Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Rwanda’

The Global Health Corps is now accepting applications for their fellowship placements in Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, and the USA.

I learned about this opportunity from Emily Bearse, a GHC fellowship alum, current GHC staff member, and grad school buddy of mine!  Here is what Emily had to say about it:

“Being a GHC alum from their inaugural class as well as working on their staff team now, I truly believe GHC has a great model and the power to build the movement for global health equity. We are built on a unique partnership model where we work with existing organizations addressing pressing issues in under-served communities. We partner one national with one international fellow at each site to promote knowledge sharing and synergies in order to create deeper impacts in the communities where fellows serve. We engage people from outside the traditional health space in order to bring valuable expertise to strengthen health systems.”

Emily also mentioned that GHC is offering several placements with Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Millennium Villages Project, and mothers2mothers–organizations with a strong focus on maternal and child health.

Excerpt from the press release:

“Global Health Corps is expanding this year to support 70 emerging leaders in their 2011-2012 fellowship class. Applications for placements in Burundi, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda and the USA are now open at www.apply.ghcorps.org.  GHC is seeking applicants with diverse skill-sets from areas that are often viewed as outside of the traditional health workforce—managers, communicators, architects, computer scientists, supply chain analysts and other exceptional young people from disciplines important to building strong health systems.

‘The complexity and scope of today’s challenges requires people with diverse skills from a wide range of fields beyond medicine. To truly shift the tide of global health challenges, we need to engage young leaders from all backgrounds.’ Barbara Bush, cofounder and CEO said.

Global Health Corps aims to mobilize a global community of emerging leaders to build the movement for global health equity. GHC does this by providing young leaders year long paid fellowships with outstanding organizations working on the frontlines of the fight for global health equity…”

Read the full press release here.

For more info about the Global Health Corps, click here.

Read Full Post »

Several U.N. agencies recently collaborated on a text messaging initiative to improve communication between community health workers and pregnant women in a community in Rwanda. Local women, health workers, and hospital directors are raving about the initiative but scaling up the project throughout the country may prove challenging; only 6% of the population in Rwanda has electricity and charging phones often means long walks to charging stations.

Reuters

“…John Kalach, director of the nearest hospital in Ruhengeri, says since Rapid SMS launched in August 2009, his hospital has had no maternal deaths, compared to 10 the previous year.

‘We used to get ladies coming here with serious complications just because they delayed the decision because the journey was very long,’ he says.

Kalach says authorities can use the data to work out which diseases affect women during pregnancy, the causes of death for children below five years, the volume and type of drugs required, and to monitor population growth rates.

Friday Nwaigwe, UNICEF’s country head of child health and nutrition, says the next step is to give mobile phones to 17,500 maternal health workers across the country and eventually to all 50,000 community health workers…”

Read the full story here.

Read Full Post »

Dr. Fred Sai is co-host of Women Deliver 2010, former reproductive health and HIV/AIDS advisor to the Ghanaian government, and has spent 40 years working to improve the health of women and children in Ghana and throughout Africa.  In his June 2nd blog post, A New Role For Africans in Maternal Health, on the ONE Blog, Dr. Sai comments on the new maternal mortality estimates published in the Lancet that show a dramatic reduction in global maternal deaths–and asks questions about why Africa (as a whole) has not seen these same reductions. He also expresses confidence that a shift in approach (described in his post) will lead to major improvements in the health of women and children throughout Africa.

The ONE Blog

“…It is an unfortunate truth that progress for the world at large does not necessarily mean progress for Africa. In 1980, almost a quarter of maternal deaths occurred in African countries. Today that figure has doubled to more than half. All but one of the 30 countries with the worst maternal mortality statistics are in Africa. And while countries like Ghana and Rwanda have seen a steady decline in maternal deaths over the past 15 years, others such as Malawi, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire actually have higher maternal mortality rates than they did in 1990.

