Leadership, Management & Governance: Our Impact

Members of the KJK team (from left to right: Mariame Sene Diallo, Hawa Coulibaly Kone, Hammouda Bellamine, Aicha Diarra and Justine Dembele)

Led by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Communication Programs and in partnership with Management Sciences for Health, the Palladium Group, and a number of local implementing partners in Mali, the USAID-funded Keneya Jemu Kan (KJK) project (communication and health prevention) aims to promote key healthy behaviors and increase the demand for and use of high-impact health services and commodities.

 {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.

 {Photo credit: MSH Rwanda}Left to right: Lisa Godwin, USAID Rwanda Health Office Director, Dr. Diane Gashumba, Rwanda's Minister of Health, Alain Joyal, RHSS Project Director, Management Sciences for Health.Photo credit: MSH Rwanda

Over the past five years, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has invested in measures to strengthen and sustain Rwanda’s health sector through its Rwanda Health Systems Strengthening (RHSS) Project (2014-2019). In a ceremony at the Kigali Serena Hotel, USAID, the Ministry of Health (MoH), as well as the implementing partner, Management Sciences for Health (MSH), marked the culmination and remarkable achievements of the five-year effort to strengthen the country’s health sector.

{Photo credit: Todd Shapera}Photo credit: Todd Shapera

Cesarean section (C-section) delivery, which is usually initiated when complications arise during pregnancy or delivery, is one of the most frequent surgeries performed at health facilities worldwide.

{Photo credit: Todd Shapera}Photo credit: Todd Shapera

When Ruhengeri Hospital in northern Rwanda upgraded from a district to a referral hospital in 2014, it began receiving cases from 15 health centers in its own district and five hospitals in surrounding districts. In 2015 alone, the hospital had nearly 6,000 monthly outpatient visits—about 25% above previous levels and among the highest in the country. While these numbers indicate how important the status upgrade was in relation to local health needs, the facility struggled to consistently meet those needs.

{Photo Credit: Irene Nambi, MSH}Photo Credit: Irene Nambi, MSH

Linda* arrived at Kibagabaga Hospital exhausted and desperate. Referred by a smaller health center, she had already been in labor for more than 24 hours. A midwife admitted Linda and put her on an IV. There, she waited for several hours until an obstetrician examined her. Realizing that the baby had an accelerated heartbeat, which is a sign of distress, the doctor ordered a Cesarean section (C-section). When the baby emerged, he was not responsive. Hospital staff worked to help him breathe and eventually, he let out a wail.

 {Photo credit: Irene Nambi, MSH}Beatrice Uzamukunda visits with a nurse in Rwamagana Hospital.Photo credit: Irene Nambi, MSH

By Irene Nambi On an early morning at Rwamagana Hospital in Rwanda’s Eastern Province, patients began to fill the busy outpatient department. As health workers started receiving patients, Beatrice Uzamukunda rushed in with her daughter, Esther. “My baby was very ill with a very high temperature. I was so worried that I had almost lost hope as we approached the facility,” says Beatrice.

{Photo credit: Alpha Macky Kane}Photo credit: Alpha Macky Kane

On March 8, the USAID-funded Communications and Promotion of Health (Keneya Jemu Kan or KJK) project in Mali celebrated International Women’s Day to highlight both the challenges women face in exercising their right to health and opportunities to overcome systemic barriers that affect women’s health and wellbeing.KJK, which aims to promote key health behaviors and increase the demand for and use of high-impact health services and commodities, wanted to use the day to honor the work of the women engaged in the project while promoting good health practices for all women in Mali.

The delegation of Mali during the SBCC summit.

MSH staff in Mali working for the Debbo Alafia Consortium and the USAID-Keneya Jemu Khan (KJK) project participated in the Francophone Summit for Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, Feb.

 {Photo credit: Rebecca Weaver/MSH}With the support of IHPplus, midwives are able to apply the helping babies breathe (HBB) approach to resuscitate newborns.Photo credit: Rebecca Weaver/MSH

“I became a nurse because my grandmother was a nurse, my sisters are nurses, and one of my aunts is a nurse,” says Neema Kitima, Head Midwife at Bahira Hospital in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). While 80% of births in DRC occur at health facilities with a trained assistant, maternal and neonatal mortality rates remain among the highest in the world. The most recent Demographic and Health Survey (2013–2014) showed that maternal deaths account for 35% of all deaths of women 15–49 years old.

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