October 2018

Dr. Kamaliah leads participants in a discussion about measured performance of primary health care.

This blog was originally published by the Joint Learning Network

We all know that working on UHC is a long and complicated endeavor,” said Modupe Ogundimu, the convener of the Joint Learning Network for Universal Health Coverage (JLN) Steering Group, “While it is possible for these goals to be brought together in a high-functioning system, it requires thorough knowledge and experience of what works, what does not, and how to apply the tools necessary for success.”

“That is where the JLN comes in.”

Modupe’s remarks kicked off an interactive 90 minute session at the Fifth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research organized by the JLN on October 10, 2018. Attendees at the session, Solving UHC Challenges through Practitioner-to-Practitioner Learning, met four JLN members from Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, and South Korea, for a mini-demonstration of the joint learning model:

{USAID Mikolo staff trained village watch committees and local leaders on plague surveillance and preventive actions. Photo Credit: Samy Rakotoniaina/MSH}USAID Mikolo staff trained village watch committees and local leaders on plague surveillance and preventive actions. Photo Credit: Samy Rakotoniaina/MSH

MSH at the 2018 Health Systems Research Symposium

Last week, at the 5th Global Symposium on Health Systems Research in Liverpool, MSH presented on the approach and lessons learned during the community-level response to the 2017 plague outbreak in Madagascar.

All infectious disease epidemics begin at the community level. Left unnoticed or unchecked, a single unusual case can quickly spread, threatening the health, livelihood, and security of an entire nation and even the world. Cholera outbreaks in Rwanda, Avian Influenza on the border of Uganda, and Ebola in West Africa have shown us how difficult it can be to detect and quickly respond to infectious outbreaks.

In Madagascar, bubonic plague is endemic. Typically, the country will record between 400 and 600 cases annually. However, in 2017, the plague also took the pneumonic form, making it highly contagious. Spreading from person to person through the air, pneumonic plague is much more virulent and contagious than bubonic plague, which spreads to humans through infected flea bites or direct physical contact with infected cadavers. Left untreated, pneumonic plague is fatal. The severity of this outbreak led the Government of Madagascar to declare a level two plague epidemic on September 30, 2017.

Pfizer Global Health Fellow, Jay Shetty, at the MSH office in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Photo Credit: Jonx Pillemer/Pfizer

Meet Jay Shetty, Analytics and Reporting Senior Manager in Pfizer’s New York office—and one of two amazing Global Health Fellows (GHFs) to have worked with MSH in Tanzania this year.

The Pfizer Global Health Fellows Program pairs colleagues with partner organizations like MSH for volunteer skills-sharing assignments. Over his six-month fellowship with MSH, Jay generously lent his professional experience and technical skills to the Tanzania Technical Support Services Project (TSSP) in Dar es Salaam. With TSSP, Jay focused on a health information system initiative, aimed at improving client management and health service delivery. Through the project, MSH is providing assistance to the Tanzania Ministry of Health in key technical areas to help control the HIV epidemic and sustain HIV-related health systems and services.

Could you tell me a bit about your background and what inspired you to pursue the Pfizer fellowship?

Yes, I've been working with Pfizer for the last 23 years, beginning as a consultant for almost 14 years in the business technology, project management area, then as a colleague since 2010. Currently, I work in the analytics and compliance reporting area, supporting business areas like clinical trials, publications teams.