Posted by: cgibbs2013 | 02/25/2013

A letter from Dr. Quick, Board Chair, GHC

The new GHC Board of Directors, whom were elected last December, met February 13 and 14 to take initial steps toward re-establishing GHC as a leading voice for global health. We are looking forward to working with you, the members, to reimage and revitalize the organization with a commitment to advocacy, transparency, and responsiveness to all. Following each board meeting, minutes will be posted within one week on the GHC website, http://www.globalhealth.org

These times call for the kind of leadership in which a reinvigorated GHC can provide. The impact of global health investments is visible in countries around the world yet fiscal challenges threaten to squander the enormous potential. GHC not only recognizes the need for tangible progress in critical health areas, we also focus on cross-cutting issues such as health diplomacy and protecting and expanding resources for the entire global health portfolio.

Over the next six months the board will seek input from members to develop strategic priorities. We intend to take steps to re-establish a vibrant GHC. As we develop our new mission and priorities, the board is embarking on an initial set of actions for the coming weeks that includes:

•Jump starting education and advocacy activities with the Administration and Capitol Hill. This work will provide opportunities for GHC members to engage on policy and funding issues, with support from a leading Washington, D.C. policy and advocacy consulting group.

•Co-sponsoring the Global Health Traveling Experience during Global Health week on March 4 and 5 in Washington, D.C. with strategic alliance partner, Washington Global Health Alliance. Learn more at http://www.wghalliance.org.

•Partnering with the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) on their March 14-16 Washington, DC conference. GHC members can receive a one-day special rate of $200 on March 14. At the event, GHC is hosting an exciting panel entitled Forging Strong Relationships between Faith and Secular Global Health Programs at 4:30 pm. More information at http://www.cugh.org

•Also at CUGH on March 14, at 6:30 pm following the GHC panel, we will host a special meet and greet with the GHC Board and members that are registered for the event. We invite all GHC members and interested parties to come discuss year one priorities and engage in an open dialogue.

•Representation at the World Health Assembly, May 20-25, in Geneva, Switzerland. More details will be announced as available.

•Initiating a monthly e-mail update and ongoing social media communications to keep our members up to date on news in the field and the ongoing activities of the organization.

Within the next several months we will host a virtual community town hall meeting for GHC members and others to discuss global health issues and priorities for the new GHC. If you have any further questions or would like to lean more, we invite you to call GHC’s Secretariat Ann Canela, at (202-368-1353), or via e-mail (ann.canela@charity.org), or you may contact any of the Board members through the GHC Secretariat. We look forward to our work together over the coming years.

With warmest wishes on behalf of the GHC Board of Directors,

Jonathan Quick, MD, MPH
Chair, GHC Board of Directors

Posted by: cgibbs2013 | 01/16/2013

CUGH conference

GHC Members!!  It is not too late to register for the CUGH conference in March, the deadline has been extended!!

Join your GHC colleagues for a special  session on March 14th at 4:30PM, entitled: Forging Strong Relationships Between Faith and Secular Global Health Programs

Following this breakout session, will be a members meeting. Come and join us for a discussion about year one priorities and activities.

For more information or to register for the CUGH conference please visit their website:  http://2013globalhealth.org For GHC members only:  A special discounted rate of $400 for the full conference or $200 for a day pass on March 14 is available until January 31st, please contact cgibbs@globalhealth.org for instructions on how to receive the discounted day rate.  Please note: each discounted rate available for the first 100 GHC members only.

 

Posted by: shigman | 12/27/2012

New Board of Directors Elected

December 22, 2012: New Board of Directors Elected!

Dear GHC Members,

Thank you for your ongoing support and participation in revitalizing the Global Health Council (GHC).  The GHC Board of Directors is pleased to announce the election of 15 new Board members. The election process ended on December 19, 2012 and a full tally of the results were certified the next day.  Below are the names of those elected and their organizational affiliation.

With the election of the new members complete, the remaining Board members will step down as of December 31, 2012.  To ensure a smooth transition to the new Global Health Council,  beginning January 1, 2013 and until the new Board meets to act collectively to make permanent arrangements, Dr. Jonathan Quick, President and CEO, Management Sciences for Health, will serve as the interim chair of the Board and Global Impact will serve as the organization’s Secretariat.

In the upcoming weeks, you will be receiving further information and notices from the renewed Global Health Council Board and/or Global Impact.  Please direct any questions to membership@globalhealth.org.

I would like to thank members of the current board for their service during the transition of the Global Health Council over the past year and to extend my congratulations to the incoming board members. Thank you to all members for supporting the renewal of the Global Health Council.

