Building Trust through Innovation in Healthcare Policy

How government and private sector partnerships are overcoming reproductive health challenges in Cameroon

By Elisabeth Harris and Megan Shea, Global Business Systems, PSI Charles Pchankoukieu’s clinic is situated on the outskirts of the city of Yaoundé in Cameroon.  Its discreet exterior masks the constant flow of patients that keep Charles, one of the facility’s few providers, busy at all hours of the day. With a severe shortage of medical

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ExxonMobil and PSI: Fighting malaria in Cameroon

Read more from PSI’s Corporate Partnerships Report 2014

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A Winning Strategy: Investing in Local Heroines

By Karl Hofmann, President & CEO, PSI

When you invest in local heroines, women win.

Despite all the systemic challenges women and children face around the world, we’ve learned that investing in local heroines who provide education and resources can help tear down barriers and save lives.

Here is an impact primer that shows how investing in local heroines helps PSI get results for women and children.

Local heroines trained in community health services save children’s lives.In many countries, mothers are unable to access health care for their children to treat preventable but deadly diseases like malaria, pneumonia, and diarrhea. We can shift that equation by deploying local health workers. In Cameroon, 48% of children received diarrhea treatment in areas served by community health workers vs. 7% of children in other areas with no community health workers.

Local heroines are effective champions for social change.There is often stigma associated with family planning activities. In Zimbabwe, where women are embarrassed to purchase female condoms, local heroines like hairdresser Tears Wenzira are distributing them in beauty salons. In fact, more than one million female condoms are distributed through this network of 2,500 hairdressers across the country.

Local heroines help keep mothers alive during childbirth.In the next 24 hours, 931 women will die worldwide from preventable pregnancy-related causes. In Pakistan, more than three-quarters of births take place at home, which is high-risk for maternal mortality. A pilot voucher program – where trained outreach workers recruit pregnant women from low-income households to receive subsidized reproductive health services from private health providers – increased prenatal clinic care by 16%, health care-facility based deliveries by 20% and postnatal care by 35%.

As you can see, PSI is committed to measuring our impact. And we’ve learned that investing in local heroines provides extraordinary returns on your investment.

Will you invest in a local heroine?

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Mandy Moore: My Visit with Frontline Health Workers in Cameroon

By Mandy Moore, Global Ambassador, PSI

PSI Ambassador Mandy Moore visits with the patient of a community health worker in a small village in Cameroon. Courtesy PSI.

PSI Ambassador Mandy Moore visits with the patient of a community health worker in a small village in Cameroon. Courtesy PSI.

Two years ago I traveled to Cameroon with global health organization, PSI. We set out from the capital city of Yaoundé and traveled by car over dusty, unpaved roads to the small village of Ebanga.

Driving along the bumpy road, I thought about the millions of parents in developing countries who wake up in the middle of the night to find that one of their children is ill with a life-threatening fever. To get treatment many have to carry their children miles by foot to the nearest health center – all the while knowing they may not be able to afford treatment once they arrive.

This is why I was here in Ebanga; I wanted to see firsthand a program that could change that reality for thousands of Cameroonians, allowing them to receive care in their communities by a trusted health worker.

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Cameroon: Geneviève is taking the lead in the Fight against AIDS

By Agnès Aurore Balep, Editor, 100%Jeune Magazine, PSI/Cameroon; Martine Laurette Moguem, Assistant Editor, 100%Jeune Magazine, PSI/Cameroon; Rose Walsh, Program Assistant, West & Central Africa, Washington, D.C.

Geneviève Doukoya, a 22-year-old student at the University of Maroua, Cameroon, started on the road to a healthier life four years ago when she picked up an issue of 100%Jeune, a magazine created by youth for youth, addressing sexual and reproductive health issues.

About 35 percent of girls in Cameroon aged 15-24 face unwanted pregnancies and 3 percent of youth in that age group have HIV. The situation is aggravated by lack of dialog between children and parents about sexual and reproductive health, early marriage, rape and poverty.

