated to high-impact and high-coverage interventions that significantly improve the health of large human populations. We also hope that the benefits become part of the timeless fabric of their families, communities, and the health system.
When my daughter got sick, I took her to a clinic in my neighborhood. They gave her cough syrup for seven days.
I thought she was getting better, but it was apparent that she was still ill. After another examination, they referred her to St. Paul Hospital in Addis Ababa where they put her on oxygen and started taking blood sample after sample and injection after injection for a month. Her condition did not get better so they gave her another medicine. The doctors then decided to take blood from her back… only then did they know it was tuberculosis.
Medicines are a critical component of quality health care. In fact, most of the leading causes of death and disability in low- and middle-income countries could be prevented or treated with the appropriate use of affordable, effective medicines.Yet, about two billion people—one third of the world’s population—lack consistent access to essential medicines. Fake and substandard medicines exacerbate the problem. When these people fall ill and seek treatment, too often they end up with small quantities, high prices, poor quality, and the wrong drug.
Tuberculosis (TB) is now the leading infectious cause of death worldwide -- ahead of HIV. While major advances in the diagnosis and treatment of TB have been made since 1990, children suffering from this disease have remained neglected and vulnerable. An estimated 1 million children become ill with TB each year, and at least 200 children die each day from TB around the world.
This blog post is a web-formatted version of the Global Health Impact newsletter: Stronger Health Systems Stop TB and Save Lives (December 2015). (View or share the email version here.) We welcome your feedback and questions in the comments or email us. On social media, use hashtag #GlobalHealthImpact and tag @MSHHealthImpact. Subscribe
An estimated two billion people worldwide are infected with mycobacterium tuberculosis, more commonly known as tuberculosis, or TB. Despite major successes reducing global TB prevalence and mortality rates, TB is the single greatest infectious disease killer globally, surpassing HIV & AIDS. In 2014, 1.5 million people died from TB, including about 400,000 who also had HIV.
This week, at the 46th Union World Conference on Lung Health (hashtag #WCLH2015), 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.
Despite improvements in child survival in recent decades, children in low- and middle-income countries still suffer from illnesses virtually nonexistent in the industrial world.
Pneumonia is the deadliest of these, responsible for the death of 900,000 children under five worldwide in 2013—more than any other infectious disease.
This post is part of the #SaveMomsandKids 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.
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).
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.
My home region of Tigray in northern Ethiopia has made great strides in ending preventable maternal mortality. Best estimates suggest that the maternal mortality ratio in our region dropped from approximately 653 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 1990, to 267 in 2014. However, while most pregnant women in Tigray attend at least one antenatal care visit, only 41 percent attend the recommended four visits, and less than 63 percent deliver with a skilled birth attendant.
UPDATE: The Reach Every Mother and Child Act of 2015, S.1911, was introduced in the US Senate by Senators Susan Collins and Chris Coons on July 30, 2015.
Since 1990, nearly 100 million children around the world have been saved due to global efforts to reduce child mortality, and maternal deaths have been cut nearly in half. The US government has played a large role in this great success story.
Management Sciences for Health (MSH) presented seven abstracts at the 8th International Aids Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2015) in Vancouver, Canada, July 19-22, 2015.
UN's final MDG Report 20152015 — the finish line of the United Nations' grand experiment, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Framed in 2000, the MDGs represent a leap of faith by the global community to transform, through unified action, the lives of millions living under the threat of extreme poverty, malnourishment, inadequate health care, poor hygiene, and without dignity.
Update, July 30, 2015:
Prior to 2002, the vast majority of health service delivery systems in Afghanistan were non-existent or informal. The Leadership, Management, and Governance (LMG)-Afghanistan project improved family planning, reproductive health, and maternal and child health using strategies to strengthen health leadership developed by Afghans, for Afghans.
See the Journey to Restoration on Exposure
The original post follows:
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.
More mothers and children under five are surviving, but progress is "uneven across regions and countries, leaving significant gaps", the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon confirmed today, July 6, launching the final Millennium Development Goals Report (2015). Child under-five mortality has been cut in half since 1990 (reduced from 90 to 43 deaths per 1,000 live births) and maternal mortality has been reduced 45 percent -- with much of the reduction occuring since 2000.
Management Sciences for Health (MSH) is pleased to announce the availability of the 2014 edition of the International Drug Price Indicator Guide. The Guide provides a spectrum of prices from 25 sources, including pharmaceutical suppliers, international development organizations, and government agencies.
Use the Guide to determine the probable cost of pharmaceutical products for programs, compare current prices paid to prices available on the international market, assess the potential financial impact of changes to a medicines list, and to support rational medicine use education.
The following blog post is a web-formatted version of MSH's Global Health Impact newsletter (June 2015 edition), Good Governance Strengthens Health Systems. We welcome your questions and feedback in the comments. Get Global Health Impact in your inbox
by James A. Rice, PhD
While at the World Federation of Public Health Associations meeting in India earlier this year, I met with a district health manager from Nigeria. He asked, What is the value of having a District Health Council? It takes a lot of time to work with them; so what is the return on that invested time? My Nigerian colleague is not the only one struggling to support the role of governing bodies. For years, governing bodies -– from district and provincial health councils to executive boards -– have been overlooked as valuable players in strengthening health systems.
Just a few months ago, the province of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, captured the world’s attention for unfortunate reasons: xenophobic attacks on foreign African nationals. This week, from June 9 to 12 in Durban, the same province is hosting the 7th South African AIDS conference, a gathering expected to bring together thousands of activists from within the country, the Southern African region and, indeed, the rest of the continent and the world, to “reflect, refocus, and renew” efforts in response to HIV and AIDS.
Multisector perspectives on achieving resilience in global health
Recent events, such as the Haiti and Nepal earthquakes and West Africa Ebola outbreak, have demonstrated, now more than ever, that a resilient health system is vital to ensuring stability and well-being in society. With this in mind, Management Sciences for Health (MSH) and the USAID-funded, MSH-led, Leadership, Management, and Governance project in Haiti (LMG/Haiti), partnered with Johnson & Johnson to host a high-level panel event during the 68th session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland.
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.
We spoke with MSH’s Chryste D. Best, BS, product quality assurance manager, The Partnership for Supply Chain Management (PFSCM), about her selection as one of the top 300 women leaders in global health by the Global Health Programme of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. Best provides innovative quality assurance oversight for the global procurement of medicines and commodities by MSH and partners.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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!
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
On behalf of our 2,200-plus worldwide staff, we wish you, your family, and communities, a happy World Health Day!
This World Health Day, we celebrate the heroes among us: health workers. We envision a world where everyone has the opportunity for a healthy life. Says a nursing officer from Kenya: My vision is to have the best maternal services in this community. Watch video
For more than 40 years, MSH has expanded access to quality maternal, neonatal, and child health services by strengthening all levels of the health system.
Nearly three years ago, I blogged about a systems approach to improving access for a Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) series on maternal health commodities: 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. It was an exciting year for maternal health.
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.
Currently, there is strong interest in global women and children’s issues on Capitol HIll, with several Members of Congress declaring bipartisan interest in introducing maternal, newborn, and child survival (MNCS) legislation on Mother’s Day 2015. MSH is actively engaged in supporting this effort and using our technical expertise to help ensure any proposed legislation is evidence‐based.To this end, MSH's Policy & Advocacy Unit recently joined the newly‐formed MNCS Working Group, a coalition of like-minded NGOs that are trying to build broader congressional su
Members of the global health community commemorated International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8 by celebrating recent advances in women and girls’ health and indeed there was much to celebrate: maternal deaths have declined 45% worldwide, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has distributed over 450 million bed nets, and over 1 million babies have been born HIV-free thanks to the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR); but there is still work to do. What happens once the day is over? How do we turn that attention into action?
