USAID

 {Photo credit: Diana Tumuhairwe/MSH}A multidrug-resistant TB patient from Kitgum, Uganda. He lost his job because of his illness.Photo credit: Diana Tumuhairwe/MSH

Health workers throughout the developing world provide vital services and improve the lives of the people they serve, and yet they are often invisible. These men and women conduct community outreach, provide key prevention messages in the community, and deliver clinical care, treatment, and follow-up. In Uganda, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) TRACK TB project, led by Management Sciences for Health (MSH), supports 52 community linkage facilitators to help increase tuberculosis (TB) case detection and treatment success rates.

As their name suggests, they serve as the link between the patient and the health facility. The facilitators receive a monthly allowance, mobile phones, paid airtime, and transportation reimbursement as they track treatment adherence of TB patients in and around Kampala, Uganda’s capital. The facilitators are critical to successful implementation of the World Health Organization’s DOTS (directly observed treatment short-course) strategy, which helps patients adhere to treatment.

African Strategies for Health (ASH) launches the mHealth database (screenshot, April 20, 2015).

It’s nearly impossible to find someone who doesn’t own or have access to a mobile phone these days. According to International Telecommunication Union (ITU) 2014 estimates, there are nearly seven billion mobile sub­scriptions worldwide, five billion of which are in low- and middle-income countries.

With mobile technologies accessible to 95.5 percent of the world population, a new platform for promoting and delivering health services has emerged. 

Mobile phones are increasingly being used by various cadres of health workers for tasks such as collecting health data; monitoring implementation of health interventions; or informing local communities about potential outbreaks of disease, as was done during the recent Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

These new, innovative ways to make use of mobile technologies to improve health outcomes are known as mobile health or mHealth.  

 {Photo credit: Emily Phillips/MSH Afghanistan}A postnatal woman with her newborn and mother-in-law.Photo credit: Emily Phillips/MSH Afghanistan

Last month I represented Management Sciences for Health (MSH) at Oxfam India’s South Asia Consultation on Maternal Health in Kathmandu, Nepal. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss significant maternal health programming experiences in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, and to suggest strategic directions for Oxfam India’s future maternal health programming. More than 30 representatives from governments, national and international universities, and nongovernmental organizations attended.

Three elements of improving maternal health outcomes stood out in my mind from discussions at the meeting:

{Photo credit: MSH staff/Afghanistan}Photo credit: MSH staff/Afghanistan

“I started feeling this coughing… so I went to the health center and got tested. It was positive for TB,” says Grace*, a young Ugandan woman. She started on medicines, but after two months, she stopped adhering to treatment.

They told me to continue with the drugs for five more months, but I stopped.

I thought I was ok.

She started coughing again, went to the hospital, and was diagnosed with multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). MDR-TB cannot be treated with two of the most powerful first-line treatment anti-TB drugs. Her treatment regimen? Six months of injections and two years of drugs.

 {Photo credit: Julie O'Brien/MSH}Haiti.Photo credit: Julie O'Brien/MSH

This post is part of MSH's Global Health Impact Blog series, Improving Health in Haiti: Remember, Rebuild. The post originally appeared on LMGforHealth.org, the blog of the US Agency for International Development (USAID)'s Leadership, Management & Governance (LMG) Project, led by Management Sciences for Health (MSH) and a consortium of partners.

 {Photo credit: Warren Zelman}The MSH-led Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) program is co-hosting the Global TB Conference 2015: Building the Post-2015 Agenda with the Stop TB Partnership Global Drug Facility.Photo credit: Warren Zelman
The US Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program, led by Management Sciences for Health (MSH), in collaboration with the Stop TB Partnership Global Drug Facility, will host a technical conference titled, “Building the Post-2015 Agenda: Novel Approaches to Improving Access to TB Medicines and Pharmaceutical Services” from March 2-6, 2015 at the Conrad Bangkok Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand.

The invitation-only conference will feature country experiences using tested approaches to prevent tuberculosis (TB) medicine stock-outs, increase TB case detection through private sector engagement, and ensure patient safety during TB treatment. National TB program (NTP) managers or deputies; NTP procurement and supply management leads; monitoring and evaluation leads for TB/data managers; donors; and World Health Organization and Stop TB Partnership partners are expected to attend.

 {Photo credit: Todd Shapera}Gisenyi District Hospital, Rwanda.Photo credit: Todd Shapera

The African Evaluation Journal (AEJ), the official journal for the African Evaluation Association (AfrEA), is calling for articles and peer reviewers for the special AEJ edition “Health Evaluations in Africa.” This process presents an exciting opportunity to participate in Africa’s contribution to the internationally-declared 2015 Year of Evaluation

Articles must focus on evaluations of the health sector in Africa, have at least one author who is an African national or based in Africa, and be written in English or French. According to AEJ:

Priority will be given to health evaluations contributing to or involving: policy development or policy change, health system strengthening, and/or integration of the health sector with other sectors.

 {Photo credit: SCMS/Haiti.}SCMS staff provides technical assistance to head of pharmacy at Hôpital Bernard Mevs in Haiti.Photo credit: SCMS/Haiti.

The Supply Chain Management System (SCMS), established in 2005 under the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) administered by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), supplies lifesaving medicines to HIV & AIDS programs around the world and is led by the Partnership for Supply Chain Management (PFSCM), a nonprofit organization established by Management Sciences for Health (MSH) and John Snow, Inc. SCMS first established a presence in Haiti in 2007. MSH manages SCMS operations in Haiti. 

This post is part of MSH's Global Health Impact Blog series, Improving Health in Haiti: Remember, Rebuild

 {Photo credit: Maureen Taft-Morales/Haiti}A community health worker visits a family and records health data.Photo credit: Maureen Taft-Morales/Haiti

This post is part of MSH's Global Health Impact Blog series, Improving Health in Haiti: Remember, Rebuild.

Management Sciences for Health (MSH) sponsored a Congressional Staff Study Tour in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in December 2014 to help staffers get a first-hand account of health progress in Haiti. The overarching focus of the trip was how US government funded health efforts in Haiti are being leveraged for health impact and the role of the Haitian government in that process. 

{Photo: Mark Tuschman, Kenya}Photo: Mark Tuschman, Kenya

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 series, please contact Katie Millar.

Who is accountable for the young woman dying during childbirth in a hospital in Lusaka, Zambia? For the woman in a health center in Bugiri in Uganda? For the girl child in a rural home in Uttar Pradesh, India? In a shanty town in Tegucigalpa, Honduras? Who is accountable for the women and adolescent girls in a thousand places everywhere?

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