MSH Highlights Best Practices for Strengthening Health Systems at Women Deliver in DC

As a long-standing implementer and advocate of maternal and child health services around the world, MSH is excited to participate in the second Women Deliver conference this week in Washington, DC. MSH has promoted equal access to health care for women by strengthening health systems for almost four decades.

“MSH improves services that directly affect women— maternal and child health, family planning, HIV & AIDS—through the integration of those services, enabling more accessible and efficient care for entire communities. The success of this work depends on building the capacity of women as leaders and managers, technical experts, clinicians, and community health workers,” said Dr. Jonathan D. Quick, MSH President and CEO.

MSH staff will be presenting at the Women Deliver 2010 conference being held on June 7-10, 2010, at the Walter E. Convention Center in Washington, DC. Experts with deep experience in global health will cover a number of topics on delivering better results in maternal, newborn, and child health by strengthening health systems.
“We applaud UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s announcement today of the UN Joint Action Plan to accelerate progress on women’s and children’s health to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals, reduce child mortality, improve women’s health and to help governments deliver for women and children’s health,” said Dr. Quick.

MSH presentations include:

Human Resources for Maternal Health: What We Know, What We Don't
Tuesday, June 8, 11:00am-12:30pm, Room 151B
Session 204
Presenter: Morsi Mansour, Principal Program Associate/Leadership, Management and Sustainability Program

Costing MNCH Programs and Interventions
Tuesday, June 8, 3:15-4:15pm, Room 146A
Session 238
Presenter: David Collins, Director of Finance and Accounting

Strengthening Health Systems for MNCH Results: Best Practices
Tuesday, June 8, 1:30-3:00pm, Room 146B
Session 225
Presenter: Halida Akhter, Global Technical Lead, Family Planning/Reproductive Health

"Speaker's Corner": Health Systems in Action: An eHandbook for Leaders and Managers
Wednesday, June 9, 12:45-1:00pm
Presenter: Morsi Mansour, Principal Program Associate/Leadership, Management and Sustainability Program

Here are just a few of MSH’s many programs in all arenas—from human resources management to pharmaceutical management—that support women:

  • In Haiti, the Santé pour le Développement et la Stabilité d’Haïti (SDSH) Project works with the public and private sectors to offer health care services to more than 4 million people, an expansion in access facilitated by performance-based financing. In 2009, nearly half (45%) of all pregnant women received prenatal care, compared to almost none before the program. The percentage of births assisted by skilled attendants rose from 7% in 2005 to 35% in 2009.

  • The worldwide Leadership, Management and Sustainability (LMS) Program has trained more than 4,000 senior female leaders (45% of all senior leaders), and engaged nearly 27,000 women in learning programs. After an LMS program was conducted in rural Aswan Governorate in Egypt, maternal mortality declined from 85 to 50 per 100,000 in three years. In Afghanistan, the LMS/Tech-Serve Project contributed to a rise in contraceptive prevalence in 13 provinces from 26% to 41% between 2006 and 2009.

  • In Ethiopia, the HIV/AIDS Care and Support Program has expanded services by creating linkages among hospitals, health centers, and communities. It has deployed 6,350 community volunteers, many of them women. In 2009, about 1.5 million people (including nearly 200,000 pregnant women) were counseled and tested for HIV. Between 2007 and 2009, the number of people on treatment rose from 15,000 to 45,000, and more than 60% of them were women.

  • In Malawi, the Community-Based Family Planning and HIV & AIDS Services Project deployed more than 950 community-based distribution agents to dispense contraceptives. Open Days, events that draw thousands of villagers with music, dance, and drama containing educational messages, contribute to the project’s success. In the first year, 219,000 women were counseled in family planning, vastly exceeding the target of 30,000. Since the project began, use of contraceptives has more than doubled.

MSH’s approach to improving the health and well-being of women is not focused solely on women—it is embedded in strengthening communities and promoting women’s empowerment within them. Involving men and boys in this process is crucial. In October 2009 in Nigeria’s Kebbi State, MSH and USAID hosted 700 men in a town meeting to discuss male involvement in HIV & AIDS prevention, care, and treatment. The program addressed the damaging effect that lack of female autonomy has on the health of the entire family.

Women Deliver 2010 is a global conference focused on maternal and reproductive health. With a theme of “Delivering Solutions for Women and Girls,” the conference plans to “move the dialogue” about maternal and reproductive health even further into the forefront by demonstrating a commitment to investing in women by the donor community is necessary to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs are health and development goals set by the United Nations to be met by 2015.

Related Links

For more information on Women Deliver 2010

Fact Sheet: Improving the Health of Women and Girls by Strengthening Health Systems

Video: MSH Promoting Equal Access to Healthcare for Women

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