But the 100%Jeune magazine inspired Geneviève. “When I finished reading that copy, it was like my eyes were opened. I started to see all of the dangers surrounding me,” she said. “I want to become a great woman, and I don’t want anything to hinder me from achieving that goal.”


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Video: ACMS Welcomes PSI President Karl Hofmann to Cameroon

PSI’s office in Cameroon, Association Camerounaise pour le Marketing Social (ACMS), made a video to welcome PSI President and CEO Karl Hofmann for his visit to the country in October 2012. This video showcases the diversity of cultures in Cameroon with staff wearing the clothing of their ethnic groups and speaking in their native languages.

Give it a watch!

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Healthy Dose October 21, 2011

Plan International: Cholera in Cameroon Getting Worse

The rains are making the ongoing cholera outbreak in Cameroon, says Plan International. Reuters Alert Net reports:

Famari Barro, the Cameroon country director of Plan International says the epidemic worsened in the past weeks as a result of heavy rains, which sweep germs into open wells, contaminating drinking water.

In addition, campaigns ahead of Cameroon’s Oct.9 presidential election led to people crisscrossing the country and big crowds gathering in conditions that helped the spread of the disease.

“The situation had decreased but unfortunately in the past weeks it skyrocketed again in Far North, North and Littoral regions (provinces) of the country,” Barro told AlertNet.

“The case of Douala is disturbing because it is very populated and there are many slums where people don’t have access to clean water,” he said on the phone from Yaounde.

Cameroon’s government-run television channel (CRTV) at the weekend showed pictures of one of the main hospitals in Douala with several patients receiving treatment for cholera.

Doctors at the hospital said many patients were weak and unable to eat food or drink water while some were unable to accept that they were suffering from the disease.

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Healthy Dose September 29, 2011

Top StoryTyphoon Nesat Leaves Damage and Health Concerns in Philippines The likelihood of water-borne disease outbreaks is high in areas in Philippines recently devastated by Typhoon Nesat. IRIN reports: “In coordination with the Health Department, we have deployed emergency management service personnel to supervise sanitation and other issues, including drinking water and distribution of medicines,”

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PSI Ambassador Mandy Moore Discusses Bednets, Mobilizing Youth for Social Good…and ‘Friday Night Lights’

PSI Ambassador Mandy Moore and PSI’s Marshall Stowell. Credit: Tom Paulson/Humanosphere Yesterday afternoon, PSI Ambassador Mandy Moore held a press briefing for UN Foundation Journalism Fellows as a part of the UN Foundation and Mashable’s Social Good Summit at the 92Y in New York City.  She was joined by Marshall Stowell,Director of Corporate Marketing and

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Knocking Out Malaria in Cameroon

The following post is by UNICEF Cameroon Representative Ora Musu Clemens Hope.Dr. Esther Tallah, the head of the Cameroon Coalition Against Malaria, and I set out for Mfou, 25 kilometers outside of Yaounde, to see how the census phase of the campaign for the universal distribution of almost 9 million long lasting insecticide treated bed

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Social Marketing for Safe Drinking Water in Cameroon

Ed note. This post is by Mark Leon Goldberg, PSI Healthy Lives editor. I visited Cameroon last week as part of a delegation accompanying UNITAID Chair Philippe Douste-Blazy, who is also a UN undersecretary general and the former French foreign minister. UNITAID is a World Health Organization-affiliated organization that seeks to raise funds for global

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Healthy Dose August 26, 2011

Top Story Bacteria-Injected Mosquitoes Blocked From Spreading Dengue Fever A team of Australian researchers have discovered a breakthrough in the reduction of dengue. By injecting mosquitoes with a bacteria, they were able to block them from transmitting the virus that kills 20,000 people a year. The Guardian reports: In two papers published in the journal

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