Stories from 2017: Strong Health Systems Save Lives

Stories from 2017: Strong Health Systems Save Lives

{Photo Credit: Denise Museminali}Photo Credit: Denise Museminali

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.


Madagascar: Mobile Technology for Community Health

By Samy Rakotoniaina

Lynda, a community health volunteer (CHV) in Madagascar, is among 50 pilot users of a mobile application that helps ease the burden of reporting health service data, improve reporting accuracy and timeliness, and improve the health care and counseling that CHVs provide. More>>



Democratic Republic of the Congo: It Takes a Village...To Raise a New Community Care Site

By Dieudonné Cigajira

Married with two children, Mama Mawa lives in Kalamba, a remote village in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which experienced four infant deaths in a three-month period. Thanks to the installation of an integrated community case management site, high-risk childhood illnesses are now quietly recognized and referred. More>>



Côte d’Ivoire: Creating a Common Vision for Saving Children's Lives

By Julienne Ahua

Dr. Koaudio, Head of the Pediatric Department at the Yamoussoukro Regional Hospital Center in Côte d’Ivoire, acknowledged that she and her colleagues worked in a climate of mistrust before they participated in the Leadership Development Program. More>>



Malawi: Pumping Health Services Back into Life

By Chisomo Mdalla

When a blackout occurred after Pilirani Kabango ended her shift one September evening, she did not anticipate any unusual consequences. Power outages during this time of year are not uncommon in Malawi. However, this was an emergency. A water pump had blown and this water was her hospital's only supply. More>>



Mali: I Got My Dignity Back

By Anonymous, as told to Adama Sanogo

In Mali, the FCI Program of Management Sciences for Health works with trained case workers to refer sexual and gender-based violence survivors. A 15-year-old client of services, and survivor of familial rape, tells her story. More>>



Angola: Tracing HIV Contacts, Saving Lives...

By Dr. Lubanzu Vita Vemba

A young mother in Angola brings her 15-month-old child to a health center, seeking care for severe malnutrition. She finds out that both she and her child are HIV positive. She is linked to appropriate care through counseling and contact tracing, an important strategy to maintaining progress in controlling the HIV and AIDS epidemic in Angola. More>>


Rwanda: A Community Health Worker Saves a Young Boy from Malnutrition

By Denise Museminali

When community health worker, Amina, met 11-month-old Daniel, his mother had just passed away, he was no longer able to breastfeed, and was malnourished. But thanks to a national campaign in Rwanda, health centers and community health workers, such as Amina, ensure that Daniel and his father receive the support and encouragement they need to improve Daniel's health. More>>



Malawi: Index Case Testing Saves Lives

By Henry Nyaka

When Grace Mathunda tested positive for HIV while pregnant, she decided that her other children and husband should find out their status as well. Read how index case contact testing in Malawi—where family referral slips help partners, children, and other family members receive priority HIV testing services—made it possible for Grace and her family to take advantage of family testing days and to take control of their health. More>>



Namibia: E-health Innovation Expedites Patient Dispensing Services

By Wezi Tjaronda, Evans Sagwa, Harriet Kagoya, Greatjoy Mazibuko, Bayobuya Phulu, Samson Mwinga

A new electronic health tool in more than 50 public health facilities in Namibia has noticeably expedited the dispensing of medication to patients. Everything is done electronically, medicines are managed with no problems, and in one hospital, 90 percent of patients are satisfied. More>>



Haiti: New Standards for Haitian Health Services

By Regine Alexandre Emilien

In Haiti, many health centers and hospitals do not provide the required services or meet the varied needs of the populations they serve. However, with the support of an MSH program, the Ministry of Public Health and Population, through its Directorate of Health Service Organization, established a package of essential services for Haitians, which set out norms and standards, divided the roles and responsibilities of health care facilities and providers, and established a new paradigm for health care in Haiti. More>>


Bangladesh: A Journey Toward Medicine Safety at Square Hospital Limited

By Liza Talukder

Square Hospital Limited in Bangladesh regularly submits adverse drug effect (ADEs) reports, standing as a model for other private and public hospitals in the country for its commitment to medicine safety. Thanks to Bangladesh's national pharmacovigilance program, with technical assistance from the USAID-funded SIAPS program, pharmacists, such as Md. Jahidul Hasan, a pharmacovigilance focal person at Square Hospital, are implementing successful ADE reporting systems. More>>