Sincerely,

Reeta Roy, on Behalf of the Global Health Council Board of Directors

New GHC Board effective 1/1/2013:

Lindsey Coates, InterAction
Chris Collins, The American Foundation for AIDS research (amfAR)
Elizabeth (Liz) Creel, John Snow, Inc
Patricia Daley, Save the Children
Peter Donaldson, Population Council
Suzanne Ehlers, Population Action International
Karen Goraleski, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Akudo Anyanwu Ikemba, Friends Africa (Friends of the Global Fund Africa)
Keith Martin, Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH)
Peter Ngatia, African Medical & Research Foundation (AMREF)
Jonathan (Jono) Quick, Management Sciences for Health (MSH)
Leonard Rubenstein, Center for Human Rights and Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Rachel Wilson, Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH)
Jason Taylor Wright, International HIV/AIDS Alliance

Posted by: shigman | 11/15/2012

Few More Days to Nominate Board Members

The deadline for submitting nominations for the Board of Directors for the renewed Global Health Council is 11:59PM EST November 19, 2012.

We would appreciate your assistance in identifying one or more outstanding individuals suitable for election to the Board.  The term is up to three years and requires active participation and attendance at three meetings per year.  Key responsibility includes providing oversight and policy direction to the organization and support for fundraising efforts.  The individual should also carry considerable respect and credibility within the community of global health professionals, and have solid strategic sense to inform and guide the Council’s directions.  Ideally, they would help to connect the Council to other relevant networks. There is no compensation for Board participation.

Nominations should be sent to Christopher Gibbs at membership@globalhealth.org.

Please remember to include a one or two paragraph biography along with your principal reasons for recommending this individual, addressing their particular area of expertise that will be most beneficial for moving the Global Health Council forward.  Biographies and expertise are required for nomination consideration.

Thanks for your help!

Posted by: shigman | 10/18/2012

Reviving the Global Health Council?

We want to share some exciting and encouraging news regarding the future of the Global Health Council. As you may be aware, a group of members (collectively called IMG, Interested Members of the Global Health Council) organized an open consultative process to explore options for a renewed GHC. You will find the conclusions of this process in “The Case for a new Global Health Coalition,” at www.globalhealth.org.

Stay tuned for more information over the coming months!

 
Posted by: shigman | 04/20/2012

GLOBAL HEALTH COUNCIL TO CLOSE OPERATIONS

Board Thanks Leadership, Staff and Members for Unwavering Commitment to Global Health Mission

 With deep regret, the Board of Directors of the Global Health Council (GHC) announces that the Council will close operations within the coming months. This decision about the Council’s future comes after serious deliberations about the state of global health issues, the role of the Council as a convenor and the Council’s current operating model.

GHC, formerly the National Council of International Health, is a U.S.-based, nonprofit membership organization that was created in 1972 to identify priority world health problems and to report on them to the U.S. public, legislators, international and domestic government agencies, academic institutions and the global health community. GHC is the world’s largest membership alliance dedicated to saving lives by improving health throughout the world, and worked to ensure that all who strive for improvement and equity in global health have the information and resources they need to succeed.

The Global Health Council has championed issues of importance to the global health community and can point with pride to significant advances on the five key issues critical to improving health and promoting equity: women’s health; child’s health; HIV and AIDS; infectious diseases and health systems.

For the past four decades, the Council has been the neutral convening place for a diverse community of organizations, all advocating for improvement and equity in global health. The Council’s members have been its strength, working together to form broad-based coalitions to address challenges that affected us– whether advocating for increased U.S. government funding on global health or developing common positions on major health policy issues.

However, times have changed. The compelling needs that gave rise to the Global Health Council’s mission have shifted. Funding that once existed to promote a broad-based health agenda is now focused on specific health issues. The fundamental shifts in the health landscape have led the Board to revisit the relevance of the organization and determine that the Council’s current operating model is no longer sustainable.

We wish to thank our staff, leadership past and present and our members of the international community who have supported the Global Health Council for the last 40 years.

We have accomplished much together, but despite the progress we have made, millions of people, many of them children, remain without access to basic health care. Our commitment to them must not waver. Although The Global Health Council will no longer play the same role, we will continue to fight for the goals that first inspired us to action.

Please leave comments here or submit to information@globalhealth.org – some comments may be posted online on the website: http://www.globalhealth.org.