Cross-posted with permission from the Maternal Health Taskforce (MHTF) blog.
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.
Each year International Women’s Day energizes women and girls all over the world to celebrate and acknowledge the contributions of women globally. Together, we celebrate both the spirit and the essence of women wherever they may be, in whatever role they have taken. Based on our own experiences as women, each of us must align ourselves in solidarity with movements that signify a moment in our lives where we have overcome challenges despite the obstacles faced.
I am a woman. I am a Nigerian. I am a mother. I am a leader. And, I am a daughter. As the Nigerian country representative, I guide Management Sciences for Health (MSH)’s efforts to ensure the people of my country have access to quality health services. Indeed, I am many things. Before all else:
I am a woman of Nigeria.
The Girl Child in Nigeria
From the beginning, our girl children are at a disadvantage.
When Mearege gets really sick, her husband leaves town. Bedridden and in the care of her parents, Mearege gets tested and learns she--and her daugther--are HIV-positive. Through the support of mother mentors, trained by the Ethiopia Network for HIV/AIDS Treatment, Care and Support Program (ENHAT-CS), Mearege finds solace, guidance, and healing -- and decides to have another child.
This post is part of MSH's Global Health Impact Blog series, Improving Health in Haiti: Remember, Rebuild.
As January 12, 2015 marked the fifth anniversary of the Haiti earthquake, Management Sciences for Health (MSH) and its partner organizations, including the Leadership, Management & Governance Project/Haiti, brought together Haitian and US government officials and key global health stakeholders for two days of meetings and events highlighting health progresses made in Haiti since 2010.
Update, April 14, 2015:
Watch video recordings of the summit Original post continues:
The first Lesotho National Conference on Vulnerable Children, December 8-11, 2014, was organized by the Government of Lesotho, with support from US Agency for International Development (USAID)/The US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through Management Sciences for Health’s Building Local Capacity for Delivery of HIV Services in Southern Africa Project, and in collaboration with UNICEF, UNAIDS, and other development partners.
This post originally appeared as part of the Woman-Centered Universal Health Coverage Series, hosted by the Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) and USAID|TRAction, which discusses the importance of utilizing a woman-centered agenda to operationalize universal health coverage. To contribute a post to MHTF's #WomenCentered #UHC series, please contact Katie Millar.
This post originally appeared on the Southern Africa HIV and AIDS Regional Exchange (SHARE) as "The role of the private sector in responding to OVC issues". As we travelled to the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho, I had mixed emotions about the National Conference on Vulnerable Children I was going to attend. Issues of orphans and vulnerable children are very close to my heart, as I have first-hand experience of growing up with a cousin who is an orphan due to HIV and AIDS.
This post originally appeared on the Southern Africa HIV and AIDS Regional Exchange (SHARE) as "Meeting the needs of vulnerable children: where are we and where do we need to go?".
The first Lesotho National Conference on Vulnerable Children (LCVC), December 8-11, 2014, reflected upon the state of the response to vulnerable children and facilitated a systematic approach of generating and articulating evidence for future direction for an efficient, effective, and well-coordinated response within the region.
Today, over 500 organizations and individuals worldwide are celebrating the first-ever Universal Health Coverage Day (UHC Day). All week, Management Sciences for Health (MSH) bloggers have shared stories, analysis, photos, and videos, in support of UHC Day and health for all: Partnering to Make UHC a Reality "For UHC to succeed worldwide, the global health community must generate what’s still missing: a fully-fledged roadmap for UHC efforts and an architecture for global UHC governance," blogs Jonathan Jay in Devex.
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
In 2013 diarrhea killed 578,000 children under the age of five, 9 percent of all deaths in this age group globally. The tragedy of these deaths is that they are avoidable at many levels. The risk of contracting diarrhea can be drastically decreased through basic hygiene measures, such as consistent and exclusive use of a latrine and washing one’s hands with soap. Once a child becomes ill with diarrhea, most cases can be managed with oral rehydration salts and zinc.
November is Prematurity Awareness Month in the US, and the 17th is World Prematurity Day. But I never need any reminders about the importance of access to medicines and services for premature babies. Every November, I celebrate the birthday of my own little preemie. On November 30, 1997, I went into labor just after reaching 32 weeks. I was terrified. I had had a healthy second pregnancy up to that point and my doctor did not believe me at first when I told her I was in labor.
This post originally appeared on Devex on November 14, World Diabetes Day (#WDD).
During her third pregnancy, Eden Bihon visited the Mekelle Health Center in Tigray, Ethiopia. Although a routine prenatal visit, it held great importance for Eden, as she had recently lost her second child, who died from unknown causes at the age of just one year.
Unknown to her at the time, this visit would have lasting implications for Eden and her baby. A 23-year-old mother, Eden, like most Ethiopian women, had concerns about her pregnancy and well-being. But gestational diabetes was not one of them.
Every year, pneumonia kills approximately 936,000 children under the age of five, accounting for 15 percent of all deaths within this age group. One of the worst affected countries is the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where pneumonia took the lives of nearly 50,000 children in 2013, including almost 7,000 newborns.
For the sixth year, people around the global are bringing awareness to this critical—and solvable—problem by commemorating World Pneumonia Day today, November 12th. This year’s theme is: “Universal access to pneumonia prevention and care”.
Experience the 69th UN General Assembly (UNGA) and Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting as we take you through some of the key events in photos, videos, and tweets. More than a dozen Management Sciences for Health (MSH) representatives led or participated in UNGA and CGI activities in New York City, New York, last week.
Join us as world leaders gather for the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting and the 69th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, NY (US).
MSH President & CEO Dr. Jonathan D. Quick will address CGI participants this week to share our vision for scaling-up access to medicines to 70 million people in rural and underserved areas in Africa. Throughout CGI and UNGA, MSH also will highlight our work and vision for universal health coverage and improving women's health in the post-2015 development.
In years to come we will look back on the summer of 2014 and recall the US Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Acting on the Call: Ending Preventable Child and Maternal Deaths campaign as a turning point in our struggle to reduce maternal, newborn, and child mortality and morbidity. USAID announced this summer that it is realigning $2.9 billion of the Agency’s resources to refocus on high-impact programs with proven track records to save women, newborns, and children under five.
Expanding access to essential maternal health medicines saves mothers’ lives. Access to life-saving maternal medicines requires an effective supply chain that delivers the right medicines to the right people at the right times. In many countries, weak pharmaceutical management systems are unable to meet the challenges of providing access to these essential medicines.
What do the next 500 days mean for global health?
The looming deadline of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will prompt a final push to achieve the health targets that have helped guide the global community since 2000: to reduce maternal and child mortality, provide contraception and curb the HIV, TB and malaria epidemics. Undoubtedly, many people will benefit from vital health services in the next 500 days.
Although the global community has had significant success in reducing maternal and child deaths in the past two decades, they continue to die of preventable causes at an alarming rate. This is especially pronounced for the most vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations. Universal access to maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) commodities and services remains a major challenge, even among countries that are on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goals for reducing maternal and child mortality.
MSH is one of 52 finalists in USAID's Grand Challenge to pitch an idea that will accelerate substantial and sustainable progress against maternal and newborn deaths and stillbirths at the community level.
