Read the blog on the MTaPS websiteAs we mark Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day this month, countries continue to battle the spread of COVID-19. The lack of effective treatments and testing capabilities at the onset of the pandemic was a stark reminder that access to safe and affordable medical products is key to achieving healthy outcomes. With more therapeutics and diagnostics becoming available, the preparedness of pharmaceutical systems to get medical products and services to people is particularly worrisome in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
Raian Amzad, a technical advisor with the DFID-funded Better Health in Bangladesh (BHB) project, and her colleagues took time away from their regular work to help Bangladesh’s central response to COVID-19. Here’s how the project and the country are handling the pandemic threat. Can you tell me about your recent work assignment related to COVID-19? What did your typical day look like?On March 17, the Directorate General of Health Services opened a temporary Integrated Control Room for COVID-19 response. Fifteen different groups are working there.
Tuberculosis remains the world’s leading infectious disease killer. Ending TB will require a comprehensive approach and targeted action, rapid innovation and proven interventions, bold leadership, and intensive community engagement. On this World TB Day, the global health community is calling for “Leaders for a TB-Free World” to work together, make history, and end TB once and for all.Across our nearly two decades in the fight against TB, MSH has fostered and supported that kind of inspired and inspiring leadership.
In recent years, global health stakeholders have begun to recognize the profound potential that drug shops have to advance public health goals, such as those related to malaria diagnosis and treatment, child health, and family planning. These outlets, for reasons of convenience and cost, are the first choice of care for millions of people - and until recently, they have largely been ignored. “Drug shops and pharmacies are important sources of health care, particularly in rural areas or urban slums with few public clinics.
For the past six years, MSH has hosted an internal storytelling contest, where we invite staff to submit stories on how strong health systems are saving lives and improving the health of people around the world. The stories undergo a judging process, and the winners are featured in an annual compendium.
We are proud to bring you these winning stories that demonstrate the power of effective partnerships. Meet health workers, community leaders, pharmacy managers, and patients from 10 different countries, working together across the health system to build healthier communities.
Nearly three years ago, I blogged about a systems approach to improving access for a Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) series on maternal health commodities: Increasing access to essential medicines and supplies for maternal health requires a systems approach that includes: improving governance of pharmaceutical systems, strengthening supply chain management, increasing the availability of information for decision-making, developing appropriate financing strategies and promoting rational use of medicines and supplies. It was an exciting year for maternal health.
Guaranteeing that patients have uninterrupted access to anti-tuberculosis (TB) treatment begins with national TB programs (NTP) making complex calculations about how many cases to expect in the future. Vigilant stock management, accurate number of cases started on each type of treatment along with forecasting the expected number of patients that will be enrolled on treatment, are vital to ensure that medicines are available to all patients who need them.
Expanding access to essential maternal health medicines saves mothers’ lives. Access to life-saving maternal medicines requires an effective supply chain that delivers the right medicines to the right people at the right times. In many countries, weak pharmaceutical management systems are unable to meet the challenges of providing access to these essential medicines.
Although the global community has had significant success in reducing maternal and child deaths in the past two decades, they continue to die of preventable causes at an alarming rate. This is especially pronounced for the most vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations. Universal access to maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) commodities and services remains a major challenge, even among countries that are on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goals for reducing maternal and child mortality.
For most of my life, women in Uganda---as in most countries---were treated as inferior to men. Girls were less likely to be educated than their brothers, and had little control over the direction of their lives. Many girls grew up being told how to act, eat, and talk; many women were regarded as little more than domestic caregivers. However, in 1986 the ruling government radically changed the dynamics of Ugandan women in global development and their participation in decision-making at all levels of government.
When I worked in Smallpox eradication in the mid-1970s, I traveled all over northern India and Bangladesh. I never took malaria prophylaxis, because malaria had been cleared from those areas. Likewise, I did not take malaria prophylaxis when I worked in the Brazilian Amazon in the late-1970s. At that time, malaria was found only in gold miners in isolated tributaries of the Amazon.
Improving Child Health in Communities and at Home, the April/May 2012 edition of MSH's Global Health Impact newsletter (subscribe), features personal stories about child survival and child health in developing countries."Prevention, treatment and care close to the home are keys to saving children's lives," says Dr. Jonathan D.
Bangladesh, which is situated in a resource poor setting with a population of over 150 million, faces the major health challenge of a high maternal mortality rate. In the 1970s, the maternal mortality rate was 700 deaths per 100,000, and now it is still at 320 per 100,000. Although Bangladesh has made progress in reducing its infant mortality, much progress needs to be made to reach the Millennium Development Goals for maternal mortality. Bangladesh will need more than five years to achieve the goals.
In mid-June the United States Government continued to show its commitment to global health by announcing the first Global Health Initiative (GHI) Plus countries: Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nepal, and Rwanda. The GHI is a six-year, $63 billion initiative to help partner countries improve measurable health outcomes by strengthening health systems and building upon proven results.