Malaria: Our Impact

In 2006, the Malawi Ministry of Health chose the artemisinin-based combination therapy artemether-lumefantrine as the first-line drug for treating uncomplicated malaria. However, when Malawi officially launched the policy nationwide, one of the greatest challenges was a lack of capacity among health workers and pharmacy personnel to manage the new treatment.

Andualem Mohammed, SCMS advisor. Photo Credit: Margaret Hartley.MSH: Please tell me about your background and how you became interested in public health. I am from Ethiopia, and I joined Management Sciences for Health (MSH) as an employee seconded to a Missionaries of Charity orphanage for HIV-positive children, where I became the head of the pharmacy. But I wanted an opportunity to help millions of people instead of hundreds, so I joined the Supply Chain Management System (SCMS) Project as Quantification and Supply Planning Advisor.MSH: What is your role at MSH?

HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, diarrheal disease, respiratory tract infections—these major killers in the developing world are becoming resistant to the medicines used to treat them. According to the Center for Global Development, the emergence and spread of drug resistance are draining resources and threatening the ability to treat infectious diseases in developing countries. Through international forums and publications, Management Sciences for Health (MSH) continues to spread the word about ways to contain resistance to antimicrobials.In September, Dr. Mohan P.

The World Health Organization’s official recognition of the H1N1 virus as a pandemic this past June focused global attention on the challenge of responding to human outbreaks of zoonotic diseases, which are diseases transmissible from animals to humans. Through work in 49 countries in the past five years, Management Sciences for Health (MSH) has developed a unique multisector approach to assist countries not only in responding to pandemics but also in preventing future outbreaks.

By building latrines, repairing water sources, and providing education about hygiene and environmental sanitation in rural villages and schools in Togo and Niger, Action for West Africa Region–Reproductive Health (AWARE-RH) has contributed to better health for more than 18,000 people. Diarrhea kills about 2 million children every year, largely be-cause they lack clean water and basic sanitation services. In rural Togo, only about 50 percent of the population has access to clean water, and only 17 percent have access to basic sanitation facilities.

PATH and the US Coalition for Child Survival are coordinating an initiative to tackle diarrheal disease by inviting leaders in the fields of health, water and sanitation, development and relief, and environmental sectors to sign on to a call to action on diarrheal disease.

As Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria is also encumbered by a proportionately large malaria problem. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 150 million cases of malaria occurred in Nigeria in 2006, most severely affecting young children and pregnant women. The Federal and State Ministries of Health are building malaria control capabilities in understaffed, poorly supplied facilities but still fall far short of meeting people’s needs.

With only 10 miles of paved road in all of Southern Sudan, a region the size of Texas, Steve Redding, Director of Health Service Delivery at Management Sciences for Health (MSH), explains that it is unusual to bump into any sign of government: “There are no roads, mostly cattle trails. Many of the people are seminomadic. . . . To have health facilities positioned along cattle routes reminds people that there is a government concerned with their welfare.” Three years ago, life was different in Southern Sudan.

Smallpox is the only entry on the list of infectious diseases that have been successfully eradicated from the earth. Some leading global health groups believe that Guinea worm, a water-borne parasite that today infects only 5,000 people (down from 3.5 million in 1986), will be next. This goal represents a significant challenge, in part because cases that are few and far between are often hardest to control, but it is much less controversial than the goal recently publicized by a large consortium of international players: the eradication of malaria.

CAMBRIDGE, MA —USAID/BASICS has announced the appointment of William Newbrander as Technical Director. In the position, he will supervise the project's technical focus areas, including: pneumonia, diarrheal diseases, healthy timing and spacing of pregnancy, malaria, nutrition for children and infants, newborn survival and health, and pediatric HIV & AIDS.Dr. Newbrander joined Management Sciences for Health (MSH) in 1992 after serving with the World Health Organization (WHO) for eight years.

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