The idea: Piloting a model that uses mobile phone decision-support tools by small accredited drug dispensing outlets (ADDOs) in Tanzania to
counsel and provide needed medicines to pregnant women
identify and rapidly refer at-risk pregnant and postpartum women and their newborns to health facilities
provide family planning counseling, dispensing, and referral
On the eve of the 20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014), Rachel Hassinger, editor of MSH’s Global Health Impact Blog, spoke with Dr. Scott Kellerman, global technical lead on HIV & AIDS, to discuss his latest research on prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV and pediatric HIV & AIDS. Kellerman and colleagues will be attending AIDS 2014, July 20-25, in Melbourne, Australia. (Read more about the conference.)
With United Nations (UN) member states continuing to negotiate recommendations on the post-2015 development process, stakeholders met last Thursday in New York to discuss the potential of universal health coverage (UHC) to drive improvements in women’s health.
The event coincided with the 12th session of the Open Working Group of UN member states, whose working draft recommendations had included targets on UHC, maternal and child survival, and reproductive healthcare access; panelists and audience members spanned UN missions, civil society, private sector, foundations, and academia.
The US Agency for International Development (@USAIDGH) and partners are hosting a #MomandBaby Twitter relay today, June 24, from 9 am to 5 pm ET as part of the "20 Days of Action for #MomAndBaby" campaign.
We (@MSHHealthImpact) are leading the conversation, from 12:30 to 1:00 pm ET, on "All levels, all functions, all places: Building local capacity for stronger health systems".
Follow or join us with hashtag #MomandBaby!
View the Twitter relay schedule
The Building Local Capacity for Delivery of HIV Services in Southern Africa (BLC) Project, funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and led by Management Sciences for Health (MSH), provided a grant to The Luke Commission (TLC) to deliver safe medical male circumcision to men and boys in Swaziland. The BLC Project also provides organizational capacity building support to TLC. A version of this post originally appeared on the Southern Africa HIV and AIDS Regional Exchange (SHARE) blog.
Editor's note, June 24, 2014: Chat with us (@MSHHealthImpact) from 12:30-1:00 pm ET today, about building local capacity to strengthen health systems and end preventable child and maternal deaths, even in the most remote, rural, and fragile areas. Follow or join the Twitter relay today, led by @USAIDGH and partners, with hashtag #MomandBaby. The goal of ending preventable child and maternal deaths is within reach.
Are you looking forward to InterAction's Forum 2014, June 10-13, in Washington, DC?
So are we! The Forum brings together representatives of international organizations from all sectors in the global development ecosystem, including global health.
As a co-sponsor of this year’s forum, Management Sciences for Health (MSH) is organizing and participating in panel workshops (details below), an interactive conference booth, and much more.
In a health clinic outside Nairobi, Kenya, Janet* waits to see a doctor. Janet is a 32-year-old widow and mother of four from Kibera, a neighborhood of Nairobi. Her 11-year-old daughter, Jane*, isn’t feeling well. Both mother and daughter are HIV-positive.
Cross-posted with permission from WBUR's CommonHealth Blog.
A study released last week found that insurance is saving lives in Massachusetts. Expanded coverage will mean 3,000 fewer deaths over the next 10 years. We have state-of-the-art health facilities and are among the healthiest of Americans. Despite the fiasco of our failed enrollment website, the state maintains near-universal health coverage, and inspired the Affordable Care Act.
For the mother who walks miles for health,
Carrying a near-lifeless child on her back,
We envision a world…
For the mother, living with HIV, who mentors others,
Helping to prevent transmission of the disease,
We envision a world…
For the mother who must choose
Improving the health of a parent or educating a child,
We envision a world…
For the mother who births, the mother who feeds,
And the mother who cares for a child,
We envision a world...
Where -- all mothers, all children -- everyone
Has the opportunity for a healthy life.
I felt like I had traded my mother’s health for my children’s schooling. It was a tough choice, and I cried every day. This emotional remark was made by Lucy Njoki, a Kenyan mother and grandmother, at the Health for All Campaign Launch Event on April 28, 2014, in Nairobi. She had been forced to choose between paying for her children’s education or her mother’s urgently needed medical treatment. She could not afford both. Affordable and accessible health care remain an unrealized dream for many Kenyan citizens.
The availability of new and essential medicines and other health technologies to treat life-threatening illnesses have helped millions of people lead long and productive lives. However, global availability does not necessarily mean access by the end-consumer to these lifesaving health products in low-and middle-income countries. Effective supply chains are needed to deliver these health products in hard-to-reach, resource-constrained settings that often times are inhospitable to collaborative, high-performing supply chain systems.
So how do we get safe, quality, essential medicines and commodities to the people who need them, at the right time and in the right quantities?
Four Ethiopian HIV-positive mothers received 2014 REAL Awards for their outstanding contributions to the fight against HIV, particularly prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT), at a ceremony in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on April 10, 2014. Created by Save the Children and the Frontline Health Workers Coalition, the REAL Awards are designed to develop greater respect and appreciation for health workers and the lifesaving care they provide globally, as well as in the United States.
Meet Tsegay, Haile, Alemayehu, and Derebrew
Pablos-Méndez Applauds and Encourages MSH Representatives and Partners at DC Country Health Impact Fair
Representatives from 13 MSH countries—Afghanistan, Angola, Cote d’Ivoire, DRC, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda—shared stories and materials about the lives saved and health impact of MSH’s work, in partnership with US Agency for International Development (USAID) and others, at the MSH Country Health Impact Fair at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, DC, last week. Country ownership and health impact were common themes at the fair. Ariel Pablos-Méndez (MD, MPH), assistant administrator for global health at the US Agency for International Development (USAID), addressed participants and attendees.
It can be easy to take healthcare workers for granted. For the majority of us living in the United States, you know that a trained doctor and nurse will see you when you need assistance; a lab technician will do your blood work; and a certified pharmacist will dispense your prescriptions. But imagine going into labor and not knowing if a midwife or doctor will be present? Or, if you need a medication and there is no pharmacy to provide it?
Cross-posted with permission from The Wilson Center’s NewSecurityBeat.org.
The global maternal health agenda has been largely defined by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for the last decade and half, but what will happen after they expire in 2015? What kind of framework is needed to continue the momentum towards eliminating preventable maternal deaths and morbidities? [Video Below]
For a panel of experts gathered at the Wilson Center on February 20, universal health coverage is a powerful mechanism that may be crucial to finishing the job.
Inequality Remains a Killer
In the absence of effective treatment and access to quality health services, diarrhea, malaria, and pneumonia remain the leading causes of child mortality in sub-Saharan Africa and cause nearly 44 percent of deaths worldwide in children under five years old. To improve access to life-saving treatment among children, many African countries have begun implementing and scaling-up integrated community case management (iCCM), a strategy that focuses on the delivery of timely and low-cost interventions at the community level by community health workers.
This post originally appeared on the Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) Blog as part of a series celebrating the one-year anniversary of The Lancet publishing “A Manifesto for Maternal Health post-2015,” co-authored by Ana Langer, Richard Horton, and Guerino Chalamilla.
Have you ever thought about water? I mean, really thought about the quality of the water you drink or use for your personal hygiene? Clean water is something many of us take for granted, but billions of people around the world lack access to a dependable source of fresh water and acceptable sanitation facilities.
MSH staff and projects participated in International Women's Day celebrations in dozens of countries around the world. We share some of our stories with photos and excerpts from South Africa, Uganda, and Afghanistan.
MSH's Principal Technical Advisor for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (RMNCH) Beth Yeager has been named Chair of the Maternal Health Caucus of the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition.
Management Sciences for Health (MSH) invites you to attend the following presentations by MSH staff at the Integrated Community Case Management (iCCM) Evidence Review Symposium in Accra, Ghana, hosted by UNICEF and partners March 3-5, 2014. All times are listed in GMT. For those who are unable to attend in person, presentations will be made available online during or after the Symposium.
