Stories

 {Photo credit: MSH staff}A clinical aide from Madagascar's Atsimo Andrefana region attends an in-person workshop.Photo credit: MSH staff

Since the start of Madagascar’s COVID-19 outbreak in March of this year, ensuring the continuation of routine health care services has been a challenge. Restrictions on movement and travel have forced health providers to adapt and identify innovative measures for providing quality primary health care in the midst of an epidemic. While in-person training and clinical capacity-building exercises have been curtailed, a timely switch to virtual training and mentorship has helped the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) and the MSH-led, USAID-funded ACCESS program meet these challenges and ensure the continuation of essential health services for women and children in remote regions of the country. When the onset of the epidemic threatened the deployment of 118 clinical aides in Atsimo Andrefana, Vatovavy Fitovinany, and Atsinanana regions, ACCESS and the MoPH rapidly developed and hosted virtual trainings and orientation sessions. These clinical aides—doctors, midwives, and nurses recruited to provide critical ongoing support to health facilities—help staff to implement activities needed to improve the quality of care, manage and integrate services, and strengthen data collection.

On September 24, 2020 over 120 health care professionals in Ukraine gathered online for the 2nd National Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Forum led by the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, with support from the MSH-led, USAID Safe, Affordable, and Effective Medicines for Ukrainians (SAFEMed) Activity.  HTA, an evidence-based instrument to identify which medicines, medical devices, and treatment regimens are optimal for a state to support, is designed to serve as a key priority-setting tool for Ukraine’s health system. Globally, HTA is recognized as the preferred tool for reviewing health technologies and providing evidence for the value they can deliver to patients, the health system, and more broadly, to society.

 {Photo credit: Vainqueur Degbeawo.}A container being unloaded in the department of Ouémé, Benin.Photo credit: Vainqueur Degbeawo.

In addition to knowledgeable staff, health centers need effective medical equipment to provide quality maternal and child healthcare. In Benin, equipment and supplies can vary from one hospital to another, resulting in preventable deaths of new mothers and their children. At Adjohoun Zone Hospital, Ouémé, a regional facility that serves more than 260,000 people, the lack of surgical equipment means that many pregnant mothers cannot access caesarean sections to avoid life-threatening birth complications.

Pages