Author Archives: IntraHealth

Effort Index Tool Offers a Way to Measure Health Workforce Progress

Photograph by Trevor Snapp for IntraHealth International August 15, 2017 National decision-makers in the health sector can now take stock of their health workforces and the systems that support them using the Human Resources for Health (HRH) Effort Index, a tool developed by IntraHealth International with support from the US Agency for International Development. Results from four countries where the index was applied are now available in Human Resources for Health. The HRH Effort Index measures health workforce status and progress, provides information that can help leaders build consensus and prioritize strategic investments, and facilitates more accurate comparisons of the HRH situation across countries, regions, or districts. Inspired by the widely used Family Planning Effort Index, the tool surveys knowledgeable informants through 50 questions organized by the seven key dimensions of HRH: leadership and advocacy policy and governance finance education and training recruitment, distribution, and retention human resources management monitoring, evaluation, and information systems Scores (on a ten-point scale) are then tallied by each dimension and overall.

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A Preacher on a Mission to End HIV in Zambia

August 14, 2017 Whether he’s on his bike, giving a sermon, or counseling at the clinic, Reverend Lusale is ready to talk to anyone about HIV. When the first AIDS case struck Zambia in 1984, Reverend Lusale was two years away from graduating from theology school, and did not know the impact the virus would have on Zambians’ lives, or on his own. At its peak in Zambia in 2001, when 21.5% of the adult population was infected, he realized there was something he could do to help. Reverend Lusale decided to go for training as an HIV counsellor.

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In West Africa, Family Planning Youth Ambassadors Are Helping Their Countries Plan for the…

August 11, 2017 Young leaders have the power to reach their peers and communities in ways most government officials can’t. Abou Diallo was on vacation with his family when his girlfriend showed up to see him, agitated and worried. She hadn’t had her period for two months, she told him. A pregnancy test confirmed their fears.

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Real Talk App Elevates Teen Voices to Transform Sex Education

August 11, 2017 A new app brings sex ed directly to middle school students through storytelling—on their phones. When it comes to learning about relationships and sex ed, middle school students want to learn from others’ experiences and know they’re not alone. And they don’t always get this in school. In order to meet these needs, MyHealthEd is building a new app called Real Talk to bring sex ed directly to middle school students through storytelling—on their phones. While the teen pregnancy rate is at an all-time low in North Carolina, there are still major disparities between counties.

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Meet the Young Future-Planners of West Africa

August 10, 2017 They’re informed, determined, and looking ahead for the good of their peers—and their countries.  They want to help girls stay in school. To take control of their own futures. To make sure other young people don’t make the same mistakes or have to live the same nightmares they did. There are a lot of reasons why almost 100 young activists from across West Africa have become family planning youth ambassadors, but they all have something in common: they’re part of the biggest generation of young people in human history

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It’s Time to End Sexual Harassment

August 09, 2017 Health workers deal with stressful situations every day. Sexual harassment should no longer be one of them. Women account for the majority of the health workforce globally. They distribute life-changing drugs to HIV-positive children, serve on the front lines of disease outbreaks, educate clients on family planning methods, and much more. Yet despite providing vital services, health workers are not adequately protected from gender discrimination and sexual harassment.

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Nurses Come Out of Retirement to Fight HIV in Namibia

August 03, 2017 They’re still strong—and ready to help end the country’s epidemic. This aritcle originally appeared in Devex: Shirley Mwellie was about to get on a plane when she got the letter. It had arrived while she was visiting family in her hometown of Windhoek, Namibia, on leave from her job in England, where she’d been working as a nurse for 14 years. Mwellie is 69, well past the mandatory retirement age of 60 for nurses in Namibia. The letter caught her eye because it was addressed to Namibian nurses either in retirement or about to retire, who were up for a challenge: Would they like to keep working for another two years and help fill a crucial gap in the country’s health workforce?