Costs, Cost Effectiveness and Financing
Session 2: Tuesday, March 4 (11:00-12:30) – Committee Hall 1 Session 4: Tuesday, March 4 (15:15-16:45) – Main Hall
For over four decades, MSH has promoted equal access to healthcare for women and girls in more than 135 countries, as we work toward our vision of "a world where everyone has the opportunity for a healthy life." Health for all is a human right, and we believe strengthening health systems within a gender framework can help achieve this vision.
Knowledge is power, so the saying goes.
No one understands that more than Teberih Tsegay, Almaz Haile, Jember Alemayehu, and Yeshi Derebew, of Korem Town, Ethiopia, who have used their knowledge to save the lives of babies in their community. "Some years back there was no one to teach us, so we gave birth to HIV-positive children. But now we can teach others so no child will be born with the virus," said Jember.
In a new article in PLoS Medicine, MSH President and CEO Jonathan D. Quick argues that the global movement towards universal health coverage (UHC) can be a boon for women’s health—but only if it is designed, implemented and monitored correctly. The piece, coauthored by MSH’s Jonathan Jay and Harvard School Public Health’s Ana Langer, considers UHC’s ascendance as a leading priority in global health and addresses concerns that UHC efforts might leave women’s health behind.
I remember attending the Durban international AIDS conference in 2000, my first. That was the one where everything was going to turn around and we were going get a handle on the epidemic. Nelson Mandela spoke at that one, in a hall that was the size of three football fields. And the crowd was joyous, raucous, the noise was deafening and it was one of the most memorable days of my life.
Today, November 12, is World Pneumonia Day. Pneumonia is the leading cause of death among children under five, killing more children annually than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. About 1.1 million children under five died of pneumonia last year, 99 percent in developing countries.
The Guardian's Global Development Professionals Network organized an online conversation with experts on improving child health through community-based care, namely integrated community case management (ICCM).
In developing countries, a community medicines shop often serves as the first point of contact for health care. Empowering the drug shop owner and dispenser to provide safe, quality medicines, and referrals to a health facility for more complex care, is key to improving maternal and children’s health in rural areas.
In developing countries, a community medicines shop often serves as the first point of contact for health care. Empowering the drug shop owner and dispenser to provide safe, quality medicines, and referrals to a health facility for more complex care, is key to improving maternal and children’s health in rural areas.
This post originally appeared as part of a series produced by The Huffington Post and the NGO alliance InterAction around the United Nations General Assembly's 68th session and its general debate on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The Kenya National AIDS and STI Control program (NASCOP) under the Ministry of Health (MOH) disseminated preliminary results of the Kenya AIDS Indicator Survey (KAIS) 2012 on September 10, 2013. The dissemination conference was attended by all major stakeholders in the HIV and AIDS response in Kenya, including Management Sciences for Health (MSH).
On July 4, 2013, 26-year-old Elina Jean-Baptiste of Cazale, Haiti began experiencing painful contractions as she prepared to deliver her child. Realizing she was going into labor, Elina walked to the Cazale health center and with the help of trained nurses and a doctor, delivered a healthy baby girl named Dadeline. “The labor and delivery were very painful, but as soon as I arrived at Cazale, I knew I was in good hands,” she said.
MSH Global Technical Lead on HIV & AIDS, Scott Kellerman, MD, MPH, has a new article published today in the PLOS Medicine magazine. Scott Kellerman and colleagues argue that the scope of the current HIV elimination agenda must be broadened in order to ensure access to care and treatment for all children living with HIV.
OVCsupport.net, a global knowledge sharing website, is announcing its second annual writing contest, open to all those who have a story to tell about working with children affected by HIV and AIDS. The annual competition is one component of OVCsupport.net’s efforts to facilitate the exchange of ideas and experiences between people who are working in the field of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC). The top three submissions will be featured on the site and in the August edition of the site’s electronic newsletter.
This week the global health community celebrates World Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7). Breast milk is nutritious, clean, available, natural, and does not require special preparation or handling. Let’s take a moment to consider some of the numerous benefits of breastfeeding to baby and mom:
Breastfeeding is the world's most effective solution to reducing child deaths
Breastfeeding could save the lives of nearly 1 million children per year
Breastfeeding reduces deaths to pneumonia and diarrhea
Breastfeeding and nursing promote closeness for baby and mom
In 2005, "Chima" abandoned "Sinachi" and their four children to marry another woman. Heartbroken and unemployed, Sinachi returned to her home village and became a farmer. Although she worked hard, Sinachi’s children often went hungry and did not attend school for three years because she was unable to pay the fees.
My family’s story exemplifies how access to reproductive health and family planning in a low-income country can have tremendous economic and life-transforming impact for young people and a whole generation—beyond the reduction in fertility and improvements in health.
Management Sciences for Health (MSH) joined African civil society organizations (CSOs) at a side event on July 2 of the Abuja +12 meeting of African heads of governments. The groups agreed that universal health coverage should be included in the post-2015 development agenda.
Management Sciences for Health (MSH) welcomes the report of the United Nations High Level Panel (HLP) of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The HLP’s advisory report, released May 30, is part of an ongoing process of defining the global targets that will replace the Millennium Development Goals. MSH believes the report demonstrates the panel’s ongoing commitment to health as an essential component of sustainable development and improving lives around the world.
Management Sciences for Health (MSH) has been awarded the contract for “Technical Assistance in Service Delivery and Management Capacity Building for the Salud Mesoamérica 2015 Initiative Countries,” a $9.3 million, 18-month award by the Inter-American Development Bank. The goal of the Salud Mesoamérica 2015 Initiative (“salud” is Spanish for health) is to reduce health equity gaps in eight countries in the Mesoamérica region.
Cross-posted with permission from the Southern Africa HIV and AIDS Regional Exchange (SHARE).I used to smile at the sentimental nickname for Lesotho, “The Mountain Kingdom.” Following a few visits to the capital Maseru, I had the opportunity to travel to the district of Mokhotlong, in the east of the country. Here I discovered that this term is more literal than symbolic, and no laughing matter. Narrow gravel roads with incredible switchback turns had me engaging in lively discussion in the car to avoid thinking about how close I was to the edge.
All involved with women’s health and gender wish that access to quality health care for women and girls was easy to achieve at scale. But the attitudes and expectations of many societies limit women’s and girls’ access to resources and skills associated with better health.
In a couple of days, thousands of decision-makers, leaders, advocates, health professionals, media, and more will gather to focus on our most valuable investment: women and girls.We are honored to be a Gold Sponsor and Advisory Group member of Women Deliver 2013.
Millions of girls in developing nations will avoid getting a deadly form of cancer---cervical cancer---due to a major drop in costs for two vaccines against cervical cancer. Merck and GlaxoSmithKline announced May 9 that costs for the vaccines against human papillomavirus (HPV) would be cut to below $5 per dose.
Over 275,000 women die from cervical cancer per year in poor countries.
Merck’s Gardasil vaccine will cost $4.50 per dose and GlaxoSmithKline’s Cervarix will cost $4.60 per dose. The costs were negotiated through the GAVI Alliance (see infographic).
The world needs healthy mothers.Giving birth. Caring for a child.If we only have one story, it is this: We need our mothers.You can help mothers around the world. Give today in honor or memory of your mom.We go where the need is greatest: Saving lives and improving health in places like Afghanistan, Haiti, Liberia, and Democratic Republic of the Congo.Delivering quality medicines where there are no roads or services. Empowering local leaders to save lives.
