By Dr. Paulo R P Souza, chief of party of HFA, PSI/Angola In Angola, nearly two decades of peace and robust economic growth has led to huge progress in the management of the country’s national health system. Building on years of bilateral collaboration, USAID launched Projecto de Saúde Para Todos (Health For All, or HFA)Read More ›
By Regina Moore, PSI Still looking for the perfect Halloween costume? At PSI we do whatever it takes to get life-saving health information to people, and often costumes are the perfect way to get people’s attention. Check out some of the costumes we’ve used over the years, and don’t forget to share with us anyRead More ›
Exciting change is happening for healthcare in developing countries.
Start-ups, corporations, NGOs, and governments are finding new and innovative ways to increase access to health services and products. Some of the developments may seem mundane, but they are changing the game in remarkable ways.
Highlights: 2013, a new report from the Center for Health Market Innovations (CHMI), identifies emerging healthcare practices, analyzes the effectiveness of these practices, and spotlights programs improving their ability to serve poor communities. The report features 81 programs working to make quality healthcare delivered by private organizations affordable and accessible to the world’s poor.
Programs by PSI in India, Angola, Somaliland and South Sudan are held up as some of the examples in the report. In India, PSI is using ICTs to support women’s health.
Just over a third of the programs CHMI profiles in India indicate using technology as a core part of their models. Of the 200 programs targeting India’s rural population, many use technology in interesting new ways, including to facilitate remote diagnosis of rural patients, make health records at peripheral clinics available to central health providers, and allow providers and patients to access health education and awareness information. Saadhan, a PSI-affiliated program, runs a helpline that provides counseling and information services to improve women’s health. Saadhan also tracks clients with software so its counselors can follow-up with repeated callers.
Distribution is another important area. Coming up with an innovative solution to a problem like malaria is a big advance, but it has to get out to people in hard-to-reach parts of the world. That is where PSI steps in to work with the supply chain.
Organizations are using alternative means of transportation to get medicines to remote destinations. As of May 2013, World Health Partners in India was employing 50 locals on motorcycles, called “Last Mile Outriders,” to take drugs to rural clinics. In Peru, APECA uses canoes and boats to distribute cofres medicinales—or medical chests with essential medicines—to communities along the Amazon River. Another distribution solution that seems to be growing in popularity is using existing supply chains to bring health products to consumers. ColaLife utilizes Coca-Cola’s established supply chains to bring essential medicines to communities. Similarly, Clinics4All uses commercial supply chains to increase access to medicines across Africa and Asia, as does PSI Angola, PSI Somaliland, and PSI South Sudan.
CHMI will soon release data that measures the impact of organizations on health and economics in developing countries. Program Director Donika Dimovska recently described the plan in the Stanford Social Innovation Review.
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We will continue to track the growth of developing country health markets. But the question still remains: Which organizations are achieving health and financial results important to national and global health policy makers, donors, investors, and other health care managers? A standardized set of performance metrics could help fairly compare organizations and set reliable benchmarks. The good news is we’re working on that, in collaboration with others such as the Impact Investment & Reporting Standards (IRIS) team at the Global Impact Investing Network.
With a better understanding of which health organizations in these extremely dynamic health markets are having an impact, we can better track and support the scale up of care that is measurably improving the lives of the poor.
Distributing thousands of mosquito nets is never an easy thing, even when bridges are available. When that’s not the case, PSI/Angola team takes over!
See below how very real logistics and supply chain become in the field. In order to reach all households in some of the most secluded communes in the country, it was necessary to build a raft to transport nets and personnel to the other side of the river.
PSI/Angola continues distributing LLINs in the country’s most endemic provinces. A huge hat tip to the entire team: Ann, Camille, Maria Eugenia, Marcelino, Die, Israel, Akko and all of the communicators, household registers and LLIN distributors contributing to the campaign! Great job, keep it up!Read More ›
Top StoryDengue Spreading Fast in Northeastern Kenya The mosquito-born illness is beginning to take hold in parts of Kenya near the Somali border. From IRIN: An outbreak of dengue fever in Mandera, northeastern Kenya, is spreading fast, with at least 5,000 people infected within weeks, due to limited health facilities, a shortage of medical personnelRead More ›
Top StoryWHO Launches Web-Based Nutrition Initiative Millions of people suffer and die each year from malnutrition. Agencies are often hampered by a conflicting array of evidence on how to provide effective preventive and therapeutic nutrition interventions so the WHO has launched a new e-Library to help. The e-Library of Evidence for Nutrition Actions (eLENA) eliminatesRead More ›
Top Story Experts Question Whether Polio Eradication Targets Will Be Reached A panel of experts formed at the request of the WHO says they do not believe that a goal of global eradication of polio by 2012 can be met. An independent group said in a new report released Wednesday that it was “unshakable” inRead More ›
Top StoryHIV Conspiracy Theories Have Strong Hold Among Black Cape Town Youth A survey of 20 to 29 year-olds in the greater Cape Town area has found that black South Africans are 8 times more likely to believe in HIV conspiracy theories. The report, featured in All Africa, discusses how mistrust and lack of acceptanceRead More ›
Top Story Abidjan Offensive Looming The fighting in Cote d’Ivoire has picked up the past week, but supporters of internationally recognized president Alassane Ouattara have indicated that attacks will increase as all eyes are now on Abidjan. With hundreds of thousands of refugees, the region is set to have an even more significant humanitarian crisis.Read More ›