Stories

A gynecologist consults a patient at the NISA Premier Hospital in Abuja, Nigeria. Photo Credit: Gwenn Dubourthournieu

Adolescents in Nigeria are caught between traditional culture and changing social norms brought about by urbanization, globalized economies, and an influential media-saturated environment. With evolving attitudes, including less restrictive sexual norms without comprehensive sexual education, there have been increased rates of unprotected sex, unplanned pregnancies, unsafe abortions, sexually transmitted diseases, and HIV/AIDS. These increased rates buttress the fact that at minimum, all adolescents require age-appropriate, comprehensive sexuality education achievable through access to youth-friendly health services designed to promote their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).In efforts to meet the sexual and reproductive health needs of young people in Nigeria, Women Friendly Initiative (WFI), through a small grant funded by the Global Financing Facility (GFF) and the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health and managed by Management Sciences for Health (MSH), undertook a 12-month advocacy project beginning in July 2019 in Benue, Nassarawa, and Kwara States, and the Federal Capital Territory.

For Faster Medical Product Access in Low- and Middle-income Countries, Make Long-term Investments in Regulatory SystemsThink Global Health: A Wake-Up Call Both Brutal and UrgentTamara Hafner, MSH Principal Technical Advisor, and Javier Guzman, MSH Technical Director, July 27, 2020“The pandemic is a brutal and urgent wake-up call that low- and middle-income countries need more effective, efficient regulatory systems.” In an opinion piece for Think Global Health—an initiative from the Council on Foreign Relations—Tamara Hafner and Javier Guzman, both of the MSH-led, USAID MTaPS program, discuss the need for long-term investments in pharmaceutical regulatory systems for faster access to medical products. “As we struggle to meet emergency needs during the pandemic, we have a window of opportunity to overhaul the way we handle the regulation of medical products.”

 {Photo credit: Sheila Mwebaze/MSH}Community health worker Betty Achilla examines a baby at one of the 31 households she supports.Photo credit: Sheila Mwebaze/MSH

Eight years ago, Betty Achilla was selected by her community to be a volunteer community health worker. She is currently serving 31 households in the Abim district in Northeastern Uganda. Betty is one of more than 60,000 volunteer community health workers in Uganda who play a vital role in extending maternal and child health services to hard-to-reach communities.As a community health worker, Betty was trained in the basics of diagnosing and dispensing medicines to treat common childhood illnesses such as malaria, diarrhea, and pneumonia and to identify danger signs in children and refer them to nearby health centers. To do her work, Betty must have an adequate and consistent supply of malaria rapid diagnostic tests, antimalarial medicines, oral rehydration solution, zinc, and antibiotics.

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