This edition of MSH's Global Health Impact e-newsletter (subscribe) explores our worldwide work supporting healthy communities, families and kids, including:Mobilizing communities to care for orphans and vulnerable children in Lesotho;Empowering Ugandan couples with information and access to modern family planning;Training community health workers to provide TB services in rural Afghanistan;Supporting Kenya's efforts to utilize mobile technology for pharmacovigilance reporting; andCommunicating strategically to influence health-seeking behaviors (i.e. proper use of bed nets).
To me, malaria is a very personal disease.I first came face to face with malaria during the war of my time: Vietnam. I was plucked out of residency after my first year, with only an internship under my belt, and sent as a Navy Medical Officer to war.
We know what works to save the lives of children under five years old: We know which antibiotic to give for treating pneumonia, for example. Yet only 31% of children with suspected pneumonia receive antibiotics. And two million children die from pneumonia and diarrhea each year.
This week’s Lancet returns the spotlight to Option B+, an innovative strategy for preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV which was first developed in Malawi with technical assistance from MSH. Four letters respond to the concern that international organizations have too quickly endorsed the Option B+ approach of providing lifelong triple antiretroviral therapy (ART), irrespective of CD4 count, to pregnant women with HIV in high-burden countries.
World Health Worker Week (#WHWW) is April 8-12, 2013. Let's show the world just how much #HealthWorkersCount. Watch and share the video, thank a health worker, and donate $10 in honor of a health worker. "We realized that educating the community was something we had to focus on," says Madina, a trained Afghan midwife, as she describes involving elders and religious leaders in helping to improve access to family planning and perinatal care for women in Khost province, including one woman who came to the health facility suffering complications from a home birth.Health workers save lives.
Stop TB in my lifetime.
This global call to action---the Stop TB Partnership's theme for March 24, World TB Day 2013---is as relevant now as it was over a hundred years ago.
Progress toward reducing the global burden of tuberculosis (TB) has been impressive in recent years: TB mortality has fallen by 41 percent since 1990.
Yet, TB remains one of the world’s leading causes of death, killing more than 1.4 million people per year, including 70,000 children. In 2011, 600,000 people died of TB in Africa alone---including many people with HIV.
I was circumcised when I was eighty days old, as is the tradition in Ethiopia. My sister was three. My mother had tried to spare us, but her aunt discovered that we were not circumcised and took it upon herself to have us circumcised.
Cross-posted from the SIAPS website.
“Respectful maternal care was said to be more than just a means to an end, and can be framed as several issues: human rights, quality of care, equity and public health,” Jocalyn Clark, senior editor of PLoS Medicine, noted about the final day of the 2013 Global Maternal Health Conference (GMHC).
Shelly has always been very athletic. She competed in both her high school track events and in community races in her hometown of Essequibo, Guyana. In 2010, she was ecstatic after winning a cash prize for placing first in an annual regional championship. However, her life took a turn one year later.Shelly became pregnant and, during an antenatal care appointment, tested positive for HIV. The news devastated her, as she believed that an HIV diagnosis meant her athletic career was over.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2Y7y-EfIHM&feature=youtu.beUSAID Administrator Rajiv Shah welcomes attendees to the African Leadership on Child Survival meeting in Ethiopia via this video.RelatedUSAID IMPACT blog: Ethiopia Hosts African Leaders to Accelerate Gains in Child SurvivalUNICEF: Ethiopia hosts African Ministers of Health and world experts to spur gains in child survival10 Steps Toward Child Survival
Management Sciences for Health (MSH) staff presenting at the Global Maternal Health Conference in Arusha, Tanzania, January 15-17, 2013. (Photo credits: C. Lander & J. Briggs / MSH)RelatedSecond Global Maternal Health Conference: Will it Set Itself Apart? Off to an Excellent StartJoin MSH at the Global Maternal Health Conference 2013
When I worked in Smallpox eradication in the mid-1970s, I traveled all over northern India and Bangladesh. I never took malaria prophylaxis, because malaria had been cleared from those areas. Likewise, I did not take malaria prophylaxis when I worked in the Brazilian Amazon in the late-1970s. At that time, malaria was found only in gold miners in isolated tributaries of the Amazon.
Management Sciences for Health (MSH) invites you to attend the following sessions and poster presentations at the Global Maternal Health Conference in Arusha, Tanzania --- whether in person at the Arusha International Conference Center, or watching via archived videos online. (All times are listed in Eastern Africa Time: UTC/GMT +3 hours.
We have seen some remarkable gains in global health in 2012. Yet millions of women, children, and men still die from preventable causes. As we pause and reflect on 2012 and look ahead to the new year, I invite you to read and share some of our favorite blog posts from the year.Saving women's lives: Meeting the unmet need for family planning.
Cross-posted from Frontline Health Workers Coalition.Evidence of the need to scale up the number of frontline health workers in developing countries abounds throughout sub-Saharan Africa, as described in a recent post on the Frontline Health Workers Coalition blog by Avril Ogrodnick of Abt Associates.
I got a call from the resident doctor to come to exam room 6. As soon as I entered the room, I prepared myself. The little girl, 7- or maybe 8-years-old, didn't look well; she was “floppy,” combative, and not entirely aware of where she was or what we were doing to her. She was HIV-positive, and my colleague needed to get an IV line in her arm to test the latest in experimental treatments for kids with HIV– and needed the four of us interns to help hold her still.It was 1993 during my residency in pediatrics in Cleveland, Ohio.
Today, at 12:30 pm, Management Sciences for Health, John Snow, Inc. (JSI), Pathfinder International, Ibis Reproductive Health, and the Women and Health Initiative of the Harvard School of Public Health, are hosting a post-election luncheon event: The London Summit on Family Planning: Where Do We Go from Here?Follow the discussion on Twitter with #FPBoston and #FP2020.The event includes: 12:00 pm Boxed Lunches and Networking 12:30 pm Welcome and Introduction of Keynote SpeakerJoel Lamstein, President, John Snow, Inc.Dr.
Last night, while in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) visiting our programs, I attended a US election-eve gathering of mostly Congolese people in Kinshasa. The DRC is one of those “distant nations” President Obama was referring to in his early morning acceptance speech today, where people are, “risking their lives just for… the chance to cast their ballots like we did today.”Fragile, conflict-ridden nations, such as the DRC, struggle with leadership and governance.
Seven-year-old Ladi Muhammed wants to become a teacher. The third of five children ranging 3 to 20 years old, Ladi and her family live in a poor Nigerian village.The likelihood of Ladi attending primary school is low.Public primary education is free in Nigeria, but Ladi’s parents can barely afford to feed their children.
Today, October 15, children, schools, and communities around the world mark Global Handwashing Day.Washing hands with soap is the "most effective and inexpensive way to prevent diarrheal and acute respiratory infections, which take the lives of millions of children in developing countries every year." In addition to handwashing with soap, proper sanitation and safe drinking water are key to preventing disease."Most of what we need to do to bring down the rate of child deaths is inexpensive & straightforward," USAID Administrator Raj Shah said today on Twitter.
My grandmother married at 8 years old; my mother married at age 15.I often wonder what their lives --- their potential --- would have been, if they were not child brides.Today, the same pattern is repeated in villages and cities around the world.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, many women suffer complications during pregnancy and delivery, including obstetric fistula. Prolonged labor may result in a hole (“fistula”) between a woman’s birth canal and bladder or lower intestine, resulting in chronic leaking of urine or feces. This, in turn, leads to social isolation as the women can’t keep themselves clean, are ashamed of their condition, and withdraw from society. Many women and their families believe that this condition is due to a curse, leading to further separation from the community.
The Ugandan government launched a new prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) strategy on September 12.
