For the past six years, MSH has hosted an internal storytelling contest, where we invite staff to submit stories on how strong health systems are saving lives and improving the health of people around the world. The stories undergo a judging process, and the winners are featured in an annual compendium.
We are proud to bring you these winning stories that demonstrate the power of effective partnerships. Meet health workers, community leaders, pharmacy managers, and patients from 10 different countries, working together across the health system to build healthier communities.
Members of the global health community commemorated International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8 by celebrating recent advances in women and girls’ health and indeed there was much to celebrate: maternal deaths have declined 45% worldwide, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has distributed over 450 million bed nets, and over 1 million babies have been born HIV-free thanks to the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR); but there is still work to do. What happens once the day is over? How do we turn that attention into action?
Twenty years ago, the genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi began in Rwanda. Nearly a million people were slaughtered from April through July, 1994.
In 2003, the UN General Assembly designated April 7 as International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda. This year, to mark the 20th anniversary, the Republic of Rwanda launched Kwibuka20 (“Remember20”), a series of events commemorating the tragedy and honoring the nearly one million Rwandans who lost their lives.
Addressing NCDs is critical for global public health, but it will also be good for the economy; for the environment; for the global public good in the broadest sense… If we come together to tackle NCDs, we can do more than heal individuals–we can safeguard our very future.
On June 7, Management Sciences for Health (MSH) and partners hosted Dr. Florence Guillaume, the Minister of Health of Haiti, and panelists for a Capitol Hill luncheon on community health workers in fragile states. The day before, MSH hosted Guillaume in Cambridge, MA, for a town-hall style event on improving maternal and child health. Revisit the two events through a "Storify" story of photos, text, and tweets. [View the story "From Capitol Hill to Cambridge: Learning from Haiti and Other Fragile States on Importance of Community Health..." on Storify]
All involved with women’s health and gender wish that access to quality health care for women and girls was easy to achieve at scale. But the attitudes and expectations of many societies limit women’s and girls’ access to resources and skills associated with better health.
With less than 1000 days until the Millennium Development Goals expire, the process for setting post-2015 goals continues to ramp up. We take this opportunity to reflect on the current state of community health systems in low- and middle-income countries and consider how the post-2015 agenda could reshape them—perhaps dramatically.Community health systems todayIntegration moves aheadPoor and rural communities in low- and middle-income countries are leaving behind the “one clinic, one service” approach.
Maintaining state-of-the-art skills and knowledge is crucial for physicians. But in most developing countries, the lack of structured or ongoing educational activities has pushed medical doctors to travel abroad to benefit from the most recent expertise.
To solve that problem---and improve Rwanda's health system---the Rwanda Medical Council (RMC) launched the continuing professional development program in 2011. The continuing professional development sustains practitioners' knowledge through workshops, seminars, practical sessions, and research.
In a postoperative ward of Kibagabaga Hospital, the district hospital serving Rwanda’s capital city of Kigali, Eric Bizimana sits up in bed. Bizimana, 25, had sought care after severe pain in his right leg forced him to stop work as a barber. He was diagnosed with a bone infection called osteomyelitis. Antibiotics alone couldn’t clear the infection. Without an operation to remove the diseased bone, Eric faced the possibility of losing his leg.
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).
Last week, the 67th United Nations General Assembly adopted a historic resolution that emphasizes universal health coverage (UHC) in the global health and foreign policy work of the UN and Member States in the coming year.MSH hailed the resolution as “a decisive step in the fight against health inequity and poverty.” Jeanette Vega of the Rockfeller Foundation said the passage “shines a light on the 150 million people worldwide that face catastrophic healthcare expenditures” and that the “world demonstrated that UHC is becoming the most important and rele
I got a call from the resident doctor to come to exam room 6. As soon as I entered the room, I prepared myself. The little girl, 7- or maybe 8-years-old, didn't look well; she was “floppy,” combative, and not entirely aware of where she was or what we were doing to her. She was HIV-positive, and my colleague needed to get an IV line in her arm to test the latest in experimental treatments for kids with HIV– and needed the four of us interns to help hold her still.It was 1993 during my residency in pediatrics in Cleveland, Ohio.
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.
Eugénie, a widow in Rwanda, farms to provide for her children. In January 2012, she had surgery to remove a tumor, a procedure that would have devastated her family economically if she did not have insurance.
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.
It’s common sense that a mother who is on treatment for AIDS, pregnant, has a sick child, and is accompanying a sister debilitated by Tuberculosis should not have to visit four separate service delivery points to receive care. Integrated health services not only make the world a healthier place, but also decrease the burden on health systems.Integration is a comprehensive approach to service delivery. It is the transition from a vertical or horizontal approach to a diagonal, synergistic approach at all levels of a health system.
Every day people are dying in the developing world because they cannot access affordable, quality medicines. Modern pharmaceuticals have revolutionized health care, but weak health systems prevent many people from accessing basic life-saving medicines. The health of men, women, and children can be dramatically improved throughout the world by enhancing access to and improving the use of essential medicines and other health care technologies.Gaps in the management and availability of essential medicines and health commodities have been a constant weakness for developing countries.
At the First Global Symposium on Health Systems Research in Montreux, Switzerland in November, Dr. Yogesh Rajkotia, of USAID Rwanda, moderated a panel discussion noting that Performance-Based Financing (PBF) is an effective health systems strengthening strategy. The presentations were made on behalf of the Rwandan Ministry of Health with the guidance of Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, Permanent Secretary.
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.
At the International AIDS Conference in Vienna, Austria, my colleagues and I gathered to discuss the principles of smart integration and its challenges, successes, and recommendations for implementation. Smart integration means coordinating HIV & AIDS programs with other health programs that have operated independently in the past; providing comprehensive services at all levels of the health system – from households to health facilities and across the continuum of prevention, treatment, and care; and building stronger partnerships between public and private sectors.There are thr