Irene Koek at Global Health Mini University 2017 Opening Session

What We Learned: Key Takeaways From USAID’s Global Health Mini University

On Sept. 14, 2017, USAID hosted global health organizations to present and learn about cutting edge and tested innovations making a health impact on the developing world at its annual Global Health Mini University. Read more about what we learned: [<a href=”//” target=”_blank”>View the story “2017 Global Health Mini University” on Storify</a>]

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When it Comes to Pneumonia, Every Second Counts

By Alena Sims, Communications Associate, PSI Did you know that pneumonia is the leading infectious killer of children under five? Every year, this preventable illness takes the lives of nearly 900,000 children. The vast majority of these deaths occur in developing countries, where resources are limited. This year, on World Pneumonia Day, global health workers

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Better Birth

BetterBirth Program Shares Findings at Global Maternal Newborn Health Conference

The Ariadne Labs BetterBirth Team will debut promising early results from its safe childbirth trial in India before a global public health community at this week’s Global Maternal Newborn Health Conference in Mexico City. The conference brings together more than 1,000 policymakers, researchers, practitioners and advocates from 75 countries. The meeting marks the first opportunity

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Three Reasons to Invest in Healthy Lives

By Karl Hofmann Health — we shouldn’t take it for granted. PSI helps mothers and children survive the most serious health challenges they face – like a lack of access to family planning, or HIV and AIDS. And we stem the greatest threats to children under five, including malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia and malnutrition. Here are

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Let’s End Preventable Child Deaths from Pneumonia by 2030

Universal access to prevention and treatment is critical

Today marks the 6th annual World Pneumonia Day. Last year, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, “By working to protect children from pneumonia, we can shield them from other deadly diseases and help them to survive and thrive.” Today, the global community still struggles to make progress in controlling the number one infectious killer of children

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Team Orange

How PSI reinforces positive reproductive health messaging through branding, edutainment

By Jennifer James In Tanzania, orange has increasingly become the recognized color of family planning and reproductive health services. Population Services International’s orange Familia brand is quite common in most regions of this coastal country of 49 million. PSI, a global non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health of people in the developing world, has

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It’s Always Time to Wash Your Hands

Let’s not forget one of the more simple, cost-effective solutions to help prevent Ebola

By Genevieve Kelly As the Ebola epidemic ravages West Africa and the international community is mobilizing its support, one point comes up over and over: something should have been done sooner. The rapid rate at which the virus has spread throughout Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea in particular, and the ever-increasing death toll has exposed

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Celebrating the life-saving action of breastfeeding

Today is the last day of World Breastfeeding week. The days prior were established by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, WHO and UNICEF to emphasize the value of breastfeeding for mothers and children. Breastfeeding is an important means to protect children from illness and even death. Infants who are not exclusively breastfed are 15 times more likely to die from pneumonia and 11 times more likely to die of diarrhea, the two leading killers of children under five. Although breastfeeding is the world’s most effective solution to reducing child deaths, global breastfeeding rates have stagnated at below 40 percent for two decades. But it is not too late to encourage mothers to give their babies the best start in life.

The television commercial shown below, which aired last month in Pakistan, is produced by a maternal and child health program funded by USAID. Greenstar, PSI’s network member in Pakistan, is one of the implementing partners for this program.

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Dispelling breastfeeding myths in Pakistan to boost child health

TVC-ImageBy Ayesha Leghari, DGM-Behavior Change Communication, MCH Program, Greenstar Social Marketing Pakistan

When my eldest son was born I was told by the elders of the family to dispose of the thick yellow breast milk since it was considered dirty and stale. Having no knowledge on breast milk, I showed no hesitance in wasting it since it did seem stale to me. With the birth of my second baby, because of my experience the first time, I didn’t hesitate to waste this think yellow milk within the first hour of giving birth.

I learned just how wrong I was to waste the milk when I joined the Maternal and Child Health program. A pang of guilt ran through my body when I learned that the “stale think yellow milk” that I had so promptly wasted was filled with the most essential nutrients that I could have given my newborns. I felt like a bus of real truth knocked me out.

The gift of nature that is casually wasted in Pakistan and other developing countries and is commonly referred to as dirty or stale milk is actually called Colostrum. Research studies have proved that “colostrum is very rich in proteins, carbohydrates, vitamin A, and sodium chloride.” These vital nutrients help newborns fight off viral infections, reduces the chances of diarrhea (the leading killer of children) and prevents jaundice.”

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One Year Later: From Promise to Action on Ending Preventable Child Deaths

By Nicole Schiegg, Former USAID Senior Advisor; Strategic Comms Consultant

2013-06-13-430045_10151726897765992_1502893062_n.jpgThis week we celebrate the one-year commemoration of the Child Survival Call to Action held in Washington, DC. Working at USAID at the time, I have a unique insight into the organization of this milestone event, and will always remember the experience fondly. Not only did the Call to Action unite and reenergize the global health and extended community towards a common goal — to end preventable child deaths — it catalyzed momentum at country-level that has been nothing short of extraordinary.

A few months before the Call to Action, USAID turned a conference room into a team room that became the center of the Agency’s activity – one wall was covered with hundreds of 5th birthday photos and the other was entirely dry eraser depicting ideas, logistics, and anything else that was the task of the day. About 6 of us virtually lived in this room, but it packed in 30 staff when we had our all-hands meetings. What inspired me about the team is that it consisted of people who had worked in development for their careers and folks who were brand new to the field. Everyone had a laser-like focus towards June 14-15 and what it represented. No one was committed more to this goal than USAID Administrator Raj Shah who frequented the team room for meetings and updates.

The Call to Action was a special and surreal experience when it finally arrived. A few days after it ended, I had to re-watch the webcast to grasp the enormity of what had transpired. Over 70 countries signed a pledge to accelerate action towards ending preventable child deaths. Private sector leaders committed to new partnerships – as did faith and civil society organizations.

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Top 10 Global Health Milestones of 2012

It’s fitting that the last issue of the year is one of reflection. We asked experts and readers to tell us the top 10 mile­stones in global health in 2012. The response was over­whelming via Twitter, Facebook, PSI’s Impact blog and through direct outreach; it made the task of identifying only 10 items difficult. Some

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Child Mortality Declines Globally

Why would you consider the decline in child mortality a global health milestone in 2012? Reductions in child mortality over recent years have been tremendous, as 14,000 fewer children die each day compared with two decades ago. Even sub-Saharan Africa, despite lagging behind other regions, has registered a significant decline. Today in 2012, we know

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