Uganda will transition from an approach based on the World Health Organization's (WHO) Option A --- which is contingent on an HIV-positive pregnant woman’s CD4 count --- to WHO's newest PMTCT strategy, Option B+.
Crossposted on Maternal Health Taskforce's mhtfblog as part of the Maternal Health Commodities Blog Series.Despite a decade of significant progress reducing maternal mortality rates, very few countries are on target to meet Millennium Development Goal #5a of reducing the maternal mortality ratio by three-quarters by 2015.What is most alarming is that a large proportion of maternal deaths could have been avoided if women had access to adequate health services, where the necessary quality medicines and supplies were available and skilled health providers were present.
In July 2011, Doreen Nalweyiso, a 27-year-old woman living in Mpigi Town Council, Uganda attended her second antenatal visit at Mpigi Health Centre IV. She was surprised to be examined with an ultrasound machine--and even more shocked to be told that she was expecting twins!“I was thrilled when the nurse showed me images of twins through the ultrasound TV scan. I had never experienced it in my lifetime,” she explained.This was her first pregnancy and there was no history of twins in her family.
The press statement title caught my attention: “Members Continue Efforts to Protect Rights of Women in Developing Countries.”With piqued interest, I read on:Congresswoman Betty McCollum and Aaron Schock have once again introduced legislation to stem the devastating impact of child marriage on young girls in developing countries. The McCollum-Schock International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act, House Resolution (H.R.) 6087, promotes and protects the rights of girls in the developing world.I was pleased to learn that H.R.
USAID and partners are hosting a Twitter chat in preparation for the 19th International AIDS Conference. The #AIDSChat began at 10 am EDT and continues throughout the day.Management Sciences for Health (MSH) will be co-hosting from 2:00 - 2:30 pm on the topic of prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV with Scott Kellerman, MD, MPH, tweeting from @MSHHealthImpact.Ask questions, comment and follow on Twitter with #AIDSChat.
The World Health Statistics 2012 report released this year reveals a mixed bag of amazing progress and underachievement.The report --- the World Health Organization's (WHO) annual compilation of health-related data for its 194 Member States --- includes a summary of the progress made towards achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and associated targets.Countries have achieved amazing success in some areas and little or no progress in others.
On this historic World Population Day --- the first with the world’s population at seven billion and growing --- we call your attention to a crucial summit in London happening today, and to the ongoing importance of supporting access to family planning and sexual and reproductive health.The London SummitOver one hundred high-level decision-makers are convening at The London Summit on Family Planning in hopes of securing a better future for women and girls globally.
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.
About 7.6 million children under age five die each year of preventable causers; 3 million — 40 percent — are newborns (under 28 days old). Ninety-nine percent of these occur in developing countries; three-quarters are mainly due to preventable causes such as neonatal conditions, pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria, and measles. Many of these under-five deaths could be averted by known, affordable, low-technology interventions.
Any preventable child death is one too many.
If you think that child marriage is not an issue in the twenty-first century, think again. In developing countries, 82 million girls who are now ages 10 to 17 will be married before their 18th birthday.
The prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV is taking center stage this week during USAID’s 5th Birthday campaign -- and rightly so. Preventing mother to child transmission of HIV is one of the most critical, effective tools to helping kids reach their fifth birthdays.Ambassador Eric Goosby and UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé have called for the elimination of pediatric HIV by 2015.
Honor your mom today by supporting MSH's work to help support healthy mothers---like Imukalayi Eponga (right)---and their children around the world.Support healthy moms and their kids.Imukalayi was trained on "kangaroo mother care" by MSH in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Kangaroo mother care is a simple technique that emphasizes human contact to keep the baby warm.This year, 7.5 million children will die - 99 percent in developing countries. In Africa alone, 1 in 8 children will die before their 5th birthday.
Cross-posted on USAID's IMPACT blogMy most vivid early childhood memory is waking up to excruciating pain in my throat, and seeing the goldfish swimming in the aquarium of the pediatric surgical ward. Although penicillin had been discovered 30 years earlier, doctors had not learned yet that treating "strep throats” with penicillin was better than operating. I didn't need the tonsillectomy. But, I was lucky to receive quality care in a health facility, close to my home.Millions of children today are not so lucky.
Stigmatized, isolated, and conditioned to undertake hard labor, 14 year-old Chinaecherem Nwodo shows that one can overcome the most dire circumstances. Chinaecherem was despised and accused of witchcraft in her community, the Onu-Orie-Obuno-Akpugo village in Nkano West Local Government, Enugu State, Nigeria. Her abusive treatment by community members reflected the challenges facing some children in rural areas of Nigeria.The community blamed her for her mother’s death and father’s insanity.
Ezekiel Kyasesa is a village health team coordinator and supervisor in Kasese District, western Uganda. He supports 11 villages, 90 parishes, and 2 health centers.Ezekiel has been working in community health for a few years, but only on a small scale. A year ago, he was selected to attend a training provided by STRIDES for Family Health to learn new family planning, child survival, and reproductive health information and the skills to become a village health team member.
Suzanna Ile, a 26-year-old woman from South Sudan, lost her first two babies in childbirth. Suzanna did not have a nurse or midwife to tell her that her pelvis was dangerously small for childbirth; nor was there a safe place for a caesarian section even if she had known the risk.Suzanna’s experience is typical of what women have faced in South Sudan, the newest country in the world. South Sudan is home to 10 million people, spread across an area about the size of France.
It was 11 o’clock one February morning when the Santé pour le Développement et la Stabilité d’Haiti (SDSH) project technical team arrived on site at St. Joseph Health Center.The center’s activities were well underway. Dozens of people sat on benches or stood in line, waiting for their turn. One person comes to care for her child who has had a high fever. Another comes for contraception. Another just gave birth to a healthy infant.St.
Cross-posted on TB-CARE I.World TB Day, March 24th, was commemorated in many countries around the world last week to acknowledge the accomplishments made in the fight against tuberculosis (TB), and to call attention to the work that still needs to be done.Voices of TB, a unique event organized by USAID, featured former TB patients speaking about their personal fight against TB.
The Kasese district in western Uganda is nestled between two national parks. Located hours from the capital city, Kampala, the region attracts tourists to view gorillas and mountain birds.During my recent trip to Uganda, I met with Dr. Yusuf Baseka, the district health officer of Kasese, who described the health challenges his district faces, and his hopes for the future.Although the national parks are beautiful and bring a much needed economic boost to the area, they also offer a challenge, Dr.
Early one morning Mrs. Fred woke up and found a boy outside her house. Alarmed and curious, she asked him why he was there. Godgift, as he identified himself, told her that the continuous appearance of a snake where he lived forced him to abandon the place he called home, after numerous futile attempts to frighten it off with pepper. Highly disturbed, she arranged for him to eat in a nearby restaurant whenever he showed up by her house.The boy, Godgift Henshaw, is 13 years old. Godgift's mother took him along when she left her husband and eloped with another man.
On Monday, March 5, 2012, everyone from policymakers to students gathered at the World Bank for a Special Event on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and Women’s Rights.CEDAW is a treaty that has been ratified worldwide by all but six countries --- the United States, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, and two small Pacific Island nations (Palau and Tonga).The event was hosted by Caroline Anstey, Managing Director of the World Bank, in conjunction with the Nordic Trust Fund, The Leadership Conference Education Fund, and the United Nations Foundation.
Mbambu is a midwife who works at Isole Health Center III in rural Western Uganda. When I had the opportunity to visit with her, she was the only health care provider at the center. Trained as a midwife nine years ago, her passion for her job pours out of her.
