Left to right: Dr. Daniel Gemechu, Regional Director for CTB/Ethiopia , Dr. Ahmed Bedru, Country Director for CTB/Ethiopia , Mr. Taye Letta, National TB Program Manager, Dr. Liya Tadesse, State Minister of Health, Dr. Kitty van Weezenbeek, Executive Director of KNCV and Dr. Pedro Suarez, Senior Director, Infectious Disease Cluster at MSH.

At last week’s end of project ceremony, the USAID-funded Challenge TB project celebrated improvements in Ethiopia’s ability to save lives by detecting, diagnosing, and treating TB more effectively.Under this five-year program, USAID invested $42 million to improve the quality of TB care and prevention services, enabling patients to receive better access to treatment and medication to fight the disease. TB deaths have dropped significantly as treatment success rates rose above 90%, with 75% of those suffering from multidrug-resistant TB now able to beat the disease after comple

Pfizer Global Health Fellow, Megan Montgomery, and Peter Mmbago, Human Resources for Health Advisor for TSSP, interview a health care provider in Bagamoyo, Tanzania.

Meet Megan Montgomery, one of two impressive Pfizer Global Health Fellows currently working with MSH in Tanzania. This international corporate volunteer program places Pfizer colleagues in short-term fellowships with international development organizations. Megan is lending her skills and expertise in marketing and business strategy to MSH’s Technical Support Services Project (TSSP) in Tanzania, which provides assistance to the Ministry of Health in key technical areas to help control the HIV epidemic and sustain HIV-related health systems and services. 

How are you supporting the TSSP project in Tanzania?

My main focus while here is partnering with the team to strengthen the health system in Tanzania through human resources for health (HRH) activities, such as the implementation of task-sharing initiatives, recruitment, retention and productivity management, as well as developing communication pieces to share the work being accomplished.  

Can you explain what task sharing for HIV services looks like in this context? 

 {Photo credit: David J. Olson}Madame Togo Kadiatou Mallé, president of Muso Yiriwa Ton.Photo credit: David J. Olson

by David OlsonThis story was originally published by K4Health The first five times the sales manager of Keneya Jemu Kan came looking for Madame Togo Kadiatou Mallé to talk about her women’s association selling condoms and other health products, she ran away and hid, so terrified was she of the prospect of having to work with condoms.But the sales manager’s persistence paid off. Eventually, they talked, and Madame Togo has become such an enthusiastic condom promoter, she is known as Mama Condom.

{A secretary records the weekly collection amounts for a savings and internal lending group in Madagascar. Photo credit: Samy Rakotoniaina/MSH}A secretary records the weekly collection amounts for a savings and internal lending group in Madagascar. Photo credit: Samy Rakotoniaina/MSH

By Amy LiebermanJenny Lei Ravelo

This story was originally published by Devex

The onus to help everyone — including the most marginalized — secure universal health care coverage will likely depend more on individual government spending than on new foreign assistance, experts say.

Funding will be a critical, but not guaranteed, element in the forthcoming universal health coverage agreement governments will sign in September during the opening of the U.N. General Assembly session.

“Aid is not going to help achieve the global health goals. It has to come from domestic spending. But aid is very important for purposes of equity and that the poor do not get left behind.”— Jacob Hughes, senior director of health systems, Management Sciences for Health

Peter Mbago, TSSP Principal Technical Advisor, Human Resources for Health and Megan Montgomery, Pfizer Global Health Fellow interview health care workers at Kaole Dispensary in Bagamoyo District to better understand training needs and provider motivations.

By Megan Montgomery

Tanzania needs more health care workers. Its workforce is only 44%1 of the required staff, per its national human resources for health plan. This shortage is more dire in rural areas, where 80%2 of the country’s population lives, as well as among mid-level health care workers. Hospitals are often filled beyond capacity, as they must also take referrals from less well-equipped facilities. Patients sometimes share beds or sleep on the floor, and health care workers struggle to provide patients with the care they need.

The Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly, and Children (MOHCDGEC) has begun a number of initiatives to help ease gaps and improve health services, particularly for the 1.5 million3 people estimated to be living with HIV in Tanzania. One initiative, called task sharing, aims to enable lower level health care providers to perform tasks that would typically be outside their scope of responsibilities. This frees up staff with higher-level skills to focus on more complicated cases and help a greater number of patients receive timely, quality care.

“The shortage of staff makes task sharing a necessity,” said Restituta Kushaba, assistant nursing officer at Bagamoyo District Hospital. “It plays a major role in helping the patients.”

{Photo credit: Julius Kasujja}Photo credit: Julius Kasujja

This op-ed was originally published in The Hill.

Along with the Ebola outbreak that’s already infected more than 1,600 people, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is fighting another battle: An epidemic of fear and mistrust. Community members are afraid to seek treatment, including a promising experimental vaccine.

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