USAID Awards Global Contract to PSI and Partners to Advance Malaria Service Delivery in 28 Countries

PSI is excited to announce that it has been successfully awarded a new contract by USAID to support the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) to Advance the Progress of Malaria Service Delivery (APMSD) in 28 malaria-affected countries.  The project, worth over $160 million USD over five years, will be delivered by a consortium of core partners,

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APMEN, Malaria, Asia, ACT, ACTwatch

PSI becomes APMEN’s 36th Partner Institution

By: Jenny Tolep, External Relations & Communications PSI was recently announced as the Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network’s (APMEN) 36th Partner Institution. Established in 2009, APMEN is a network of 17 Asia Pacific country partners and various partner institutions, working together to eliminate malaria in the region by 2030. APMEN receives funding from the Australian

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Lessons from Fighting HIV to Fend off Next Wave of Epidemics

The AIDS epidemic is relatively young. It was only 30 years ago this year that scientists first discovered HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Perhaps it’s because it’s relatively young that efforts to abate it could learn from history and adopt new approaches.

Now, according to the UN Development Programme (UNDP), it’s time to “Use lessons from fighting HIV to fend off new regional threats in Asia.” From their statement:

“The effective approaches to HIV in Asia and the Pacific have illustrated that a focus on law and human rights, and attention to the needs of marginalized people, can support the achievement of human development objectives,” says Clifton Cortez, UNDP’s HIV, Health and Development Team Leader in Bangkok. “We think the same lessons can be applied to reducing the threat posed by chronic non-communicable diseases that will have catastrophic human and financial impacts in this region,” he says.

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More than meets the eye

Quacks, traditional healers and village doctors: Informal providers emerge as force in health care

By David J Olson, International Development Communications and Advocacy Consultant at Olson Global Communications In my nine years managing social marketing programs for PSI in Africa, Asia and Latin America, I had two significant encounters with the category of health workers now known as “informal providers,” in Zambia and Bangladesh. In both cases, my PSI staffs and

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Getting Serious about the World's Toilet Problem

Toilets may not be a topic that get as much attention as others, but over 1 billion people around the world must defecate out in the open and over 2 billion people do not have access to clean and private toilets. That means that billions are at risk of diseases that are spread through fecal matter such as diarrhea and cholera.

Today’s World Toilet Day is meant to make some noise about the issue by raising awareness. The stakes are high and the issue is serious. According to the WHO, the areas with the lowest access to proper sanitation are sub-Saharan Africa (31%), southern Asia (36%) and Oceania (53%). “World Toilet Day has a serious purpose: it aims to stimulate dialogue about sanitation and break the taboo that still surrounds this issue,” says the World Toilet Day website. “In addition, it supports advocacy that highlights the profound impact of the sanitation crisis in a rigorous manner, and seeks to bring to the forefront the health and emotional consequences, as well as the economic impact of inadequate sanitation.”

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Living with Tuberculosis: A Personal Note

The following post is by Bryn Sakagawa, Deputy Director, Health and Education Office, USAID Central Asian Republics. It originally appears on the USAID Impact blog.

World TB Day has a special meaning for me, and it is not just because of my job as a USAID Health Officer in Kazakhstan.  It is because every morning for the past four months I have taken a daily isoniazid pill to treat my latent tuberculosis.

Tuberculosis, or TB, is a contagious chronic bacterial infection that is spread through the air and usually infects the lungs. More than 2 billion people—one-third of the world’s total population—are infected with TB bacilli, the microbes that cause TB, but do not show symptoms (latent TB). In the United States, between 10 and 15 million people are infected with latent TB. In other parts of the world, like in Central Asia, this number is much higher.

I found out that I had latent TB at the exam to get my first medical clearance as a foreign service officer. I suspect that I was exposed to TB while I was a volunteer in Indonesia years before. Although I was shocked and worried when I got the diagnosis, the nurse reassured me and explained that latent TB is widespread in many developing countries and that there are options for treatment. I was pregnant then so isoniazid treatment—what I’m taking now—was not an option.

I learned soon after I was diagnosed with latent TB that anyone—grandparents, fathers, mothers, and children—can be exposed and infected. In the three minutes that it will take you to read this blog post, nine people will have died from TB. Although my chance of becoming sick with active TB in my lifetime is only 1 in 10, I felt that it was important to mitigate this risk and undergo the six-month treatment regimen. Every year, approximately 2 million people die from TB.

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Asia’s Growing Health Inequality

In a report released late September, Asian Trends Monitoring showed how growth in Asia is up for many countries, but it is coupled with rising inequality.  The report focuses on three areas of inequality: access to infrastructure, maternal and child health and chronic disease in ASEAN, and the unconnected unbanked.

The infographic above shows how issues like infant mortality are a much higher burden on the poor that the wealthy.  This is by no means a surprise, rather it helps to illustrate that reaching the goal of a lower infant mortality is possible as it is already an option for some people in a country like Vietnam.  The same gap exists in immunizations.  From the report:

Immunisation coverage is taken as a primary indicator of a health system’s effectiveness by health experts. There are marked differences in immunisation coverage by location (urban versus rural) and wealth (highest versus lowest quintile), but the biggest discrepancy by far is the mother’s educational level (highest versus lowest). In the Philippines, mothers with the lowest levels of education are almost three times less likely than those with the highest levels of education to have immunised their 1-year old child against measles.

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The Impact of HIV/AIDS on Women and Girls in Asia

A comprehensive study on the socio-economic impact of HIV at the household level in Asia was carried out by UNDP. The findings found that the “the region has been the inadequate efforts to mitigate the social and economic impact of the epidemic on people living with HIV, and their households.” Most notable of the findings were the impact that HIV had on women and girls. The study found:

– Female-headed (non-widowed) HIV-affected households (HIV-HHs) in Cambodia and Indonesia were less likely to own their home than maleheaded (non-widowed) HIV-HHs. They were also less likely to own a motor-vehicle, and in Indonesia, less likely to own a non-motor vehicle.

– Female-headed HIV-HHs in Indonesia were more likely to be in debt than male-headed HIV-HHs.

– The majority of female widows in HIV-HHs in Indonesia and Viet Nam reported being denied a share in their deceased husband’s property and assets. In India, the overwhelming majority (79%) of widows living with HIV were denied such rights.

– Across the region, girls in HIV-HHs were the least likely to be attending school, and the most likely to have dropped-out.

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Healthy Dose May 4, 2011

Top Story Ivory Coast Fighting Flares Up Al Jazeera reports that dozens of people have died in Abijan after new rounds of fighting between Ivory Coast troops and militia members still loyal to former president Laurent Gbagbo. “We have seen many dead. We recovered 40 bodies over two hours, but we were forced to stop

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