Norah, a 21-year-old teacher at a private school in Nansana, Uganda, did not know she was pregnant. Pain in her lower abdomen prompted her to go for a consultation at a private clinic in Nansana, where a urine test revealed the pregnancy. “I was shocked because I had last had my period on the 15th of that month,” Norah said.
All project health indicators for the second phase of the USAID-funded Sudan Health Transformation Project (SHTP II), led by Management Sciences for Health (MSH) in partnership with the International Rescue Committee, have shown improved performance over the past two years.On the ground, this means that more people are being immunized against diseases, communities are receiving education on HIV, and lives are being improved.While other indicators improved by leaps and bounds, one indicator consistently lagged during the first year of the project: births attended
A version of this post originally appeared on the Save the Children website.The healthcare system in South Sudan is struggling to get on to its feet after the devastation of over 20 years of war. The biggest killers of children in southern Sudan are malaria, diarrhea and respiratory infections. These preventable diseases can be easy to treat. But, on average, only one in four people in South Sudan are within reach of a health center.
If you grow up in places like Kasungu district in rural Malawi, you learn that when your wife is pregnant, you should not have sex outside marriage---because you will lose the “expected gift” through miscarriage. Male promiscuity during a partner's pregnancy is a taboo that many believe will bring a curse on the family.Patricia Patrick says that after she miscarried in November 2008 “People talked in the village, and people talked within the household.
A child born in Ghana today will most likely receive a full schedule of immunizations, and her chances of surviving past the age of five are far better than they were a decade ago. Today Ghana boasts a coverage rate for infant vaccination of 90 percent and hasn’t seen an infant die of measles since 2003.Ghana has been expanding primary health care by bringing services to people’s doorsteps since the 1980s, and since the early 2000s has done so in the context of a commitment to universal health coverage.
Malawi leads the developing world as the first to propose an approach to prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV that addresses the health of the mother. Recently my MSH colleague Erik Schouten and his colleagues in Malawi wrote a commentary in the Lancet about Malawi’s innovative, public health approach to PMTCT.
Blog post updated Dec. 27, 2011. In 2003, after dwindling funds, low staff morale, and accusations of patient neglect had eroded community confidence in Kiriaini Mission Hospital in Kenya, the Catholic Diocese of Murang’a decided to shut it down -- leaving locals to seek treatment at the distant provincial capital of Nyeri.Six months later five Franciscan nuns arrived from India to reopen the hospital. They hired new staff, renovated the dilapidated structures, and restored much needed services to the rural community.
Deborah Nyantiok is 56 years old and lives with her grandchildren in Kaya, near the border of Uganda. She lost her husband during Sudan’s 20-year civil war and now takes care of her grandchildren. In order to pay for food and school fees, Deborah operates a small business and keeps animals to generate income. Despite her hard work, in the past Deborah found life difficult as she and her grandchildren often fell ill.
Safoura Amadu is the 19 year-old mother of Ibrahim, who was born preterm on March 8, 2011 at 1.46 kg (3.2 pounds). Baby Ibrahim did not grow well in his first days of life. Safoura was very worried---her first child had died at birth---and she did not want to lose Ibrahim, her second child. Safoura sought help and when Ibrahim was ten days old she and the baby were admitted to the new Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) center at the Maternité Issakha Gazoby in Niger.
Over the next couple of months, as MSH celebrates it's 40th anniversary, reporter John Donnelly and photographer Dominic Chavez will be traveling to several countries to report on MSH’s work in the field. The stories will go into a book due out in the fall on MSH’s 40 years in global health. This blog entry is a post from the road, to give a flavor of their experiences with MSH staff.(Part 1 of this story: Introducing Triage in Hospitals, and a Baby in a Coma) SALIMA, Malawi – A child enters a hospital in a coma. Health workers resuscitate him. The child regains his health.
Over the next couple of months, as MSH celebrates it's 40th anniversary, reporter John Donnelly and photographer Dominic Chavez will be traveling to several countries to report on MSH’s work in the field. The stories will go into a book due out in the fall on MSH’s 40 years in global health. This blog entry is a post from the road, to give a flavor of their experiences with MSH staff.LILONGWE, Malawi – The problem with writing about improvements in Malawi’s health system is focus.
Thousands of civilians fled from Abyei following the crisis in May, when northern forces took control over the town. The United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) reports 50,600 people displaced from Abyei town are verified and registered and estimates the full number to be about 84,000 people. Most of the Internally displaced persons (IDPs) fled to nearby Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Warrap States, where many humanitarian agencies are providing assistance in high displacement areas like Agok, Turalei, and Wunrock.
Blog post updated Dec. 27, 2011.Taj Bibi sits nursing her 5-month-old baby in the kitchen of her home in the village of Sartal in Takhar province in Afghanistan’s north. The room is dark; the only natural light comes from the doorway to the dusty courtyard outside. The sound of her children playing echoes across the small family compound.Bibi’s first two children died -- one of them from severe diarrhea -- because the family could not afford to take them to the doctor.
Living in the rural village of Kpagnaroung, Benin, Orou Assoumanou is a dedicated health worker who promoted vaccinations and distributed ivermectin (a medicine used to treat roundworm) within his community before receiving training by the MSH-led, USAID BASICS (Basic Support for Institutionalizing Child Survival) project in community-case management.
Sitting under the lush mango trees in rural Tambura, South Sudan, I realized Mother’s Day was approaching and I needed to send my mom in Chicago a gift. More and more each year, I treasure my mom, who raised four children. But this year, while working on a health project in South Sudan, my appreciation and wonderment is also for mothers worldwide.Addressing maternal health in South Sudan is daunting, to say the least. The soon-to-be-independent nation holds one of the worst maternal mortality ratios in the world at 2,054 deaths per 100,000 live births.
Last week, the United Nations Commission on Population and Development (CPD) met in their 44th session to negotiate next steps on a resolution for fertility, reproductive health, and development. The Commission helps inform the United Nations (UN) on their global efforts and provides crucial recommendations to form UN Resolutions.MSH, with over 80 partners and advocacy organizations, sent an open letter to the delegates of the 44th session.
Over the course of the past ten days, I have been fortunate to visit the Central, Eastern, and Western Regions of Uganda. As part of these visits, I have traveled through and spent time in many of the districts in these regions. It is during these drives through the countryside that I have noticed the campaigns for family planning services over and over again.
Strong leadership, governance, and management are the cornerstones of successful global, national, and local efforts to save lives and achieve the maximum impact from health investments. Yet effective leadership, management, and governance skills and practices too often are the vital missing elements in public, civil society and even private health organizations. Fortunately, these skills can be developed.
One hundred years ago on March 8, a handful of countries celebrated the first International Women’s Day. Today it is celebrated around the world as an opportunity to look back on women’s accomplishments and look forward to the realization of their full economic, political, and social rights.
For 40 years, MSH has promoted equal access to health care for women by strengthening health systems and building the capacity of women as leaders and managers, technical experts, clinicians, and community health workers. Management Sciences for Health celebrates International Women's Day, March 8, 2011. Meet the women who inspire us.
Afghanistan’s mountain ranges are beautiful to the eye. Rugged peaks and ridges are separated by valleys, carved out over the centuries by streams and rivers supporting the green web of vegetation along their banks.But many of the small villages that cling to the walls of these valleys are often cut off for months by heavy snow or the floods that follow the spring melt. The cold wet climate, together with smoke from household stoves, increases the risk of pneumonia, particularly among babies and children.
This article was orignially posted on FHI's Interagency Youth Working Group (IYWG) blog. Several months ago, I was asked to help manage a newly redesigned site that focuses on children and HIV & AIDS. I knew that over the last decade there had been an enormous increase in both the amount of and access to global health information. Thus, the challenge was to shift from simply producing more material to organizing, exchanging, and effectively using this growing knowledge base.
