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The USAID Mikolo Project created a new approach to assure, improve, and sustain the quality of community-based health services.This technical brief describes the Mikolo approach and assesses its impact on community health volunteer performance between 2014 and 2016. The USAID Mikolo Project quality assurance / quality improvement approach included ve key activities:

The USAID Mikolo Project, in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Youth and Sports, established aYouth Peer Educators (YPE) initiative.The initiative aims to improve youth education and awareness on reproductive health and FP in order to increase contraceptive prevalence rates among 15–24 year olds in USAID Mikolo intervention areas.

Strong and resilient health systems are essential for accelerating progress toward a world safe from the threat of infectious disease outbreaks. In countries with robust health systems, essential health services are delivered within the context of ongoing response activities, and outbreaks can be prevented or identified and contained quickly.

There are more than one million Malawians (HIV prevalence of 10.6%) living with HIV. Nearly 85% of people live in rural or hard-to-reach areas of the country and the sparsely located health facilities are unable to meet their needs.

In 2017, with funding by UK aid from the British people, Management Sciences for Health (MSH) launched the Lea Mimba project to address gaps in the quality of antenatal care (ANC) and to support women's and adolescents' use of maternal and newborn health services in Kakamega County, Kenya.

In 2011, Malawi pioneered an ambitious test-and-treat approach for pregnant and breastfeeding women, known as Option B+. Under this strategy, all HIV-infected pregnant and breastfeeding women are provided with lifelong antiretroviral therapy (ART) regardless of their CD4 count or clinical stage.

This 4-page brochure on health systems strengthening describes how MSH partners with countries to build strong, resilient, sustainable health systems that can deliver universal health coverage—equitable, affordable access to high-quality health services for all who need them.

In 2015, MSH’S projects reached more than 84.2m people worldwide. Since 2012, MSH has contributed to saving more than 500,000 lives and has trained more than 107,000 people - from health officials to frontline health workers.   

In 2008, the USAID Mission invited the Strengthening Pharmaceutical Systems (SPS) Program to provide technical assistance and support to the Government of Afghanistan’s Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) to improve the pharmaceutical system.

DRC has one of the highest rates of malaria-related deaths in the world, particularly for children under five.

The Integrated Health Project (DRC-IHP) in DRC focuses on maternal, newborn, and child health, family planning, nutrition, malaria, and tuberculosis, HIV and AIDS, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH)— applying many proven, low-cost, high-impact innovations on a large scale.

CORE Plus training course conducted for Syrian NGOs in Turkey, 2017. Photo Credit: Steven Collins/MSH PURPOSE

  Although international guidelines for tuberculosis (TB) control are standardized, country TB programs are often unable to properly manage the data needed for following the guidelines, resulting in poorly timed interventions.  

Management Sciences for Health (MSH) knows that community readiness is key to epidemic prevention, detection and early response. Communities are at the frontline of infectious disease outbreaks and despite international progress around global health security, remain extremely vulnerable and under prepared.

The UN adoption of the SDGs in 2015 signaled a strong commitment of member countries to the expanded access to essential health service agenda and definitively recognized the critical role of medicines in achieving UHC.

This study compared the yield of TB among contacts of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) index cases with that of drug-sensitive TB (DS-TB) index cases in a program setting. The yield of TB among contacts of MDR-TB and DS-TB using GeneXpert was high as compared to population-level prevalence. The likelihood of diagnosing RR (Rifampicin Resistant)-TB among contacts of MDR-TB index cases is higher in comparison with contacts of DS-TB index cases. The use of GeneXpert in DS TB contact investigation has an added advantage of diagnosing RR cases in contrast to using the nationally recommended AFB microscopy for DS TB contact investigation.

Despite the commitment of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to expand the family planning method mix and increase access to services, awareness of emergency contraception is low among women, and the method remains underused and poorly integrated in family planning programming. Data from 15 focus group discussions conducted in 2016 among women aged 15–35 were used to examine awareness and perceptions of, and attitudes toward, emergency contraceptives. Emergency contraceptive pills have the potential to address gaps in the family planning method mix in the DRC. Assessing whether women have incomplete or erroneous information about family planning methods can provide better understanding of women's contraceptive choices in low-income countries.

Road traffic injuries (RTIs) are commonly under-reported in low- and-medium-income countries. This study aimed to estimate the number of RTIs and determine the magnitude of under-reporting by traffic police and hospital registries. The police registry captured 14.4% of the estimated number of RTIs and the hospitals captured 60.4%. The estimated number of RTIs was higher than reported by either the police or the hospitals alone. Neither the police nor the hospitals provided accurate data on RTIs, calling for the strengthening of both sources of data.

Building coalitions can amplify stakeholder efforts to carry out effective AMR prevention and control strategies. We have developed and implemented an approach to help local stakeholders kick-start the coalition-building process. The five-step process is to (1) mobilise support, (2) understand the local situation, (3) develop an action plan, (4) implement the plan, and (5) monitor and evaluate. Our experience with the coalition-building approach in Ethiopia, Namibia, Zambia, and with the Ecumenical Pharmaceutical Network shows that coalitions can form in a variety of ways with many different stakeholders, including government, academia, and faith-based organisations, to organise actions to preserve the effectiveness of existing antimicrobials and contain AMR.

The global partnership fighting malaria has witnessed much success in the last 20 years. Malaria is no longer the leading cause of illness and death among children under five, yet multiple challenges remain in the fight. An estimated 445,000 deaths occurred in 2016, compared to 446,000 in 2015, and 91 percent of these deaths occur in Africa.

Management Sciences for Health serves on the steering group of The NCD Alliance, which has issued this polcy brief on universal health coverage and non-communicable diseases. 

A civil society organisation (CSO) perspective on how UHC can be reached by 2030 Universal Health Coverage 2030 (UHC2030) MSH is the secretariat for the Civil Society Engagement Mechanism of UHC2030, a global movement to build stronger health systems for universal health coverage.

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