Addressing maternal mortality in Africa is complex and challenging. Our countries face increasing rates of HIV, entrenched and debilitating poverty, food shortages, weak education and health care systems, problematic governance, corruption, and civil conflict. These are huge issues in their own right, but they also have significant impact on maternal, newborn and child health. The challenges, however, are not the whole story…”

Read the full post, A New Role For Africans in Maternal Health.

For additional reactions to the Lancet publication from other leaders in the maternal health field, click here.

Read Full Post »

Five recent stories published on the site have raised various issues impacting maternal health—including leadership and innovation, maternal death audits, access to primary health care and safe delivery, human rights, and even a proposal for a separate maternal health ministry.

allAfrica.com

Namibia: Leadership Development, Social Innovation and Improved System Performance

The Maternal Health Initiative Team,  an offshoot of the African Public Health Leadership and Systems Innovation Initiative, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is “developing a model for improving public health leadership and system performance.”

“…The project is underpinned by three principles: local leadership development, social innovation and improved system performance.

The initiative applies a business-consulting approach called the Innovation Lab. Through the Innovation Lab, multi-stakeholder teams are guided through an intensive leadership development and problem-based learning experience. The aim is to tackle a complex social and system problem through a multi-stakeholder and innovation response.

When deciding on a priority health problem to tackle as a pilot, it wasn’t hard for Namibian health leaders to choose maternal health. Between 2000 and 2006, maternal mortality jumped to 449 deaths per 100 000 births, an increase of 178 deaths…”

Read the full article,  Namibia:Health Authorities Tackle Maternal Mortality.

Rwanda: A Call for Maternal Death Audits

“…As a strategic move to curb the maternal death rate further and achieve millennium development goal 5, the government recently extended the fight to the village level.

This was announced recently by the Minister of Health, Dr. Richard Sezibera, during a meeting that was held with a visiting US medical team to discuss Rwanda’s health progress.

During the discussions, Sezibera noted that it was imperative to engage the community in fighting maternal death rates so that leaders at the village level can identify the causes of these deaths in bid to find a lasting solution.

‘This year we started maternal death audits in villages because we believe that social audits on death causes will enable authorities identify answers to this problem,’ the minister said…”

Read the full article, Rwanda: Maternal Mortality Control Extends to Village Level.

Nigeria: Improving Access to Primary Health Care and Safe Delivery

“Health System Development Project II, a World Bank assisted project has commissioned two Comprehensive Primary Health Centres at Dagiri community in Gwagwalada and Dabi village at Kwali.

The Health Centres are to address the high rate of maternal and child mortality cases in the country, said Mrs Anne Okigbo-fisher, World Bank task team leader during the hand over ceremony of the centres. She said Nigeria records 10 percent of the world’s maternal mortality rates out of the 524,000 women that die yearly during child birth, adding that approximately 99 percent of the mortality rate is due to child birth complications in developing countries.

According to her the objective of HSDP II is to reduce such complications and improve safe delivery in the country…”

Read the full article, Nigeria: World Bank Commissions N104 Million Hospitals in Abuja.

Kenya: Human Rights Impacting Maternal Health

Amnesty International calls on Kenya’s Parliament to ensure that the draft Constitution of Kenya upholds respect for, the protection and fulfilment of all human rights. The draft Constitution should retain social and economic rights as enforceable rights. In addition, the organization also calls on Parliament to remove the provision stipulating that the right to life begins at conception and if the article on abortion access is retained, provide for abortion for rape victims…

…If the Constitution explicitly limits women’s access to abortion services, it must, at least ensure women’s access to safe and timely abortion services in cases of risk to the life or health of the woman or pregnancy resulting from rape or incest. Such an exemption is required by international law and is required by the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, which Kenya signed in 2003. In view of the high number of maternal deaths resulting from abortion complications, the State should protect women’s right to life by ensuring meaningful access to sexual and reproductive health services including information and contraception and commit to address sexual violence and coercion…”

Read the full article, Kenya: New Constitution Must Ensure Rights for All.

Uganda: A Call for an Independent Maternal Health Ministry

“An independent ministry should be set up to handle maternal health, the deputy Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has said.

