MSH Featured in International Innovation Magazine
In a recent issue of International Innovation MSH President and CEO, Jonathan D. Quick, MD, MPH, was interviewed about MSH's history, core values, and successes over nearly 40 years.
"The global health issues we face require an international, collaborative response that brings together every level of the health care sector," explains Dr. Quick. "Each year, 10 million men, women, and children die needlessly from conditions for which there exists safe, effective, affordable, proven prevention and treatment."
MSH's successes over the years can be attributed to its founding vision that good health services can be delivered in poor areas only if health systems are improved through successful management and leadership.
The article highlights MSH's successes in Afghanistan. In 2001, when the Taliban lost power, access to primary care was less than 10 percent, immunizations were less than 20 percent, there were no female health workers, and nine out of 10 births were without midwives. By early 2006, MSH's REACH program (Rural Expansion of Afghanistan's Community-based Healthcare Program), funded by USAID, had trained nearly 6,300 community health workers, over half of whom were women, and 804 community midwives. The REACH program staffed 3,540 health posts, and staffed and supplied 332 health facilities and hospitals in 13 provinces with these newly trained workers. Through these facilities, they provided access to basic health services to 7.5 million people living in rural areas.
By September 2006, REACH was providing 500,000 patient visits per month. As a result, the percentage of women in REACH districts receiving antenatal care from a skilled provider increased from 4.6 percent in 2003 to 32.2 percent by 2006. These improvements, among others, contributed to tremendous health impact. Infant mortality fell by 22 percent in REACH areas between 2000 and 2006. Child mortality fell by over 25 percent in those areas in the same time.
MSH is currently working in more than 70 countries and manages 54 health projects. MSH works closely with local government and nongovernmental organizations and collaborates with international institutions such as USAID, the World Bank, the World Health Organization, and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria.
"If MSH has done its job well then leaders, health managers, and communities in developing nations will increasingly be able to tackle complex public health challenges. They will have strong management and leadership skills, practical tools, and the financial and human resources needed to save lives and improve the health of their citizens," concludes Dr. Quick.