Swift and effective action to address the COVID-19 pandemic has required countries to engage in an all hands on deck approach. We recently asked our colleagues on the frontlines in Malawi and Kenya, Dr. Ann Phoya and Dr. Ndinda Kusu, to share how their teams are working with all sectors of society to scale up preparedness and response measures, strengthen capacities and systems to meet the challenge of COVID-19, and help maintain uninterrupted essential health services.
In the face of conflict, natural disasters, or other crippling events, women disproportionately suffer from preventable illnesses and death. In such circumstances, women are more likely to experience gender-based violence, and they have more difficulty accessing basic health services, such as obstetric care and family planning.
In the spirit of the 3,500-year-old Tao (Way) of Leadership, MSH works closely with local institutions and communities to create lasting and sustainable changes; changes that improve the health of people among the world’s poorest and most vulnerable groups. And as the Tao indicates, sustainability starts with ownership, “The people will say, we have done it ourselves.”
(Cross-posted on the Global Health Council website).
Between 2000 and 2015, great strides have been made in fighting malaria. Globally, malaria case incidences declined by 41% and mortality rates by 62%. However, approximately 212 million people were infected and 429,000 people died in 2015, with the majority being children under the age of 5 in sub-Saharan Africa. Malaria also places a great financial burden on individuals and health systems. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, the annual cost of case management related to malaria is estimated at USD 300 million.
Saving lives and improving health continues long after diagnosing disease or delivering medicines.
(Watch Faith tell her story)
Faith had been ill for months. She was 31 and had two daughters. She didn’t know what was wrong. A friend urged her to get an HIV test; it came back positive.
Faith started on antiretroviral treatment.
But, in 2013, one of her antiretroviral medicines started to work against her, causing misshapen fat deposits to develop on her body.
“In 509 days, my country will go to the ballot box, and I will be running for office in Kenya,” announced Stephanie Musho, a law student and staffer at a global health non-profit. Musho made this bold statement while speaking on a panel of young African women leaders during the 60th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in March.
Novartis launched Novartis Access, a novel social business program, in collaboration with the Kenyan government, Management Sciences for Health (MSH), and other partners, on Thursday, October 15, at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH).
Novartis Access is an industry first: “a novel social business model that aims to deliver affordable medicines for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) also known as chronic disease in lower income countries”.
On behalf of our 2,200-plus worldwide staff, we wish you, your family, and communities, a happy World Health Day!
This World Health Day, we celebrate the heroes among us: health workers. We envision a world where everyone has the opportunity for a healthy life. Says a nursing officer from Kenya: My vision is to have the best maternal services in this community. Watch video
For more than 40 years, MSH has expanded access to quality maternal, neonatal, and child health services by strengthening all levels of the health system.
Today, over 500 organizations and individuals worldwide are celebrating the first-ever Universal Health Coverage Day (UHC Day). All week, Management Sciences for Health (MSH) bloggers have shared stories, analysis, photos, and videos, in support of UHC Day and health for all: Partnering to Make UHC a Reality "For UHC to succeed worldwide, the global health community must generate what’s still missing: a fully-fledged roadmap for UHC efforts and an architecture for global UHC governance," blogs Jonathan Jay in Devex.
Staff contributors at Management Sciences for Health (MSH), a founding member of the UHC Day coalition, are blogging this week about universal health coverage, including sharing fresh videos, photos, and analysis, inspired by the five reasons to support health for all. Each day we also include how you can take action right away to support health for all.
Today, we highlight reason two ("Because UHC is attainable") with video and stories from Ethiopia, Kenya, and Nigeria--countries working toward UHC.
Because Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is Attainable
“I wish I had called this event,” said Mr. Simone Ole Kirgotty, CEO of Kenyan National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF). This came as a surprise to many since the CEO was bombarded with critical questions and comments about the activities of the organization he has been leading for the last two years. “If it was new for me to lead such a controversial organization, I would have run away after all these comments,” added Mr. Kirgotty cheerfully.
The most recent edition of the MSH Global Health Impact Newsletter (May 2014, Issue 5) highlights MSH and global efforts moving toward universal health coverage (UHC) in the post-2015 development framework. This issue includes: MSH President & CEO Dr. Jonathan D.
“While Kenya has seen improvements in areas like HIV care and treatment and child survival, many Kenyans still struggle to access basic healthcare,” says Dr. Jonathan D. Quick, President and CEO of Management Sciences for Health (MSH), in an op-ed published today in The People, a Kenyan newspaper.
Quick returned to the country to speak at Kenya’s launch of the Health for All: Campaign for Universal Health Coverage in Africa (Health for All) last month.
