September 2013

 {Photo credit: Rui Peres}Children in Uganda, one of many LMICs where good governance at all levels of the health system is key.Photo credit: Rui Peres

This post originally appeared on the LMGforHealth.org Blog. USAID's Leadership, Management and Governance (LMG) Project, led by Management Sciences for Health (MSH), hosted the Governance for Health (G4H) in Low- and Middle-Income Countries Roundtable 2013 (G4H2013) at Georgetown University in August.

The overwhelming consensus of G4H2013? Governance matters.

Health sector leaders gathered in Washington, D.C. in August for the second roundtable on enhanced governance for the health sectors of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Governance involves decisionmaking by diverse stakeholders that set the strategic direction for public and private organizations; assembling and allocating resources needed to implement the strategic plan; monitoring the progress of champions; and protecting the mission of the organization.

 {Photo credit: MSH}Kenyan youth holds AIDS education pamphlet.Photo credit: MSH

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).

The second such report, the KAIS 2012 (PDF) provides national data in comparison with the first survey in 2007.  Overall, huge improvements have been made, despite the remaining challenges and the gender, age group and geographical disparities that have persisted.  Adult HIV prevalence dropped from 7.2 percent in 2007 to 5.6 percent in 2012. The total number of people living with HIV is now estimated at 1.2 million, down from 1.4 million in 2007. Among children 18 months to 15 years, the prevalence was estimated at less than one percent (0.9 percent), which translates into about 104,000 children living with HIV in 2012. 

 {Photo by DCGEP via Facebook.com/InsideStory}Watching "Inside Story".Photo by DCGEP via Facebook.com/InsideStory

Great news for US-based viewers: The Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership (DCGEP) released the award-winning Pan-African feature film, Inside Story, on September 17 for digital download on platforms such as iTunes, Google Play, Comcast, and Amazon. Inside Story premiered in South Africa on World AIDS Day, December 1, 2011.

"Inside Story is making a huge impact on audiences across Africa and we are thrilled to bring this film and its unique approach to the US and the rest of the world," says DCGEP President and Executive Producer Aric Noboa. "Inside Story reveals HIV/AIDS in a way that’s personal, practical and memorable through a lens that is both entertaining and educational. Audiences stand up and cheer in the theater because it’s a great story, and at the same time everyone walks away with a fresh perspective on HIV.”

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

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).  

Thirty years ago, I was a young physician practicing family medicine in rural Talihina, Oklahoma. We saw unusual cases, including snakebites and a man who survived a gunshot through the heart. But what I loved most was delivering babies – bringing new lives into the world and great joy to parents. Sadly, my most vivid memory from those years is of a baby girl who didn’t make it. Her parents, first-time pregnant, didn’t recognize the warning signs. When they reached the hospital, our team was too slow.  Too late.

Screenshot of Heartfile website

When in 1995 entrepreneur Jeff Bezos launched Amazon.com from his garage in Seattle (USA), fewer than 1 in 200 people worldwide had internet access and online shopping was just a year old. Today, Bezos’ innovative website has made Amazon.com the world’s largest online retailer, with $60 billion in annual sales – $170 million a day. Online shoppers see Amazon.com as their primary interface—this is the technology innovation. Amazon.com and its accompanying vast information technology capabilities can predict what we want. It catalogues our searches and purchases, and gives us suggestions of what we want.

A brilliant example of the power of technology innovation – right? Only half right. What we don’t see is actually more profound: it’s the power of partnering technology innovation and systems innovation. If you thought Amazon’s secret sauce was simply the technology innovation, think again. In fact, it’s the systems innovation that makes Amazon work. 

[Systems model: Amazon.com] {Graphic by MSH}Systems model: Amazon.comGraphic by MSH

 {Photo credit: Jafary Liana/MSH}Audensia Batholomew shares her path to accreditation as an drug shop outlet owner and dispenser with Dr. Suleiman Kimatta.Photo credit: Jafary Liana/MSH

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.