In time for World Malaria Day, Elaine Roman blogs on the advantage of integration

By Elaine Roman

This year’s Roll Back Malaria theme for World Malaria Day (April 25, 2012), Sustain Gains, Save Lives: Invest in Malaria, speaks to the importance of maintaining the successes of the last decade while balancing that effort with a continued commitment to move malaria prevention and control to the next level: scaling up country-level programs, controlling the epidemic and eventually eliminating this disease.That’s the call to action, the imperative across the developing world. But on the frontlines, in communities and clinics throughout sub-Saharan Africa, integration of services offers the best chance to ensure that a pregnant woman,a mother of three children,or a child under five receives malaria prevention, treatment and care services whenever she visits a health clinic or accesses services in her community.

That’s smart. That’s strategic. That’s lifesaving.

Malaria is a maternal, newborn and child health issue because of this hard truth: the disease disproportionately affects these groups. In 2011, among the nearly 700,000 deaths due to malaria, approximately 600,000 occurred among children under five and most were in sub-Saharan Africa.Approximately 10,000 maternal deaths each year are attributable to malaria.For pregnant women, malaria has a trickle-down, negative effect in that it causes higher rates of anemia, which contributes to low birth weight and ultimately infant mortality.And a child’s mother and family are her first line of defense and best chance for surviving malaria.

For all of these reasons and complicating factors, integrating malaria prevention and control activities as a core component of both maternal and child health services is a fundamentalstep in helpingcountries further reduce malaria illness and death, as well as in achieving the Millennium Development Goals that seek to keep more women and children alive and healthy.

SMART INTEGRATION

Integration of the health services needed within a population is, in itself, “smart.” Such integration builds on what is already in place and strengthens the health system’s capacityto provide all clients-women, children and their families-quality services.For malaria, a disease that affects the most vulnerable populations,including people co-infected with HIV,strengthening the health system with integrated care requires a coordinated and collaborative approach at all levels within the country-beginning with improved policies, leading to strengthened health services and community level-interventions.The importance of such coordination/collaboration for integration of services is particularly true in countries throughout Africa, where health systems are generally weak.But commitment to a comprehensive, smart integrated approach will lend toimproved health outcomes for women and children-effectively, efficiently and cost-effectively.

Because the majority of pregnant women attend antenatal care (ANC) services at least once and often twice during pregnancy, ANC is an ideal platform for pregnant women toreceive a broad range of services-including malaria prevention and control services.All sub-Saharan African countries where malaria is a year-round threathave adopted the World Health Organization’s three-prong approach:

• Giving pregnant women at least two treatment doses of an antimalarial, currently sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine, following first movement of the fetus andmonthly thereafter;
• Promoting the use of insecticide-treatedbednets; and
• Ensuring that individuals diagnosed with malaria receivethe approvedtreatment promptly.
Health care providers who are trained to prevent malaria as a core component of a woman’s care-integrated with ANC services, throughout her pregnancy-can have a tremendous,positive impact on the health of mothers andbabies who are at risk.

Comprehensive ANC, sometimes referred to as focused ANC or FANC, is the smart way to deliver health promotional and preventive services to pregnant women.The focus of FANCis on the quality of care received at each visit rather than the quantity of visits: health promotion and disease prevention; early detection and treatment of complications and existing diseases; and preparation for birth and complications that may occur.Integrating malaria prevention and control services with the FANC platform is both smart and effective as a strategyfor reaching pregnant women with lifesaving care.

Likewise, integrating malaria prevention and control services with existing child health programs,including vaccination services, can have a direct, positive impact on child health and survival. For parents seeking services for their children, either in their own community or at a health facility,integrated services not only help combat malaria but also address other major contributors to child morbidity and mortality, such as malnutrition, diarrhea and pneumonia.

In Kenya,Jhpiego worked with the Ministry of Health’s Division of Reproductive Health to introduce and scale up FANC services as a platform for delivering prevention and treatment servicesfor malaria in pregnancy. We developed a user-friendly orientation package for frontline health care workers and trained 3,000 providers and 264 trainers-to train even more providers.As newly trained providers returned to their health facilities, they received mentoring and supportive supervision to ensure that their new learning was transferred into practice with actual clients.As a result of this intervention, the number of providers updated on malaria in pregnancy virtually doubled within the intervention area. But more important: uptake ofintermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp) increased from 19% to 61% in the intervention areaversus17% to 28% in the control area; the number of women who received the first dose of IPTp increased to 77%; and providers who said they gave the appropriate drug, sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine,increased to 93%.

