February 11, 2011

What We're Reading

Sarah Lindsay

Waiting for the next post on MLI’s Leading Global Health blog? Here’s what we recommend you check out in the meantime:

Scaling-up the Training of Community Health Workers

 How can countries cope with the global shortage of doctors and health workers? The Guardian highlighted the important role of midwives and community health workers in reducing maternal mortality in its article “The WHO calls for sustained investment to increase midwife numbers.”  More then half of women’s deaths during child birth that occur in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the article, are largely due to the shortage of midwives and the lack of emergency obstetric care. Countries that have scaled up community health workers and midwives have seen substantial results in reducing these deaths. The 10,000 paid community health workers in Malawi have been dubbed the country's "most powerful weapon."

February 09, 2011

PEPFAR’s Ryan: South-to-South collaboration critical to success

John Donnelly

For many U.S. government officials working in global health, the term “country ownership” is not an abstraction. It’s something that many deal with on a day-to-day basis.

Without country ownership of a donor-funded program, the program’s chances of failing increase. With it, the program has a greater chance to flourish.

So says Dr. Caroline A. Ryan, M.D., M.P.H., Director of Technical Leadership at the Office of US Global AIDS Coordinator, who has been a leading scientific authority implementing the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program nearly since its inception in 2003.

February 07, 2011

Teens in Africa found to have negative attitudes toward family planning

Rosann Wisman

Dr. Alex Ezeh, Executive Director of the African Population & Health Research Centre, gave a compelling talk on family planning in Africa last week in a forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Of all the facts and figures he laid out, one stood out to me:

“The trend is that 15 to 19 year olds in Sub Saharan African (SSA) are now more likely to have negative attitudes toward family planning,” he said at a meeting organized by The David and Lucile Packard Foundation of grantees and partners.

February 03, 2011

Crisp on Davos: Invest in Health Worker Training

Gwen Hopkins

Lord Nigel Crisp, a member of the Health Worker Migration Global Policy Advisory Council (the Council), served as Chief Executive of the U.K.’s National Health Service from 2000 to 2006. The Council’s secretariat is based at Aspen Global Health and Development (GHD), along with the Ministerial Leadership Initiative for Global Health (MLI).

As ministries work to strengthen health systems, health workers are a crucial ingredient, providing the services on the ground. In a recent blog at the Global Health Magazine, Lord Nigel Crisp reminded the “great and powerful” participants of the Davos World Economic Forum that everyone has a stake in ensuring all health systems are strong:

“[Devastating pandemics] will probably incubate in the poorest countries with the weakest health systems and develop there undetected before spreading outwards with all the facilities of the global transport systems at their disposal. We all need to be concerned about health in other countries and to cooperate if for no other reason than our own good.”

January 31, 2011

Gates: Polio eradication can strengthen health programs

John Donnelly

Bill Gates today named his top priority in global health: eradicating polio. 

Why has a disease that struck just 946 people globally in 2010, at latest count, climb to the top of the list of his foundation, which has given billions of dollars in global health funding?

Gates’ answers to that question, which were made during a Webcast moderated by ABC TV’s Diane Sawyer, were illuminating – and relate to how the fight against one disease can affect others, affecting the ability of Health Ministries and their partners to build stronger health systems