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 {Photo Credit: Brigid Boettler/MSH}Ibil Surya, William Yeung, and Meggie Mwoka at Youth Lead side event, May 19, 2015.Photo Credit: Brigid Boettler/MSH

This post originally appeared on LMGforHealth.org. USAID's Leadership, Management & Governance (LMG) Project is led by Management Sciences for Health (MSH) with a consortium of partners.

“Age is not an issue when it comes to experience and knowledge,” said Katja Iversen, CEO of Women Deliver at Youth Lead: Setting Priorities for Adolescent Health. The World Health Assembly (WHA) side event wrapped up almost two weeks of young leaders sharing their experience and knowledge in Geneva at global consultations of health agendas and the creation of the new Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s, and Adolescents’ Health.

{Photo credit: Katy Doyle/MSH, Lesotho}Photo credit: Katy Doyle/MSH, Lesotho

For more than three years, TOMS Giving (TOMS), and Management Sciences for Health (MSH) have partnered to address critical health and social issues facing mothers and children in rural sub-Saharan Africa.

Together, MSH and TOMS have helped nearly 1,000,000 moms and kids in Uganda and Lesotho stay healthy.  

How are MSH and TOMS ensuring a successful partnership? Utilizing complementary innovation and expertise toward aligned social impact goals. TOMS is known for their innovative One for One® philanthropy model—for each pair of shoes that is purchased in higher-income countries, TOMS provides a pair of shoes for a child or caregiver in need—one for one. But often times, the logistics of providing these shoes in rural areas in Africa can be daunting. That’s where MSH comes in: For over 40 years, MSH has helped build locally-led, locally-run health systems in over 130 countries, including among the poorest and most vulnerable populations in some of the hardest-to-reach regions of the world.

{Photo credit: Mark Tuschman.}Photo credit: Mark Tuschman.

Are you strengthening youth leaders in a low or middle-income country? Take the Youth Leadership Program Survey now

Young people are the next generation of leaders.

How many times do we say this, or some version of it? Yet, do we examine the rhetoric behind it? What does it mean to strengthen youth leaders and what do programs that embody this mantra look like?

This month, with support from USAID’s Office of Population and Reproductive Health, the Leadership, Management & Governance (LMG) Project proudly launches www.YouthLeadGlobal.org, a community for youth leaders that also aims to gather information on programs that are developing youth leaders around the world with an online survey. With our collaborating networks, the International Youth Alliance for Family Planning (IYAFP) and Youth Health and Rights Coalition (YHRC), we are initiating a global search for promising youth leadership programs and approaches.

Meet Sophie.

I'd like to introduce you to a special mother. Her name is Mama Sophie (meet her in this video). Seven months pregnant and experiencing pain, Sophie went to the Dipeta Health Facility in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC):

I thought maybe the baby was changing position in the womb, but…[they told me the baby was coming].

Sophie was frightened: she had lost two babies before. She wasn’t the only person concerned. Dipeta Health Facility has an incubator, but doesn't have a reliable source of electricity to use it.

When I delivered... I could see people were worried… But, Mama Esther, the birth attendant said: ‘Mardochée will grow up in the Kangaroo Mother style.'

Trained by the birth attendant on Kangaroo Mother Care, Sophie held Mardochée skin-to-skin close against her chest -- wrapped in a cloth like a kangaroo protecting a newborn in its pouch -- for days and days.

{Photo credit: Genaye Eshetu/MSH}Photo credit: Genaye Eshetu/MSH

Going to Geneva for the 68th Session of the World Health Assembly (WHA)? Please join Management Sciences for Health (MSH) for three WHA side events: two on Monday, May 18th (a breakfast call to action on gestational diabetes screening, and an evening panel discussion on building global health resilience); and one on Tuesday, May 19th (a lunch panel discussion on setting adolescent health priorities). Please RSVP to each event separately. We hope to see you in Geneva!

(Not going to Geneva? Follow this blog for updates. On Twitter, follow @MSHHealthImpact, @MSHActs, and @LMGforHealth, and hashtags #WHA68 #YouthLead.)

Saving the Lives of Women & Newborns through Gestational Diabetes Screening: A Call to Action

Monday, May 18, 2015
8:00 am – 9:30am (08h00 - 09h30)
Vieux Bois restaurant, at the entrance to the Palais des Nations, Avenue de la Paix 12

{Photo credit: Todd Shapera, Rwanda}Photo credit: Todd Shapera, Rwanda

Rwanda is one of the "biggest success stories" of countries improving child survival since 2000, the BBC World News reported April 29, 2015, linking to a podcast on BBC's The Inquiry.  