MSH’s Jafary H. Liana and Dr. Suleiman Kimatta visited two accredited drug dispensing outlet (ADDO) owners in Mkuranga District, Tanzania. One woman owns two ADDOs, while the other owns one. Both are also trained ADDO dispensers (an estimated 90 percent of ADDO dispensers are women).

Meet Audensia Batholomew

Audensia Batholomew, MBIGI, a 45-year-old single mother, lives in Mkuranga district headquarters with two dependents and an adult son at university. She owns two ADDOs, one located in Chamazi village (20 km from her home) and one in Njopeka village (30 km away). Audensia also holds a one-year nurse assistant certificate.

Why did you become an accredited drug shop owner?

 {Photo credit: Jafary Liana/MSH}Germana (right), ADDO owner and dispenser in Kipara Mpakani Village with full-time accredited dispenser (left).Photo credit: Jafary Liana/MSH

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.

MSH’s Jafary H. Liana and Dr. Suleiman Kimatta visited two accredited drug dispensing outlet (ADDO) owners in Mkuranga District, Tanzania. One woman owns two ADDOs, while the other owns one. Both are also trained ADDO dispensers (an estimated 90 percent of ADDO dispensers are women).

Meet Germana Firmini Mroso

Germana Firmini Mroso, 31 years old, owns an ADDO named ROSALA DUKA LA DAWA MUHIMU, which is located at Kipara Mpakani Village, Vikindu ward, in Mkuranga District. Germana is both an owner and dispenser in her outlet. Germana holds a one year nurse assistant certificate. She manages a second small business making medicine-packaging envelopes which she uses in her outlet and sells to other outlets.

Why did you become an accredited drug shop owner?

{Photo credit: Todd Shapera}Photo credit: Todd Shapera

Representatives from MSH are participating in events related to global health and the post-2015 development agenda during U.N. General Assembly (UNGA) week in New York City. Follow updates from UNGA week, viewed through the lens of MSH's advocacy for universal health coverage (UHC) as a post-2015 development priority. 

 

{Photo credit: Pan American Health Organization}Photo credit: Pan American Health Organization

As the United Nations General Assembly kicks off general debate on the post-2015 development agenda this week, advocates of a universal health coverage (UHC) target are rallying other organizations to build and showcase support around UHC. These efforts include high-profile events on Monday and Tuesday, both hosted by the Rockefeller Foundation with partner support. On Wednesday, Johnson & Johnson hosts an event on the key role of frontline health workers to efforts like these. 

In a three-part series, MSH bloggers expand on the themes raised by these events and consider the road ahead for UHC in post-2015 discussions. Readers can participate through their organizations—which can sign on to a joint letter to UN Member States supporting a post-2015 UHC target—or as individuals: by urging their organizations to sign the joint letter, adding comments on this blog post, or on Twitter with the hashtag.  

 {Photo credit: MSH}The manager of a community health center dispenses family planning commodities in Mali.Photo credit: MSH

Earlier this month, NASA confirmed that Voyager 1 reached the border of the solar system. This momentous occasion is a major milestone in space exploration. As we close World Contraception Day (WCD2013), September 26, there are many lessons we can learn from Voyager on our journey beyond WCD2013 toward access for voluntary family planning for all.

For those who are too young to remember or have little interest in space exploration, suffice it to say that so far no human attempt to learn about our solar system has given us so much knowledge about  planets, rings, and satellites, as Voyager 1, NASA's biggest planetary expedition, launched 36 years ago.

What can the international public health community learn from Voyager 1 this WCD2013?

Lesson 1: How to make a dream possible by understanding the facts and setting goals.

Voyager 1 started with a dream of reaching our solar system’s big planets and confirming  the few facts we knew about Jupiter and Saturn. NASA set the course for a meticulous scientific goal that resulted in four planets explored and 22 fascinating moons discovered.

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