Women, Children, and Adolescents' Health: Our Impact

 {Photo Credit: Leonard Razafimandimby/AIM}Herilalaina with his healthy 4-month old childPhoto Credit: Leonard Razafimandimby/AIM

In remote communities of Madagascar, the distribution of chlorhexidine, an antiseptic and disinfectant, by community health volunteers (CHVs) is a major innovation that greatly contributes to the reduction of child mortality. This umbilical ointment prevents deadly infections and eases the healing process.

Photo Credit: Mark Tuschman

MSH’s country representative for Kenya Spencer Ochieng spoke to Citizen TV yesterday about the successes and challenges Kenya faces in its effort to improve maternal health.  Maternal and newborn health in Kenya has drastically improved since 2013, when the government instituted a new policy of free maternal services at public hospitals. Since 2013, the number of deaths during childbirth each year has been reduced by one-third, and the number of women who deliver under the watch of a skilled health worker has nearly doubled, according to Citizen TV.

When her daughter was born three months early and had to be delivered by caesarean section, Helen was frightened. “Giving birth is sometimes scary. It was even scarier for me because I didn’t give birth the natural way that I wanted,” she said. Thanks to care provided by staff in the maternal unit of Kibungo hospital, a provincial hospital in eastern Rwanda, Helen healed well and her baby was healthy. Her story might have had a different outcome just a few years ago.

This Sunday, the Lancet will launch it’s new Maternal Health Series at a United Nations General Assembly event in New York City. The series synthesises the last decade of evidence on maternal health worldwide and champions vital action on the path to 2030.

 {Photo credit: APHRC}A peer educator in Viwandani talks about mentorship of young boys in the slum at the video screening.Photo credit: APHRC

The video, Meeting the Needs of Urban Youth, tells the story of adolescents and service providers living in two slums in Nairobi, Kenya, and explores issues around access to sexual and reproductive health services in urban settings. Produced by African Strategies for Health's partners, the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) and Management Sciences for Health (MSH), the video was recently screened at Viwandani and Korogocho, the two communities featured on the film.

 {Photo credit: MSH staff}South SudanPhoto credit: MSH staff

UNICEF has comissioned MSH to develop a cost modeling tool and methodology that will help countries structure, plan, and finance integrated community health services. UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund, is a worldwide leader in promoting and supporting community health services as a key strategy to improve coverage of high-impact maternal, newborn, and child health interventions and reduce health inequities from pregnancy to adolescence and beyond.

The Lancet reports today on the recent partnership of MSH and the Government of Gabon to help reform Gabon’s health sector, with a particular focus on improving maternal and child health outcomes.

 {Photo credit: MSH staff}Kasifa Mugala, 34, started feeling ill while she was pregnant, and started ART after referral for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. “I am very happy. I gave birth to a healthy baby who is now turning one year old,” she said. “I did not know that I would ever be fine. I am grateful to our village health team.”Photo credit: MSH staff

Esther Nyende, 45, is a member of her village health team and a community leader in Uganda’s eastern Pallisa District. Nyende alone has referred 20 clients who are now receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART).

 {Photo credit: MSH staff}Baby Rosemary and her parents in Onuk Essien Udim Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.Photo credit: MSH staff

Chief Victor Joseph Ntuen is village head of Onuk, Ukana clan in Essien Udim Local Government Area (LGA) in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. He and his wife Emem have five children. Their youngest, 11-month-old Rosemary, fell seriously ill in January. She constantly vomited and had diarrhea for over one week. Baby Rosemary was diagnosed with cholera. Chief Ntuen was devastated at the thought of losing his baby girl to the cholera outbreak ravaging the community. But, they had no money to take Rosemary to the hospital for treatment. He and Emem had just paid their older children’s school fees.

{Photo credit: Catherine Lalonde/MSH}Photo credit: Catherine Lalonde/MSH

Amy Boldosser-Boesch recalls feeling fortunate to have interned with Family Care International (FCI) when studying for her Master’s in International Affairs at Columbia University. Founded in 1986, FCI was the first international organization dedicated to maternal and reproductive health. Little did she know, in those early days of her career, that she would one day lead the organization.

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