Even as we battle COVID-19, there are new challenges in our ongoing struggle to eradicate malaria.The pandemic is causing major disruptions in health services due to lockdowns, budget crunches, and anxious health workers. Imperial College London estimates that malaria deaths over the next five years may increase by up to 36%. We’re also fighting complacency.
Meet Dr. Omer Adjibode, Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Advisor for the USAID-funded Integrated Health Services Activity (IHSA) in Benin. The purpose of IHSA is to strengthen local capacity for the delivery of high-impact malaria, family planning, maternal and child health (MCH), and GBV services with strong citizen engagement to reduce maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent girls’ mortality and morbidity.In his role, Omer is responsible for defining strategies to improve care for GBV survivors.
Meet Hortense Kossou, Principal Technical Advisor for the USAID-funded Integrated Health Services Activity (IHSA) in Benin. Hortense previously served as the national malaria coordinator for the Ministry of Health in Benin and today leads IHSA’s malaria-related activities on the ground. In this issue of Leading Voices, she presents the challenges that the country faces in its fight against malaria and the actions being taken to combat it.
And a happy International Women’s Day to you too. Every year, on March 8, activists, organizations, and officials celebrate advancements in women’s rights; however, despite global advocacy and action, women continue to suffer a disproportionate burden of disease and death.
If health systems are expected to deliver responsive and high-quality health services that can end preventable child and maternal deaths, then governments, organizations, and leaders must first address women’s continued underrepresentation in health leadership, management, and governance.