Randy Wilson, Principal Technical Advisor, Management Sciences for Health (MSH), spoke with BBC The Inquiry's Helena Merriman about MSH's role supporting Rwanda's efforts, including training community health workers with RapidSMS to saves lives. Said Wilson:

We helped to introduce RapidSMS within the districts, training 45,000 community health workers, many of whom who had never touched a cell phone in their life.

Wilson continued: "If there's even the slightest evidence" of a health concern, RapidSMS "encourages the community health worker not only to refer, but also to accompany, the mother to a facility where they get proper care."

{Screenshot, BBC, April 29, 2015}Screenshot, BBC, April 29, 2015According to the BBC:

 {Photo credit: Diana Tumuhairwe/MSH}A multidrug-resistant TB patient from Kitgum, Uganda. He lost his job because of his illness.Photo credit: Diana Tumuhairwe/MSH

Health workers throughout the developing world provide vital services and improve the lives of the people they serve, and yet they are often invisible. These men and women conduct community outreach, provide key prevention messages in the community, and deliver clinical care, treatment, and follow-up. In Uganda, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) TRACK TB project, led by Management Sciences for Health (MSH), supports 52 community linkage facilitators to help increase tuberculosis (TB) case detection and treatment success rates.

As their name suggests, they serve as the link between the patient and the health facility. The facilitators receive a monthly allowance, mobile phones, paid airtime, and transportation reimbursement as they track treatment adherence of TB patients in and around Kampala, Uganda’s capital. The facilitators are critical to successful implementation of the World Health Organization’s DOTS (directly observed treatment short-course) strategy, which helps patients adhere to treatment.

African Strategies for Health (ASH) launches the mHealth database (screenshot, April 20, 2015).

It’s nearly impossible to find someone who doesn’t own or have access to a mobile phone these days. According to International Telecommunication Union (ITU) 2014 estimates, there are nearly seven billion mobile sub­scriptions worldwide, five billion of which are in low- and middle-income countries.

With mobile technologies accessible to 95.5 percent of the world population, a new platform for promoting and delivering health services has emerged. 

Mobile phones are increasingly being used by various cadres of health workers for tasks such as collecting health data; monitoring implementation of health interventions; or informing local communities about potential outbreaks of disease, as was done during the recent Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

These new, innovative ways to make use of mobile technologies to improve health outcomes are known as mobile health or mHealth.  

{Photo credit: Todd Shapera}Photo credit: Todd Shapera

In the Geita District in Tanzania’s Lake Zone, some 10 kilometers from the nearest health facility, a one-year-old girl child wakes up crying with a severe fever. “We used to walk more than 10 kilometers to present our sick children to Geita Regional Hospital,” says Joyce Bahati, the girl’s mother.

Access to proper diagnosis and medicine is critical when a child develops a severe fever. A long journey can delay treatment, or for some, discourage seeking care altogether. In rural sub-Saharan Africa, where the nearest fully-functional health facility may be, at best, a three-hour journey on foot, women and children often turn first to community-based caregivers and medicines sellers or small health dispensaries as first providers of primary health care, including severe fever.

 {Photo credit: Rachel Hassinger/MSH}L to R: Dr. Jonathan D. Quick, Stefanie Friedhoff, Dr. Peter PiotPhoto credit: Rachel Hassinger/MSH

On March 27, 2015, Dr. Peter Piot of the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and Dr. Jonathan D. Quick, MSH President and CEO, sat down at the Boston Public Library with Stefanie Friedhoff of The Boston Globe to discuss Ebola, epidemic preparedness and rebuilding public health systems. 

Watch the video of the whole program:

Here are some excerpts from their conversation:

Stefanie Friedhoff: What did countries do that worked well in the Ebola fight?

Jonathan Quick: There were 6 things that worked well in three of the rim countries of Nigeria, Mali and Senegal.

  1. Leadership: Ministers of Health were on top of the first cases and declared national emergencies.
  2. Preparedness of public health systems.
  3. Rapid action in getting the index case identified and case detection system for subsequent cases.
  4. Good communications campaigns.
  5. Mobilizing the community.
  6. Heroism of local health workers.

SF: Why was the international response so slow? What should be done?

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