NO MISSED OPPORTUNITIES

Although many countries have made great strides in addressing and combating malaria, resulting in a drop in malaria cases by 38% in the last decade alone, too few have achieved their goals in reducing malaria illness and deaths.In the last three years, the global community under the Roll Back Malaria Partnership has recognized and promoted the value and necessity ofsmart and effective integration.Within countries, to varying degrees, national malaria control programsare working closely with reproductive health and child health programs, as well as HIV/AIDS programs.

Indeed, these are critical steps in ensuring that malaria prevention and control efforts provide “quick gains” and,ultimately, lasting and sustainable results.

But such results will require ongoing commitment of policymakers and health care providers to work together in achieving smart, strategic and lifesaving integration of services, and “no missed opportunities,” for reducing morbidity and mortality due to malaria illness and other preventable causes.

Elaine Roman is a Senior Technical Advisor – Malaria for Jhpiego, a global health non-profit organization and affiliate of The Johns Hopkins University.

 

Posted by: blog4globalhealth | 03/26/2012

CREATING A SAFE SPACE FOR YOUNG MAYAN GIRLS

Women Deliver 50 Winner Abriendo Oportunidades Helps Empower Young Mayan Girls

 Claudia*, a Mayan girl visiting from her village home in El Cerro Grande, arrived at a Guatemala City hospital with severe abdominal pains. After a brief medical exam she was released by the doctor, who found nothing wrong with her.

Claudia belongs to Guatemala’s most disadvantaged group: indigenous young females. Girls like her typically live in isolated rural communities with limited access to basic services like water, sanitation, passable roads, schooling, and health care. Their lives are marked by early marriage, frequent childbearing, social isolation, violence, and chronic poverty. Often they are disregarded by more affluent Guatemalans, like the doctor who examined her.

Given her background, Claudia might have accepted the doctor’s dismissal of her symptoms. She might have left the hospital in pain and suffered with the infection later diagnosed as appendicitis. But Claudia is no ordinary girl. She is an Abriendo Oportunidades (“Opening Opportunities”) girl.

To help Claudia and girls like her reach their full potential, the Population Council works with the public sector, local government, and nongovernmental organizations to administer and evaluate Abriendo Oportunidades, a program that provides safe spaces where girls can develop friendships, play sports, interact with older female mentors who serve as role models, and learn practical skills like managing their health and their finances. The girls also receive paid internships that provide income and experience. These opportunities change the way girls think about themselves and their abilities—and, as they take on new roles in the community, they help to change the way their families and communities think about the value of girls.

With the self-confidence and help of friendships nurtured at Abriendo, Claudia recognized the doctor’s biased attitudes. She sought the care she knew and believed she deserved. At a second hospital she was correctly diagnosed and treated, and today she is healthy as a result of her own actions.

Abriendo is part of a sisterhood of programs for adolescent girls created by the Population Council to empower the poorest girls in the poorest communities. Two similar Council programs, Ishraq (“Sunrise”) for out-of-school girls in conservative rural Upper Egypt and Biruh Tesfa (“Bright Future”) for domestic servants in the urban capital of Ethiopia, were also recognized by Women Deliver’s expert panel. By administering and evaluating these programs, the Council provides evidence that shows developing countries the value of investing in girls’ lives.

Now that we’ve demonstrated the power of Abriendo, the Council’s goal is to support the continued expansion of the program into a national network of regularly evaluated girls clubs. Most Abriendo girls remain connected to each other and the program through a rural girls’ network, contributing to the program’s sustainability and growth. “Graduates” are hired for supervisory positions to expand the effort. Many have continued their education and found jobs. Further, most stay in their communities, where they become leaders, advocates, and examples of and catalysts for social change. Eventually, the program will be fully self-supported and girl-powered, fueled by the resources and energy channeled back into the clubs by each successive group of newly empowered graduates.

*Names have been changed for privacy 

Abriendo Oportunidades is a winner of the Women Deliver 50. This was originally published on Women Deliver’s website. 

Jennifer Catino and Alejandra Colom work with the Population Council and Abriendo Oportunidades 


Posted by: blog4globalhealth | 03/26/2012

WOMAN’S CONDOM: EXPANDING OPTIONS FOR DUAL PROTECTION

Women need access to dual protection and more female-controlled options.

If you’ve been following the discussion around the World Health Organization’stechnical guidance on hormonal contraception and HIV, chances are you’ve seen this message emerge. So what female-controlled, dual protection methods are available today—methods that help prevent both pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV?

Right now the female condom is the only method that fits this bill. But don’t let the term deceive you—there are actually quite a few different female condom designs. Some of which, are just beginning to make their way into the hands of women, helping to expand choices for urgently needed dual protection.

