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).
Originally published in Think Global HealthHalf of all medical equipment in Bangladesh’s public health facilities—hospital beds, ventilators, nebulizers, refrigerators, and vehicles—goes unused. Meanwhile, in Uganda, ultrasound machines are overused for a small number of patients, while many in need go without. In Ukraine, about 40 percent of adults have had to borrow money or sell assets to afford medical treatment.Why such painful gaps and discrepancies?
Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) struggle to reach and sustain universal health coverage (UHC) due to limited and inefficient allocation of resources. Their health systems are strained by a dual burden—continuing to manage infectious diseases, such as HIV, TB, and malaria, while responding to the prevalence growth of noncommunicable diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular conditions. COVID-19 is placing even more demands on already stretched resources.
Originally published in Think Global HealthAs COVID-19 spreads across the world, falsified medicines for the novel coronavirus are leaking into Africa, where almost 19 percent of medicines are already substandard and where a number of countries are promoting untested treatments for the virus.
Swift and effective action to address the COVID-19 pandemic has required countries to engage in an all hands on deck approach. We recently asked our colleagues on the frontlines in Malawi and Kenya, Dr. Ann Phoya and Dr. Ndinda Kusu, to share how their teams are working with all sectors of society to scale up preparedness and response measures, strengthen capacities and systems to meet the challenge of COVID-19, and help maintain uninterrupted essential health services.
Andre Zagorski of the MSH-led, USAID-funded MTaPS Program talks about the program's urgent work to help contain the virus in more than a dozen countries.Andre ZagorskiHow did you and MTaPS rally to support USAID’s call for a rapid response to COVID-19 in a dozen countries? What were the challenges? MTaPS is the USAID Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) go-to program for infection prevention and control (IPC), and we have been implementing activities to strengthen health systems for stronger IPC programs in 10 countries since the MTaPS award in 2018.
This blog was originally published by MSH's LeaderNetMarch 2020 is unique in that it is both Women’s History Month and the month when WHO declared the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) a pandemic. Lessons learned from previous disease outbreaks of other coronaviruses (MERS and SARS), Ebola, and Zika, have highlighted the lack of gender considerations in epidemic preparedness and responses, and its consequences.
This op-ed was originally published by Devex.
Multidrug-resistant germs are spreading. A number of antibiotics and other antimicrobials already don’t work as they should, and as many as 700,000 people die each year because of it.