January 2014

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

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.

The authors propose a “gender-sensitive approach” to UHC which would prioritize key women’s health interventions, respond to social and economic barriers to care, and judge health systems according to their performance in women’s health. This approach could guide policymakers and advocates at the country and global level, with an eye towards the position of UHC in the post-2015 United Nations development framework.

Read the article

{Photo credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).}Photo credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Yesterday, January 9, President Obama nominated Dr. Deborah Birx as the next United States Global AIDS Coordinator -- a move MSH celebrates with others in the global AIDS and global health communities.

Dr. Birx, a renowned national and international expert in the field of HIV & AIDS, would lead the US strategy for addressing HIV globally and implementation of the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

“MSH looks forward to working with Dr. Birx and hopes to see continued progress in the US fight against AIDS,” said our President and CEO, Dr. Jonathan D. Quick.

As proud supporters of PEPFAR, we are eager for strong US leadership in the global movement to achieve an AIDS-free generation.

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

MSH President & CEO Dr. Quick on 9:30 AM panel; Watch webcast below

Hosted by the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), the one-day conference, "Universal Health Coverage in Emerging Economies," will feature Jim Yong Kim of the World Bank and other high-level panelists examining how universal health coverage (UHC) could improve health in low- and middle-income countries while preserving economic gains.

MSH President and CEO Dr. Jonathan D. Quick will join Ariel Pablos-Méndez of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Gina Lagomarsino of Results for Development, and Tim Evans of World Bank, for a 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. roundtable, moderated by Nellie Bristol of CSIS. Kim will give the opening keynote; Nils Daulaire of the US Department of Health and Human Services will address attendees during lunch.

 {Photo credit: MSH.}USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah (right) is welcomed to Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) by Minister of Health Dr. Felix Kabange.Photo credit: MSH.

Last month, I had the honor of welcoming United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Rajiv Shah to Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) during a visit that took place December 15-18, 2013.

 {Photo credit: Jonathan Jay/MSH.}Dr. Jonathan D. Quick discusses the way forward for UHC with Ariel Pablos-Méndez of USAID (far right), Gina Lagomarsino of Results for Development (center), and Tim Evans of World Bank (second to left). Nellie Bristol of CSIS (far left) moderates.Photo credit: Jonathan Jay/MSH.

"Health care is a right for everyone -- rich or poor."

~ Jim Yong Kim in opening keynote at

SmartGlobalHealth.org " href="https://twitter.com/SmartGlblHealth/status/423100667532566528">notified viewers that technical difficulties would prevent a live webcast; but organizations and individuals tweeting provided realtime coverage of today's "Universal Health Coverage in Emerging Economies" conference at the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS).

 {Photo credit: Jimmy Felix/SCMS in Haiti.}“John” is a healthy 2-year-old, thanks to HIV medication for his mother.Photo credit: Jimmy Felix/SCMS in Haiti.

SCMS and MSH at the forefront of efforts to remove supply chain barriers to the scale up of HIV/AIDS treatment programs

For many of us in the developed world, it is easy to overlook the critical role that well-functioning supply chains play in effective healthcare. When supply chains are operating as they should, we take for granted that the medicines we need will be in stock and available. Yet throughout the developing world, most patients’ access to critical health commodities is much more tenuous; linking medicines to the health professionals that provide treatment and the people who receive care remains a central challenge facing national health systems.

Ensuring that supply chains are sustainable and can tap into high-quality, low-cost medicines, presents an even greater challenge.

{Photo credit: Rui Pires.}Photo credit: Rui Pires.

Every year, billions of US dollars’ worth of medicines are purchased by or through international procurement agencies, NGOS–such as UNICEF, UNITAID, The Global Fund, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)–and governments for use in developing countries. The World Health Organization’s (WHO's) PreQualification of Medicines Programme (PQP) helps ensure that these medicines meet acceptable standards of quality, safety and efficacy.

The US government’s procurement of quality, generic drugs through the US President’s Plan for Emergency AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has saved millions of lives and led to enormous cost savings.

According to a new research paper, published January 16 in Journal of Public Health Policy:

 {Photo: MSH Staff}Participants at a senior leadership training in Rwanda discuss best practices for country ownership.Photo: MSH Staff

This post originally appeared on the LMGforHealth Blog.

In discussions around the importance of country ownership of health-related activities and initiatives, both Management Sciences for Health (MSH) and the Leadership, Management, and Governance (LMG) Project are committed to making sure that the role of civil society is taken into consideration and promoted, in line with USAID Forward’s drive to engage and strengthen local capacity.

 {Photo credit: Genaye Eshetu/MSH.}Teberih Tsegay, Almaz Haile, Jember Alemayehu, and Yeshi Derebew, of Korem Town, Ethiopia.Photo credit: Genaye Eshetu/MSH.

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.

Seeing the toll HIV had taken on their communities—but empowered with knowledge and skills to stop its further spread—the four women began working with the Korem Health Center as Mother Mentors in 2010. They teach HIV-positive pregnant women and their husbands about the steps necessary to keep their babies safe from the virus.

Remarkably, since they began their work three years ago, only one child has been born HIV-positive in Korem Town.

 {Photo credit: Anteneh Tesfaye Lemma/MSH.}Producing a TV spot on social health insurance in Ethiopia.Photo credit: Anteneh Tesfaye Lemma/MSH.

It was sudden and unexpected. It was also funny: the ball exploded and deflated right under Teferi's foot. But everybody started to worry when the director screamed: “We can’t shoot the next scene without the football! Somebody get me a new one!”

I looked at the young boy actor. Tears were about to wash his gloomy face as the ball changed into a useless piece of flat plastic right before his cloudy eyes. "This is bad!" I said to myself. "The kid might not be willing to act anymore; we might be forced to start the production all over again!"

We were shooting one of the scenes for a TV public service announcement. Producing the TV spot is one of the major activities for the Health for All Campaign–the campaign supporting the popularization of Ethiopia’s New Health Insurance Scheme.

It was ironic: the TV spot promotes preparing for unforeseen emergencies. Yet, once the ball became useless, we realized that we were not ready for an emergency ourselves.

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