In a health clinic outside Nairobi, Kenya, Janet* waits to see a doctor. Janet is a 32-year-old widow and mother of four from Kibera, a neighborhood of Nairobi. Her 11-year-old daughter, Jane*, isn’t feeling well. Both mother and daughter are HIV-positive.
The goal of universal health coverage (UHC) is to improve equitable access to health services while protecting households from impoverishing out-of-pocket health spending. In principle, UHC means that lifesaving services and medicines will be accessible and affordable for those who need them. To create deeper awareness of UHC in Kenya, Management Sciences for Health Kenya (MSH Kenya) country office organized a symposium on setting the national health agenda post 2015, called, “Achieving Universal Health Coverage through Stronger Health Systems”.
I felt like I had traded my mother’s health for my children’s schooling. It was a tough choice, and I cried every day. This emotional remark was made by Lucy Njoki, a Kenyan mother and grandmother, at the Health for All Campaign Launch Event on April 28, 2014, in Nairobi. She had been forced to choose between paying for her children’s education or her mother’s urgently needed medical treatment. She could not afford both. Affordable and accessible health care remain an unrealized dream for many Kenyan citizens.
As a government we cannot work alone. However, it is important that those contributing to achieving the government’s vision of a healthy Kenya be guided by standards that encourage them to provide a certain level of quality that is acceptable and desirable. These were the words of Dr.
The Health for All: Campaign for Universal Health Coverage is working to ensure that challenges that hinder access to quality health care in Kenya are addressed. The campaign aims to ensure that governments and stakeholders in health services delivery prioritize strengthening infrastructure, human resource for health, and health care financing to improve service delivery.
The campaign will official launch on April 28, 2014 with the theme, "Health systems strengthening for universal health coverage".
This post originally appeared on The Lancet Global Health Blog.
A strong civil society is essential for realizing the lofty goal of achieving universal health coverage (UHC). While the ongoing global discussions around UHC have largely focused on the role of government and development partners in designing and implementing risk pooling mechanisms that have the potential to improve access to essential health services, there has been little discussion on the key role that local civil society organizations (CSOs) play to ensure various communities support UHC and hold governments accountable.
In Kenya, cancer is ranked third as a cause of mortality and morbidity after communicable and cardiovascular diseases.
The Ministry of Health, supported by the USAID-funded, Management Sciences for Health (MSH)-led, Health Commodities and Services Management (MSH/HCSM) Program, led the development and launch of the First National Guidelines for Cancer Management in Kenya, in collaboration with World Health Organization (WHO), Africa Cancer Foundation, and other stakeholders.
This special January 2014 edition of the Global Health Impact Newsletter (subscribe) features 12 stories from 2013 highlighting how MSH is saving lives by strengthening health systems at all levels--from the household to the community to the health facility to national authorities. The stories were selected through an internal storytelling contest (available in print soon).
We are also pleased to share a post from President and CEO Jonathan D. Quick outlining our vision for 2014.
A Note from Dr. Jonathan D. Quick
Vision 2014: UHC and the Opportunity for a Healthy Life
November 14 is World Diabetes Day. This year’s theme, “Protect our future,” emphasizes the importance of engaging and inspiring local communities to promote awareness and education on the effects of diabetes and its preventable risk factors.
At the Devex Partnerships Forum, being held today in Nairobi, Kenya, Management Sciences for Health (MSH) urged the private sector to collaborate with health institutions to improve management, enable better service delivery, and lower the cost of healthcare in Kenya.
With the healthcare service being devolved to counties in Kenya, a number of challenges exist, such as unequal distribution of human and material resources to health facilities. This strains the governance of the institutions as the few personnel are stretched, handling large clientele as well as administration.
The Kenya National AIDS and STI Control program (NASCOP) under the Ministry of Health (MOH) disseminated preliminary results of the Kenya AIDS Indicator Survey (KAIS) 2012 on September 10, 2013. The dissemination conference was attended by all major stakeholders in the HIV and AIDS response in Kenya, including Management Sciences for Health (MSH).
This edition of MSH's Global Health Impact e-newsletter (subscribe) explores our worldwide work supporting healthy communities, families and kids, including:Mobilizing communities to care for orphans and vulnerable children in Lesotho;Empowering Ugandan couples with information and access to modern family planning;Training community health workers to provide TB services in rural Afghanistan;Supporting Kenya's efforts to utilize mobile technology for pharmacovigilance reporting; andCommunicating strategically to influence health-seeking behaviors (i.e. proper use of bed nets).
