A community volunteers provides free HIV tests at a local market in Eyokponung, Nigeria. Photo Credit: Gwenn Dubourthournieu/MSH

This article was originally published in The Daily Trust

Following the economic recession of 2016, the Nigerian government developed an Economic Recovery and Growth Plan for 2017-2020 with three broad strategic objectives: restoring growth; investing in human capital; and building a globally competitive economy that achieves agriculture and food security, industrialization, improved transport infrastructures and energy sufficiency. Of these three objectives, one stands out: recognizing the importance of investing in human capital.

This represents a major shift by the government, as it previously focused mostly on developing infrastructure—a move that came at the expense of other sectors, including healthcare. Nigeria’s healthcare spending as a percentage of GDP remains one of the lowest in the world: about 0.6% of GDP in 2016, according to the World Bank. Per capita health spending by the Nigerian government is US$11, well below the recommended US$86 for low- and middle-income countries to deliver basic health services.

Ethiopia

 {Photo credit: Samy Rakotoniaina/MSH}A community health volunteer in Madagascar shows the mobile phone she uses to record patient health data.Photo credit: Samy Rakotoniaina/MSH

On January 17, 2020, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) transferred a significant amount of essential medical equipment and supplies to Madagascar’s Ministry of Public Health.

{Photo Credit: Warren Zelman}Photo Credit: Warren Zelman

By Berhanemeskal Assefa Woldemariam, Principal Technical Advisor, Management Sciences for HealthAs a country with high rates of tuberculosis (TB), Ethiopia is working to expand services and improve TB case finding.

Photo Credit: Samy Rakotoniaina/MSH

This article was originally published in NextBillion.

What does scalable innovation in global health look like?

It could be a piece of software that provides faster access to blood supplies in Cameroon, an m-health platform that links virtual health coaches to people facing chronic illness in Nigeria, or an app that lets people use points to buy and exchange health products in Senegal, helping them save for out-of-pocket expenses. Or it might be a primary care service that reaches underserved people in India via telemedicine, or a microscope app that can diagnose breast and cervical cancers in remote areas in sub-Saharan Africa, where some 400,000 women die each year because they cannot access screening services.

Omena Eghaghara, Supply Chain Management Specialist for the CaTSS project, visits with Mayowa. Photo credit: Aor Ikyaabo/MSH

By Omena Mimi EghagharaOmena Mimi Eghaghara is a Supply Chain Management Specialist for the USAID Care and Treatment for Sustained Support (CaTSS) Project, based in Kwara State, Nigeria. One September day in 2018, while providing supportive supervision to one of the CaTSS-supported facilities in Kwara state, I made the first of many calls to Mayowa, a 21-year-old medical student living with HIV. Mayowa was exhausted and losing hope.

{Girls carry water to their homes in Mopti region, Mali. Photo credit: Debbo Alafia consortium/MSH}Girls carry water to their homes in Mopti region, Mali. Photo credit: Debbo Alafia consortium/MSH

In recent years, and following the coup in 2012, Mali has experienced increased political unrest and violence, especially in the country’s north and central regions. Coupled with droughts and flooding, the situation has resulted in a significant increase in forced internal migration. In the Mopti region, many health centers have closed, and health providers have fled to safer urban areas as a result.  

Such instability has had dire consequences for the health of rural communities there. Women and girls are particularly vulnerable due to power imbalances within the family, limited access to resources, and increased vulnerability to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). Sexual violence remains underreported due to insecurity and the stigmatization of survivors, making it more difficult to ensure care and services effectively reach those who experience such violence.

Participants gather at a violence prevention and response action planning workshop with representatives of the government, health facilities, and local partner organization, ASCAM, in Luanda, Angola. Photo credit: LINKAGES/MSH

In 2017, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as a principal recipient of Global Fund (GF) funding for HIV at the request of the Government of Angola, approached MSH, the implementer of LINKAGES, with an offer to complement the minimum service package for female sex workers (FSW) in Luanda Province.

David Kaliisa, a TB community linkage facilitator in Kawempe, Kampala, checks on Celeb and her daughter. While both received treatment for multi-drug resistant TB, Kaliisa made regular house calls to support their adherence to treatment. Photo Credit: Diana Tumuhairwe/MSH.

This op-ed was originally published in The Hill.

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