October 2015

 {Photo credit: Novartis}Official signing of the memorandum of understanding at the launch event, held at Kenyatta National Hospital.Photo credit: Novartis

Novartis launched Novartis Access, a novel social business program, in collaboration with the Kenyan government, Management Sciences for Health (MSH), and other partners, on Thursday, October 15, at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH).

Novartis Access is an industry first: “a novel social business model that aims to deliver affordable medicines for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) also known as chronic disease in lower income countries”.

MSH’s partnership with Novartis, announced in September, is to enable governments in low- and middle- countries, beginning in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Vietnam, to provide better care for their chronic diseases population in need.

Kenyan Dignitaries Describe Country-Led Efforts on Chronic Diseases

The launch event kicked off October 15, at 10 am, East Africa Time, preceded by a tour of KNH. The launch was high level, graced by the presence of Kenyan dignitaries.

 {Photo credit: Michele Alexander/MSH}Speakers on the Social Good Summit stage discuss AIDS activism.Photo credit: Michele Alexander/MSH

Every September, New York City transforms into a hub of development activity as thousands of representatives from governments, non-governmental organizations, civil society, and the private sector gather for the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). This September was no exception as the 70th UNGA kicked off by inaugurating the world’s new sustainable development goals (the SDGs or Global Goals).

On September 27 and 28, I joined hundreds of others in New York City for the Social Good Summit, an exciting two-day conference examining the impact of technology and new media on social good initiatives around the world. Hosted by Mashable, the UN Foundation, UNDP, and 92Y, this annual event brings together notables from all sectors from celebrities to government leaders. Some of the most impactful speakers included Nelson Mandela’s grandson Ndaba Mandela discussing AIDS activism; Facebook’s Naomi Gleit sharing how social media played a key role in connecting people and mobilizing support immediately following the April 25, 2015 Nepal earthquake; and UNFPA’s Babatunde Osotimehin and celebrity advocate Ashley Judd highlighting the importance of access to reproductive health services.

 {Source: Management Sciences for Health (MSH)}Illustration of a typical discussion in a public hospital governing board.Source: Management Sciences for Health (MSH)

This post originally appeared on K4Health's Blog and the Leadership, Management & Governance (LMG) Project Blog.

I struggled with the plateauing or even declining performance of a health service delivery organization I was supporting. I agonized over weaning another such organization away from relying on aid and becoming self-reliant. I spent sleepless nights wondering why yet another health sector organization was adrift, and how I could help it get onto a steady course and in a definitive direction.

Increasingly, I am convinced that the answer lies in improving how these organizations are governed.

{Photo credit: Warren Zelman, Democratic Republic of the Congo}Photo credit: Warren Zelman, Democratic Republic of the Congo

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.

 {Photo credit: MSH staff}Several MSH delegates gather at the Global MNH conference.Photo credit: MSH staff

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).

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