The West African nation of Benin faces many challenges in achieving Millennium Development Goal 4---reducing child mortality. In the rural communities in Benin (91% of the population live in rural areas), access to health care and treatment is inadequate in relation to the vast need. Very few people have the appropriate skills and capacity to deliver care in these areas.
Part six of the blog series: Spotlight on Global Health Initiative Plus Countries Amid grave health statistics, the Global Health Initiative (GHI) brings hope of a healthier future in Mali.Mali is one of the ten poorest countries in the world, ranking 173 out of 175 countries on the 2007 Human Development index of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
The Global Health Initiative (GHI) and its approach of integrating health programs with HIV & AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, maternal, newborn, and child health, nutrition, and family planning and reproductive health is in line with the current approaches and health priorities of the Government of Malawi.Malawi, with a population of slightly over 13 million people, has 83% of its people living in the rural hard to reach, underserved areas. The biggest health challenge facing the country is access to basic health services by the rural population.
Human rights are no longer considered peripheral to the AIDS response. Human rights are an essential tool of public health. 80% of countries explicitly acknowledge or address human rights in their national AIDS strategies. However, 80 countries still have punitive laws against people with HIV which pose significant challenges to the AIDS responseIn the past decade, there have been some major developments in the HIV epidemic. New cases have decreased, 5 million people are now on treatment, and people are discussing the importance of human rights in relation to the disease.
The carefully irrigated and shaded kitchen garden provided welcome splashes of different shades of green against the surrounding dry brown soil and rocks. We congratulated Shukria, a community health worker (CHW), on the lush vegetables and ripening fruits as we entered her home.Shukria explained that the gardens that she and other women were growing started with the community-based growth monitoring program through the Family Health Action Groups.
Bangladesh, which is situated in a resource poor setting with a population of over 150 million, faces the major health challenge of a high maternal mortality rate. In the 1970s, the maternal mortality rate was 700 deaths per 100,000, and now it is still at 320 per 100,000. Although Bangladesh has made progress in reducing its infant mortality, much progress needs to be made to reach the Millennium Development Goals for maternal mortality. Bangladesh will need more than five years to achieve the goals.
Many children in Afghanistan die each year of easily preventable diseases; nearly 25% of those deaths are due to diarrhea. However, it is not only the fatal cases of severe diarrhea that are imperative to address. Between a quarter and a half of mothers of children less than five years old report their child had diarrhea in the two weeks prior to questioning.
MSH is attending the Social Welfare Workforce Strengthening Conference in Cape Town this week. AIDSTAR-Two, a USAID-funded MSH led project, is a key organizer of the conference. Ghazal Keshavarzian, Better Care Network Senior Coordinator, provides an update from the Social Welfare Workforce Strengthening Conference in Cape Town, South Africa. This post originally appeared on OVCsupportnet.org.
Blog post also appeared on Global Health Magazine. As the country with the second highest maternal mortality rate in the world, outranked only by India, Nigeria loses one in every 18 women during child-birth.
A team of experts from WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, and World Bank recently published a report on maternal mortality entitled “Trends in Maternal Mortality: 1990 to 2008" (PDF).The document reports some fantastic news about a public health indicator that has until recently refused to budge. That indicator is the maternal mortality ratio, the number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. The improvement between 1990 and 2008 is significant and promising.The part of the report that received much less coverage relates to HIV and its strong, adverse effect on maternal mortality.
This blog was originally posted on Global Health Council’s Blog 4 Global Health. This is a guest blog written by Aaron Emmel, government affairs officer at PATH, one of the sponsors of the event. Almost 80 people packed the Global Health Council’s conference room last week, with 63 more listening in online, to learn about new initiatives to strengthen maternal, newborn, and child health by improving nutrition. The briefing was held in conjunction with World Food Day on Oct. 16.Officials from the State Department and the U.S.
Part one of the blog series: Spotlight on Global Health Initiative Plus CountriesGender Mainstreaming in EthiopiaWith the announcement of the “GHI Plus” countries, we have a major opportunity to move the gender agenda beyond the rhetoric. The new guidelines clearly show that this issue is not only important, but also one of the major pillars for global health. The mandate has been given and the challenge now is to build on this legitimacy that has been hard earned and continue to seek opportunities, design interventions, and diligently document best practices.
In mid-June the United States Government continued to show its commitment to global health by announcing the first Global Health Initiative (GHI) Plus countries: Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nepal, and Rwanda. The GHI is a six-year, $63 billion initiative to help partner countries improve measurable health outcomes by strengthening health systems and building upon proven results.
Originally appeared in Global Health Magazine. Over the last several decades, millions of dollars have been invested in capacity building interventions, and the chorus of capacity building enthusiasts continues to grow. Yet, both in description and practice, capacity building remains somewhat fuzzy.
This blog was originally posted on Global Health Council’s Blog 4 Global Health. This is a guest blog written by Arianna Levitus, policy and advocacy associate with PATH, one of the sponsors of the event. “This is a pivotal month, in a pivotal year, when the world will take stock of promises made to women and children,” Sallie Craig Huber, global lead for results management at Management Sciences for Health (MSH), announced today to a standing room-only crowd at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.Ms.
A common challenge in advancing family planning is overcoming the misconceptions religious leaders have about the use of contraceptives.Concerns from religious leaders are often based on misconceptions about family planning methods rather than their religious beliefs.
Pick up any American newspaper these days, and all of the stories coming out of Haiti are negative: earthquake relief work is going slow, displaced people are still living in tented camps, men and women are still struggling to find work. And while these facts can’t be disputed, there are many other stories that are being left untold. Working in Haiti earlier this month, I encountered six women who are on the front lines of the battle against Haiti’s HIV & AIDS epidemic, who shared their stories with me.In the bustling, dense Delmas section of Port au Prince, these w
At the Global Health Council Conference, I attended an interesting event, “Impact of Schistosomiasis and Polyparasitic Infections on Anemia, Growth and Physical Fitness in Children in Coastal Kenya” presented by Dr. Amaya Bustinduy of Case Western Reserve University which focused on neglected tropical diseases (NTD).Schistosomiasis remains one of the most serious and prevalent neglected tropical diseases worldwide. According to Bustinduy, the WHO estimated that there are 235 million cases of schistosomiasis with 732 million to be at risk for contraction.
The Group of Eight (G-8), holding their annual summit last weekend in Muskoka,Canada, announced a Canadian-led Muskoka Initiative on Maternal, Newborn and Under-Five Child Health (Muskoka Initiative). The Group of 20 (G-20) summit held immediately after in Toronto, resulted in no additional commitments to maternal and child health. MSH believes the G-20 missed an opportunity to support global health when the group did not endorse the G-8’s maternal and child health initiative announced the day before.
UNAIDS’s new campaign aims to eliminate mother to child transmission (MTCT) of HIV by the 2012 World Cup in Brazil. It is fantastic to see that UNAIDS is using the enthusiasm and media coverage of World Cup to draw attention to one of Africa’s most pressing health issues, perinatal transmission of HIV.
My colleague Jude Nwokikie, program manager of the Strengthening Pharmaceutical Systems (SPS) project in South Africa and Namibia declared, “The world is no longer in the mood to tolerate MTCT.”
Last week at the Women Deliver Conference in Washington, DC, Melinda Gates announced that the Gates Foundation is committing $1.5 Billion in new grant money for maternal health. “Women and children have moved up on the global agenda, and I’m here to tell you that’s where they are going to stay,” said Gates.In most developing countries, women and girls are the poorest and most vulnerable parts of the population because of entrenched inequalities.