{Photo credit: Mary Dauda/MSH}After nearly losing her business, Adekeye Dorcas now mentors HIV positive pregnant mothers in her community and trains apprentices in the art of nylon production.Photo credit: Mary Dauda/MSH

A trader skilled in the art of nylon production, Adekeye Dorcas once generated enough income to provide for her family. During a routine visit to the health center in Kwara state, she tested positive for HIV and was immediately offered counseling services and antiretroviral therapy (ART). The growing demands on her time to travel on open clinic days for ART and the cost of transportation began to threaten her family’s financial stability. She knew that adherence to her treatment was key to allowing her to live positively and ensuring that her husband remained HIV negative.

Photos by: Samy Rakotoniaina/MSH

In Malawi, over 80% of people live in rural areas. For many (10%), the nearest health center is more than 8 kilometers (5 miles) away, making it difficult to access health care regularly. The USAID-funded Organized Network of Services for Everyone’s (ONSE) Health Activity, led by Management Sciences for Health, works to improve quality and access to care in rural communities.

“Before we had a village clinic, we were struggling. For every little sickness, we had to rush to the hospital, especially with our small children.” – Assan Symon, Mitawa village health committee chairperson

Stanley Liyaya, a heath surveillance assistant (HSA), is one of 3,500 community health workers trained to manage childhood illnesses in rural communities. HSAs have improved access to care and treatment of childhood illness to help Malawi reduce the under-five child mortality rate by 73% between 1990 and 2015, achieving Millennium Development Goal 4. Malawi’s vision is that by 2021, all young children will be treated for common illnesses promptly in their own communities.

Fom left: Mariame Sene, Hawa Kone Coulibaly, Hammouda Bellamine, Alcha Diarra, and Justine Dembele. Photo Credit: MSH

"Work to lose your job. If you don't have that in mind, you shouldn't be working in development," says Hammouda Bellamine, Senior Technical Advisor for Capacity Building for the USAID-funded KJK (Keneya Jemu Kan) Project in Mali.

Hammouda and his team are modeling important leadership skills and building capacity for social marketing and behavior change communication activities among local NGOs and public and private organizations. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Hi Hammouda. Could you start by describing your role and responsibilities on the KJK Project?

Our project has three components. One is social behavior change communication (SBCC), one is social marketing (SM), and one is institutional capacity building. The role of our team is to work with selected partners within the private and public sectors and with NGOs in Mali to improve their capacity to manage SBCC and SM activities.

We approach the work from a performance improvement perspective. We look at both the skills needed and the elements that have an impact on both organizational and individual performance.

Pfizer Global Health Fellow, Jay Shetty, at the MSH office in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Photo Credit: Jonx Pillemer/Pfizer

Meet Jay Shetty, Analytics and Reporting Senior Manager in Pfizer’s New York office—and one of two amazing Global Health Fellows (GHFs) to have worked with MSH in Tanzania this year.

The Pfizer Global Health Fellows Program pairs colleagues with partner organizations like MSH for volunteer skills-sharing assignments. Over his six-month fellowship with MSH, Jay generously lent his professional experience and technical skills to the Tanzania Technical Support Services Project (TSSP) in Dar es Salaam. With TSSP, Jay focused on a health information system initiative, aimed at improving client management and health service delivery. Through the project, MSH is providing assistance to the Tanzania Ministry of Health in key technical areas to help control the HIV epidemic and sustain HIV-related health systems and services.

Could you tell me a bit about your background and what inspired you to pursue the Pfizer fellowship?

Yes, I've been working with Pfizer for the last 23 years, beginning as a consultant for almost 14 years in the business technology, project management area, then as a colleague since 2010. Currently, I work in the analytics and compliance reporting area, supporting business areas like clinical trials, publications teams.

 {Photo credit: Rebecca Weaver/MSH}With the support of IHPplus, midwives are able to apply the helping babies breathe (HBB) approach to resuscitate newborns.Photo credit: Rebecca Weaver/MSH

“I became a nurse because my grandmother was a nurse, my sisters are nurses, and one of my aunts is a nurse,” says Neema Kitima, Head Midwife at Bahira Hospital in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). While 80% of births in DRC occur at health facilities with a trained assistant, maternal and neonatal mortality rates remain among the highest in the world. The most recent Demographic and Health Survey (2013–2014) showed that maternal deaths account for 35% of all deaths of women 15–49 years old.

 {Photo credit: Greg Olson/MSH}David Collins, Senior Health Finance Advisor at MSH, demonstrates how an open source community health planning and costing tool, developed with UNICEF, can be used to cost health services and prepare investment cases for community health interventions.Photo credit: Greg Olson/MSH

 

This week, at the 5th Health System Research (HSR) Symposium in Liverpool, MSH shared some of our important work in health care financing. A common theme was using simple cost models to calculate the resources needed to provide good quality health services. This type of work is crucial to helping countries improve quality of care and access to key services as they move toward achieving universal health coverage (UHC).

MSH’s health financing presentations at HSR

  • The challenges of transitioning humanitarian health services to health systems: Experience from northern Syria

  • Scaling up community health: Prioritization and costing of the health service packages in Madagascar and South Sudan

  • A cost-effectiveness and cost savings analysis of community-based, seasonal malaria chemoprevention in seven countries in the Sahel region of Africa

  • The cost of implementing UHC in fragile states: Study results from Afghanistan and Syria

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