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To Empower Women Is to Empower Nations: Stories from Iraq and Afghanistan

August 01, 2017 As a health worker in a conflict zone, I learned what it means to be in the right place at the right time. Being in the right place at the right time—I never had a full understanding of that concept until I started my medical career. Before coming to the United States to get a master’s degree in public health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I was a physician at Al-Zahrawi Surgical Hospital in the south of Iraq, one of only two main hospitals in the city of Amarah, inhabited by about one million people. Such conditions make complications more frequent.

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Where Do Big Ideas for Greater Good Come From? Humanitarians Tell All

July 27, 2017 Brian Southwell asks some big questions. And these SwitchPoint speakers answer. Ideas are to SwitchPoint what wind is to a hurricane. The conference swirls with innovative approaches, unexpected methods, and brilliant inventions. Even the information is presented in unconventional ways, including through networking events and microlabs where attendees interact with presenters in intimate settings.

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New CFO Joins as IntraHealth Prepares for Rapidly Evolving Global Health Landscape

July 20, 2017 Chapel Hill, NC IntraHealth International is happy to welcome Rob Murphy as the new vice president of finance and administration and chief financial officer. In his new role as part of the executive team, Murphy will direct the financial and administrative functions of IntraHealth’s network of 18 offices around the world and its diverse portfolio of projects—which comprises over $211.5 million in new funding awarded in just the past year—as it strengthens health systems and increases access to high-quality health services around the world. Murphy brings over 25 years of experience within the public and private sectors, including international development firms, nongovernmental organizations and nonprofit organizations within the US government contracting, international and commercial arenas. “These are uncertain times in global health and development,” Murphy says. “IntraHealth is preparing by becoming even more nimble in today’s evolving marketplace and forging powerful new partnerships

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For Humanitarian Workers, Mental Health Needs Are Often Overlooked

July 19, 2017 It’s time to take mental well-being during complex emergencies seriously. In my family there was always a strong culture of suffering in silence. We were encouraged as children to ignore small injuries and illnesses, and to soldier on without complaint. I only realized the full extent of this embedded behavior when my elderly mother dislocated her shoulder and refused to go to the hospital for 24 hours, somehow believing that it would get better on its own.

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IntraHealth International to Lead $4.9 Million Health Workforce Strengthening Effort in Mali

Photograph by Trevor Snapp for IntraHealth International July 17, 2017 Through a new $4.9 million, three-year award from the US Agency for International Development, IntraHealth International will partner with the government of Mali to strengthen its health workforce, scale up progress in maternal and child survival, and protect its citizens from emerging health threats such as Ebola and pandemic influenza. Mali has significantly reduced its maternal, newborn, and under-five mortality rates in the last twenty years. But despite these efforts, the country continues to have some of the highest rates of preventable maternal and child deaths in the world, due in part to a severe shortage of qualified health workers. This same shortage also makes Mali vulnerable to emerging infectious diseases and other health security threats. The World Health Organization recommends at least 2.3 doctors, nurses, and midwives per 1,000 people to provide basic health services, but Mali has only 0.41 per 1,000 people

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Senegal Completes Landmark Net Campaign on Its Way to Eliminating Malaria

Photo by Clement Tardif for IntraHealth International. July 12, 2017 The number of individuals protected from malaria and other mosquito-borne illnesses in Senegal skyrocketed last year, thanks to a national long-lasting insecticide-treated bed net (or LLIN) campaign led by IntraHealth International in partnership with Senegal’s National Malaria Control Program. In 2015, only 8% of beds throughout the country were covered by a LLIN. By the end of the 2016 campaign, 91% were covered, according to project monitoring data.i Malaria is the third-leading cause of death in the country. The entire population is at risk, but young children and pregnant women are among those most likely to suffer acute illness, complications, and death

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1.2 Billion Reasons Why Countries Must Empower Young People to Plan the Future

July 10, 2017 A tidal wave of youth is fast approaching the shores of adult society. It’s time to ensure they are part of the global conversation. This piece originally appeared on HuffPost: When I was growing up in Senegal, it was a very strict environment for the young. We were told when to speak and when not to speak, and if we tried to mingle with the adults while they were talking, we were likely to be shooed away.

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