Stories

 {Photo credit: Rejoice Phiri/MSH}Patuma Mustafa (left) meets with members of Kalembo Health Center Management Committee.Photo credit: Rejoice Phiri/MSH

Namaseko, nine months pregnant, was taking an afternoon nap at Kalembo Health Center in Balaka, Malawi when she suddenly needed a bathroom. As she carefully got up, she remembered that there was no toilet in the maternity wing; she would have to walk to the further side of the health center to use the pit latrines near the outpatient department.

 {Photo Credit: Gwenn Dubourthournieu}National Health Insurance System (NHIS) desk of the National Hospital of Abuja, Nigeria.Photo Credit: Gwenn Dubourthournieu

Nigeria, like many other low- and middle-income countries, suffers from systemic weaknesses which cripple its health care system and leave many without adequate access to health services or care. With support from the Global Fund, the MSH-led Nigeria Resilient and Sustainable Systems for Health (RSSH) project is working with Nigeria's Center for Disease Control, the Department of Health Planning Research and Statistics (DHPRS) at the Federal Ministry of Health, and the National Product Supply Chain Management Program to strengthen and expand the capacity of its national and state-level health systems. One way that RSSH is supporting Nigeria in providing quality health care, especially for those most in need, is through its state-level interventions around public financial management, the state health insurance scheme, and organizational and labor market assessments.

 {Photo credit: MSH staff}A clinical aide from Madagascar's Atsimo Andrefana region attends an in-person workshop.Photo credit: MSH staff

Since the start of Madagascar’s COVID-19 outbreak in March of this year, ensuring the continuation of routine health care services has been a challenge. Restrictions on movement and travel have forced health providers to adapt and identify innovative measures for providing quality primary health care in the midst of an epidemic. While in-person training and clinical capacity-building exercises have been curtailed, a timely switch to virtual training and mentorship has helped the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) and the MSH-led, USAID-funded ACCESS program meet these challenges and ensure the continuation of essential health services for women and children in remote regions of the country. When the onset of the epidemic threatened the deployment of 118 clinical aides in Atsimo Andrefana, Vatovavy Fitovinany, and Atsinanana regions, ACCESS and the MoPH rapidly developed and hosted virtual trainings and orientation sessions. These clinical aides—doctors, midwives, and nurses recruited to provide critical ongoing support to health facilities—help staff to implement activities needed to improve the quality of care, manage and integrate services, and strengthen data collection.

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