‘Who is planning for women’s health in this country? Basic things like antibiotics, oxytocins (drugs that help manage bleeding) which cost sh300 and manual vacuum aspirators to remove retained products from the womb are not there,’ she told journalists at a briefing on the state of maternal health on Friday…”

Read the full story, Uganda: Kadaga Wants Independent Maternal Health Ministry.

Read Full Post »

Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Women’s Health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant

www.physorg.com

Lisa Marie Nathan, MD, MPH, will use her grant (of up to $36,000) for research on the high levels of maternal mortality in Rwanda. Dr. Nathan is the only New York State Fulbright recipient in the medical sciences category for 2009-2010.

“Improving maternal health is one of the eight Millennium Development Goals identified by the United Nations. Although Rwanda has decreased its maternal mortality rate from the previous World Health Organization estimate of 1,300 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, the Ministry of Health currently estimates that 750 Rwandan women die for every 100,000 live births, compared to 11 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in the United States.”

Dr. Nathan will focus her research on determing the effectiveness of mobile reproductive health care teams versus community-level birthing services in rural areas of Rwanda.

Read the full story here.

For more info on Fulbright grants, click here.

Read Full Post »

INDIA
The Hindu

What about the third stage of labor?

A recent study performed in India as part of a Health and Population Innovation Fellowship granted by the Population Council found significant gaps in the management of the third stage of labor, the period between delivery of the baby and delivery of the placenta. These gaps are likely contributing to the high levels of maternal mortality in India. See the full story here.

PAKISTAN
www.DAWN.com

Are women in Pakistan relying on unsafe abortions as a form of birth control?

Population welfare authorities are pleased with recent findings that total fertility rates have gone down in Pakistan–leading to an assumption that access to family planning methods has gone up throughout the country. However, this article, The Untold Story of Abortion, highlights alarming data recently released by the National Committee on Maternal and Neonatal Health in collaboration with the Guttmacher Institute. The data shows that in 2002, 890 thousand induced abortions were performed in Pakistan—a large number clandestinely by untrained midwives. Unsafe abortion is a leading cause of maternal morbidity and mortality around the world. Click here to read the full story.

PERU
The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health

Discrimination and Maternal Mortality in Peru

This new report, Dying to Give Birth: Fighting Maternal Mortality in Peru, from the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health outlines issues of gender and ethnic discrimination that limit access and quality of care for Peruvian women. The report also contrasts Peru with countries in sub-Saharan Africa—citing differences in the way maternal deaths are distributed within countries. Read the report here.

RWANDA
allafrica.com

Medical Experts Gather to Discuss Obstetric Fistula

Policy makers, clinicians, health officials and community leaders met for a two day conference hosted by the Ministry of Health, the Rwanda Medical Association and the Fistula Care Project (managed by EngenderHealth) to design a road map to eradicate obstetric fistula in Rwanda. Click here for the full story.

Also, click here to see a piece on Huffington Post about Ana Langer, President of EngenderHealth, and the work EngenderHealth is doing to increase access to fistula surgery for women all over the world.

TANZANIA
This Day: The Voice of Transparency

Workshop in Dar es Salaam equips journalists with information on HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health

The Wanawake na Maendeleo Foundation (WAMA) and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) organized a workshop in Dar es Salaam for journalists. The goal of the workshop was to empower journalists with a clear understanding of HIV/AIDS and maternal and child health issues impacting Tanzania. Journalists at the meeting agreed to focus attention on factors impeding the improvement of living conditions for women and children throughout the country. See the full story here.
Also, click here to see a post from last week about a similar workshop for journalists held in Ghana.

ZIMBABWE
RH Reality Check

Progress toward MDG5 might be slow in some places–but in Zimbabwe, the situation is actually getting worse

This piece, Zimbabwe’s Growing Crisis of Maternal Deaths, outlines the factors that have contributed to a maternal mortality ratio that has risen from 138 deaths/100,000 live births in the mid-nineties to 880 deaths/100,000 live births in 2005. See the full story here.

Read Full Post »