The state of tuberculosis (TB) is in a tug-of-war as current challenges threaten to undo past successes. One of the primary hurdles currently facing TB prevention and cure is the emergence of strains that are resistant to at least two of the most effective medicines (rifampicin and isoniazid).So-called drug-resistant (DR)-TB arises when patients are unable to complete a full-course of appropriate, high quality anti-TB medicines.
Sunday, March 24, 2013, is World TB Day, and MSH staff and partners are promoting global efforts to stop TB throughout the week.Here are highlights from some of our activities around the world:The Afghanistan TB CARE I team is working with the national TB program (NTP) to conduct celebration events at 290 health facilities and communities in 13 USAID-supported provinces. TB messages will be aired through local telephone companies to approximately one million people throughout the nation.
Integrating the Leadership Development Program into Guyana's national nursing school training (watch video): Guyana HIV/AIDS Reduction and Prevention, phase two (GHARP II), a PEPFAR-funded and USAID-supported project.Developing Strong Health Leaders Saves Lives, the newest edition of MSH's Global Health Impact e-newsletter (subscribe), features:a conversation with Jonathan Quick and Sylvia Vriesendorp on strong women health leaders;an interview with Xavier Alterescu on the next horizons of leadership: gender, decentralized governance, and building organizational capacity for networking;a blog
In my 35 years working in international health, I've attended hundreds of conferences. Conferences are opportunities to exchange ideas and form connections. They’re often fascinating. But once in a while a conference itself can be a pivotal moment.
After a very busy week scurrying around behind the scenes at Kenya’s First National Conference on Health Leadership, Management and Governance, the staff of the USAID-funded Leadership, Management and Sustainability project in Kenya (LMS/Kenya) gathered on Friday morning before the start of the fourth and final day. Generally, the last day of a conference is filled with summaries and closing-day formalities. But this time, Project Director Karen Caldwell informed us that we still had one essential task ahead.
Today, in Nairobi, Kenya, we’re celebrating the opening of the First National Conference on Health Leadership, Management and Governance, a joint undertaking of the Ministry of Medical Services and the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation with support from Management Sciences for Health through the USAID-funded Leadership, Management and Sustainability Project in Kenya (LMS/Kenya).
Cross-posted from the SIAPS website.
“Respectful maternal care was said to be more than just a means to an end, and can be framed as several issues: human rights, quality of care, equity and public health,” Jocalyn Clark, senior editor of PLoS Medicine, noted about the final day of the 2013 Global Maternal Health Conference (GMHC).
The October edition of MSH's Global Health Impact newsletter (subscribe), features stories of people, communities, and countries on the road toward universal health coverage (UHC).
The vital role of the essential package for health impact "Universal health coverage has two fundamental goals: maximizing health impact and eliminating — or at least reducing — impoverishment and bankruptcy due to healthcare costs," blogs MSH President Jonathan D. Quick.
This is the advice that Esther Wahome, a registered community health nurse in a Kenyan health facility, gives to her clients when they come to the tuberculosis (TB) clinic. Within a short time, Esther dispenses the drugs to the patient, provides health care advice and updates her records.Esther’s TB clinic clients are usually referred to Kayole II sub-district hospital from Toto Bora and other smaller health care centers.
Good governance in health care matters at all levels of the health system—from communities to health facilities to governments. When a community HIV & AIDS association in Zanzibar grew from 40 members to more than 1,000, it needed better governance. When women in Senegal raised concerns about lack of privacy and poor security at a district hospital, it needed better governance.
Cross-posted on TB-CARE I.World TB Day, March 24th, was commemorated in many countries around the world last week to acknowledge the accomplishments made in the fight against tuberculosis (TB), and to call attention to the work that still needs to be done.Voices of TB, a unique event organized by USAID, featured former TB patients speaking about their personal fight against TB.
Kalu, a young man from Kenya, dreamed of becoming a star footballer (soccer player). Little did he know when he traveled to South Africa to pursue his dream that he carried in him a hidden passenger: the HIV virus.
Inside Story: The Science of HIV/AIDS, a new feature-length docudrama in which USAID plays a supporting role, premiered to a packed theater in Johannesburg, South Africa, on World AIDS Day, December 1, 2011.Inside Story is a unique mixture of science and fiction and includes cast members and characters from Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.Kalu, a rising Kenyan soccer player, migrates to South Africa to establish his career. A romantic encounter leads to the unwelcome realization that he is HIV positive.
A version of this post originally appeared on the Save the Children website.The healthcare system in South Sudan is struggling to get on to its feet after the devastation of over 20 years of war. The biggest killers of children in southern Sudan are malaria, diarrhea and respiratory infections. These preventable diseases can be easy to treat. But, on average, only one in four people in South Sudan are within reach of a health center.