One of these is the Woman’s Condom, which the public voted into the top 10 technologies and innovations in the Women Deliver 50 contest. Under funding from USAID and other donors, the Woman’s Condom was developed by PATH and our partner CONRAD with input from women in several countries. Engaging women and men as co-designers helped us develop a highly acceptable female condom. Clinical studies in multiple countries confirm that the product is safe, easy to use, and performs well.

The Woman’s Condom has features that help bring a bit of sensuality to dual protection. The condom is very thin and smooth, conducts heat well, and allows for good sensation. It is packaged dry but comes with a packet of water-based lubricant, so couples can choose the amount of lubricant that’s right for them. Women and men have given the Woman’s Condom some high marks. For instance, male focus group participants in Shanghai, China, described the product as “fresh,” “mystical,” and “brilliant.”

So what’s happening with the Woman’s Condom today? PATH licensed the Woman’s Condom to the Dahua Medical Apparatus Company (Dahua) in Shanghai, China, to manufacture and distribute the product. It has regulatory approval in China and the European Union, and additional applications are under way. For example, the Woman’s Condom is in review by a World Health Organization/United Nations Population Fund committee which will determine whether it is suitable for public-sector programs. The Woman’s Condom became available to consumers for the first time in late 2011 through limited commercial distribution channels in China. Market development in China is ongoing. PATH and its partners are also working to bring the product to sub-Saharan Africa.

So when you hear renewed calls for expanding access to female-initiated dual protection, know that there are indeed new tools like the Woman’s Condom around the corner. For more information about the Woman’s Condom, please visit the PATH website or send an email to womanscondom@path.org.

PATH’s Woman’s Condom is a winner of the Women Deliver 50. This was original published on Women Deliver’s website. 

Kimberly Whipkey is a Global Advocacy Specialist at PATH


MCHIP Director Koki Agarwal blogs on a potentially livesaving drug

Bleeding to death after delivery is the leading cause of maternal death worldwide, with the greatest burden of disease in the developing world. Women who give birth at home are especially vulnerable to succumb to this largely preventable cause of death. To address this, the MCHIP Project, which is USAID’s flagship maternal and child health program, is training community health workers to educate women in their homes-and arming them with just three tablets of misoprostol, a potentially lifesaving drug.

Easy to administer, misoprostol is an oral uterotonic in tablet form that does not require refrigeration or storage in a cool, dark place, or administration by a skilled attendant. Because women can die within two hours of the onset of bleeding with postpartum hemorrhage (PPH), a key prevention strategy must include advance provision of misoprostol to expectant mothers for self-administration after birth.

MCHIP projects in a number of countries have demonstrated that antenatal care providers and health workers in the community can effectively distribute-and women can safely use-misoprostol for PPH prevention during home birth. In Tanzania, for example, women who delivered at home and did not use misoprostol were almost nine times more likely to need additional interventions for the treatment for PPH than those who used the drug . Moreover, distribution of the drug directly to women has proved to increase the proportion of women who are covered by use of a uterotonic drug immediately after birth. Providing them with the three tablets of misoprostol has also not prevented communities from seeking delivery care at a facility. In fact, in almost all MCHIP programs, as a consequence of effective counseling, more women have delivered with a skilled attendant.

This International Women’s Day, let’s continue our work to help women help themselves. Rarely the decision-makers in their households, women in low-resource settings-where the majority of these deaths occur-are often assumed to be incapable of correctly taking misoprostol . An expectant mother is the only person who will surely be there at the time of her delivery. Who better, then, to receive misoprostol and be trained to take it responsibly?

In the public health community, we know well the close link between a mother’s health and that of her children-if a mother passes away in childbirth, there is a more than 75% chance that her baby will not survive. Therefore, whatever we can do to ensure that when women deliver at home, they have access to misoprostol and related training, the less we have to worry about finding someone to help her should a life-threatening hemorrhage occur. And the more confident we can feel in her continued health, the more confidence we can have in the security of her family and the health of her larger community.

Ideally, all women would have access to a skilled attendant for their birth, and the necessary emergency obstetric care to handle life-threatening emergencies. As we work toward that goal, putting misoprostol in the hands of all women who may need it is the best way forward.

Happy International Women’s Day!

Koki Agarwal is the director of the Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program(MCHIP).

REFERENCE

Ifakara Health Institute, Venture Strategies Innovations, et al. 2011. Prevention of Postpartum Hemorrhage in Home Births:Misoprostol Distribution during Antenatal Care Visits in Tanzania. Final Report Brief. (February)

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