Policy & Systems


Republican health plan seen as a major setback for hepatitis C Medicaid patients

Amid a growing hepatitis C epidemic, federal austerity measures seen as a setback to infection control.  By Sony Salzman It’s been nearly 20 years since Read More

Q&A with Rob Tinworth, director of The Life Equation

Q&A with Rob Tinworth, director of The Life Equation The Life Equation is a documentary about a impossible choices. When José meets Crecencia Buch, a Read More

Navigating hearing disabilities in Morocco

Published with permission from Round Earth Media  By Maria Luisa Frasson-Nori RABAT, Morocco – In an inconspicuous brown building sandwiched between a tire shop and Read More


For HIV Clients in Zambia, Referrals Are Life-Changing

August 21, 2017 A simple document from a trained health worker can give clients the courage they need to face the virus head-on. Hildah Maswabi waits for the lay counselor to write down her details—full name, address, telephone number, gender, HIV/TB statuses—on her referral form so she can take it to the nearest local health center. The mood as she waits is somber. Finally, after the lay counselor has written and reviewed everything for completeness and correctness, Hildah takes the form with a sigh of relief. It is only when I talk to her that I understand how much it represents to her

Lessons from the West African Ebola epidemic

Conventional wisdom—and an article in the Journal of Medical Ethics reviewed on this blog two years ago—advise that health research should not be conducted during times of crisis. Yes, such conditions compromise the controlled environments that studies typically require to produce reliable results, but they can also threaten the ethical integrity of research. Without institutional mechanisms to hold them accountable, investigators may cut corners, violate standards of privacy and informed consent, and even endanger participants. Disruption in the normal function of medical services can also apply pressure on individuals unable to access care by traditional means to seek it out by participating in risky research.

How Do You Become a Humanitarian?

August 19, 2017 Ghiath Alddin Zeen was forced to leave Syria, but continues to find ways to help his people. On World Humanitarian Day, meet an amazing humanitarian. “We started as a volunteer team in Damascus city—8 women and 8 men—in 2001,” says Ghiath Alddin Zeen. “In our free time, we were distributing food baskets during Ramadan, and second hand toys for the poor families.” Ghiath is now the CEO of Ghiras A-Nahda, a nongovernmental organization of more than 125 Syrian humanitarians. One of the NGO’s projects, A Challenge to Survive, is helping people living in besieged areas of Syria grow mushrooms at home as a healthy source of food.

What’s Not a Target

August 17, 2017 Health workers are supposed to save lives and health facilities are supposed to be safe places for health and healing. They’re protected by the rules of war, but are still being attacked. Health workers. It was really hard for me to get my head around at first—that someone would deliberately harm a health worker. A nurse, a doctor, a midwife.

Better Blogging Through Podcasts: Announcing RadioPublic Embeds

We love podcasts: they’re like the blogging version of radio, a medium anyone can jump into and use to share their story. They introduce us to new voices and give us glimpses into new perspectives… and they pair perfectly with blogs and websites, where they can add more texture and …

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.

Patterns of resident health workforce turnover and retention in remote communities of the…

The geographical maldistribution of the health workforce is a persisting global issue linked to inequitable access to health services and poorer health outcomes for rural and remote populations.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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?

Look To Policy, Local Solutions To Build Health Workforce Amid Health Worker Shortages

Devex: Opinion: Nurses are coming out of retirement to fight HIV Margarite Nathe, senior editor and writer on the communications and advocacy team at IntraHealth International “…[Pamela McQuide, IntraHealth’s country director in Namibia,] and her team have three recommendations for other countries working to creatively build fit-for-purpose health workforces in the midst of health worker…More

Older Posts »