The 16th International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections (ICASA) opened today, December 5, 2011, at the newly refurbished Millennium Hall in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with a colorful and lively music and dance production by the Ethiopian National Theatre and Traditional Music Group and the Addis Ababa Youth & Children’s Theatre.UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé gave an impassioned welcome speech remembering the last 30 years of AIDS and the 24 million African lives lost to the epidemic.
Earlier this year, USAID supported the launch of the Leading High-Performing Healthcare Organizations program (LeHHO) for senior health leaders in Kenya. Offered at Nairobi’s Strathmore Business School, the program is the result of a successful partnership between Strathmore and USAID’s Leadership, Management and Sustainability (LMS) project in Kenya.
A child born in Ghana today will most likely receive a full schedule of immunizations, and her chances of surviving past the age of five are far better than they were a decade ago. Today Ghana boasts a coverage rate for infant vaccination of 90 percent and hasn’t seen an infant die of measles since 2003.Ghana has been expanding primary health care by bringing services to people’s doorsteps since the 1980s, and since the early 2000s has done so in the context of a commitment to universal health coverage.
Blog post updated Dec. 27, 2011. In 2003, after dwindling funds, low staff morale, and accusations of patient neglect had eroded community confidence in Kiriaini Mission Hospital in Kenya, the Catholic Diocese of Murang’a decided to shut it down -- leaving locals to seek treatment at the distant provincial capital of Nyeri.Six months later five Franciscan nuns arrived from India to reopen the hospital. They hired new staff, renovated the dilapidated structures, and restored much needed services to the rural community.
Monday at the International AIDS Society conference in Rome, an expanded session featured information on the HPTN 052 study, the Partners PrEP Study, and the Centers for Disease Control’s TDF2 study presented in a joint session titled Treatment Is Prevention: The Proof Is Here, on Monday.
As we celebrate World Health Day on April 7, 2011, the global health community is focusing on an increasingly dangerous health challenge---drug resistance. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR)---defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the resistance of a microorganism to an antimicrobial medicine to which it was previously sensitive---is a global public health threat that is rapidly wiping out the effectiveness of many first-line treatments.
(This blog post was originally posted on Global Health Council's Global Health Magazine blog.)How do we set a gold standard for monitoring and evaluating capacity building?Last week I attended the inaugural HIV Capacity Building Partners Summit in Nairobi from March 16-18, 2011.
News from the HIV Capacity Building Partners Summit in Nairobi, KenyaOn the second day of the first ever Regional HIV Capacity Building Partners Summit in Nairobi, Kenya, one of the key issues that continued to dominate the conversations in various sessions was sustainability.Many speakers noted that despite a mild increase in organizational capacity building efforts by donors, governments, and nongovernmental organizations in the Eastern and Southern Africa region, the documentation and dissemination of these efforts and their effects on HIV & AIDS programs and other health programs and s
News from the HIV Capacity Building Partners Summit in Nairobi, KenyaSub Saharan Africa still remains the unenviable epicenter of the global HIV and AIDS epidemic. Over the years, the region has witnessed intensified emergency efforts to expand access to HIV treatment, prevention, care and support.
There have been a collection of high-profile and well attended mobile health (mHealth) “summits” held around the world in the past few years, including last month’s second annual mHealth Summit in Washington, D.C. (headlined by Bill Gates and Ted Turner), but the really interesting conversations are happening on the African continent.
In mid-June the United States Government continued to show its commitment to global health by announcing the first Global Health Initiative (GHI) Plus countries: Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nepal, and Rwanda. The GHI is a six-year, $63 billion initiative to help partner countries improve measurable health outcomes by strengthening health systems and building upon proven results.
Over 100 delegates from 30 countries participated in the “National Pharmacovigilance Systems: Ensuring the Safe Use of Medicines” conference held in Nairobi, Kenya, August 16–18, 2010. Organized by Management Sciences for Health’s (MSH) Strengthening Pharmaceutical Systems (SPS) program, which is funded by the U.S.
At the Global Health Council Conference, I attended an interesting event, “Impact of Schistosomiasis and Polyparasitic Infections on Anemia, Growth and Physical Fitness in Children in Coastal Kenya” presented by Dr. Amaya Bustinduy of Case Western Reserve University which focused on neglected tropical diseases (NTD).Schistosomiasis remains one of the most serious and prevalent neglected tropical diseases worldwide. According to Bustinduy, the WHO estimated that there are 235 million cases of schistosomiasis with 732 million to be at risk for contraction.