The article below original appeared on The Life You Can Save’s blog. The Life You Can Save‘s mission is to improve the lives of people living in extreme poverty and to promote the concept of effective giving. The Life You Can Save believes that everyone should live free from preventable diseases such as malaria orRead More ›
By Marshall Stowell, VP External Relations and Communications, PSI For almost 50 years, PSI has empowered women in the developing world to take control of their reproductive and sexual health, choosing when and if to start a family and how many children to have. In 2015, we helped nearly 4 million women avoid unintended pregnancy.Read More ›
By Taylor Vaught, Learning Advisor, Adolescents 360, PSI At PSI, we couldn’t be more enthusiastic about putting girls at the heart of our work. Melinda Gates is too, and we’re grateful to her for giving a shout out to one of our projects, Adolescents 360, in her recent article on Medium about why she’s excitedRead More ›
In PSI’s latest issue of Pulse, our digital quarterly report, we explore how smart innovation is feeding the pipeline for tomorrow’s health interventions around the globe — from teen centered programs actually created by teens to new ways to collect and analyze critical data to inform smarter decisions. Here’s a preview: How do you reach 10-24Read More ›
How contraceptives—especially long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs)—can improve the health and wellbeing of young women is a topic that presents tough questions. With USAID’s support, PSI, FHI360, Pathfinder and its Evidence2Action Project, and Marie Stopes International recently held a symposium to tackle those questions head on, and chart a course forward to improve the sexual andRead More ›
Video by David Rochkind, shared with permission from CARE CARE recently brought a congressional delegation to Cambodia to highlight the great strides and continued obstacles in ensuring the health of mothers in developing countries. The group, which included Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX-12), Rep. Mike Quigley, (D-IL-05), Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL-04), and Former Assistant to PresidentRead More ›
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, hasRead More ›
Five surprises from a day with PSI
Editor’s note: Earlier this year, PSI held a contest for an all-expense paid trip to Washington to spend a day with staff and field experts, learning about the organization’s work and its approaches to solving some of the world’s most health pressing problems. by Jennifer Iacovelli Barbour I recently had the honor of visiting aRead More ›
US Secretary of State couldn’t make it to Addis Ababa for the International Family Planning Conference, but he did send along this recorded message. Watch him here and read what he said below:
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Good afternoon. I’d like to welcome the thousands of you from governments around the world, NGOs, public and private organizations, and elsewhere, who are taking part in the third biennial International Family Planning Conference. I’m really sorry that I couldn’t be with you in person in Addis Ababa, but I want to tell you that, as both the U.S. Secretary of State and the father of two extraordinary young women, I am exceedingly grateful for your hard work and dedication to this cause. Millions of women, men, and children have better lives today thanks to the work that many of you have done for decades.
In 1994, when I was a U.S. Senator, I attended the historic International Conference on Population and Development. What was clear back then is still clear today: that challenges like reproductive health care and family planning are bigger than the political boxes that some try to force them into. These are basic human necessities that hundreds of millions of women are forced to go without. For some, it’s because they can’t afford or don’t have access to these services. For others, it’s because their husbands or their communities simply don’t support their use.
#1: CERVICAL CANCER KILLS MORE THAN 270,000 WOMEN EVERY YEAR. YET IT’S PREVENTABLE.
The majority of women in the developing world are unaware of the dangers of cervical cancer. Fewer know that it is preventable if detected early. Most health providers do not offer screening, and where it is available, many women do not know about it. Moreover, preventive treatment services are often disconnected from screening, making them hard to access for women who live far from a health facility.
Bright Idea Pilot #1: Use health clinic franchises, mobile services and public sector partnerships throughout the developing world to offer simple and inexpensive cervical cancer screening, treatment and referrals. Integrate cervical cancer screening and preventive treatment into the existing menu of services offered by providers. With a small investment, we could save countless lives and better integrate women’s health services.
#2: TUBERCULOSIS (TB) IS A CURABLE DISEASE, YET IT IS AMONG THE TOP THREE CAUSES OF DEATH AMONG WOMEN AGED 15-44. EACH YEAR, 3 MILLION WOMEN BECOME INFECTED WITH TB AND 700,000 WOMEN DIE FROM THE DISEASE.
Women are less likely to be diagnosed with TB because they are unaware of the risks associated with TB infection and fear seeking care at TB clinics due to high levels of stigma. TB screening and testing are typically unavailable in facilities where women seek other healthcare such as family planning services, further complicating efforts to reach them with TB care.
Bright Idea Pilot #2: Develop targeted communications for girls and women about the risks of TB. Make it easier for girls and women aged 15-49 years to access TB care by introducing screening and diagnosis in health clinics already providing reproductive health services. Collaborate with National TB Programs to train these same providers to correctly prescribe and dispense high quality TB drugs.
The result? Lives saved, more women educated about the risks of TB, and an integrated approach to women’s health.
#3: SAFE DELIVERY SHOULD BE AVAILABLE FOR EVERY MOTHER AND CHILD. TODAY CHILDBIRTH TAKES THE LIVES OF MILLIONS OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN EACH YEAR.
The international community has made it a priority to encourage childbirth in health facilities, the best and safest place for mothers to give birth. However, in many developing countries, women are unnecessarily dying as a result of childbirth because of limited access to health facilities. Approximately 1 million newborn babies die each year to largely preventable severe infections, accounting for nearly one third of the total burden of newborn deaths.
Bright Idea Pilot #3: Develop an improved, low-cost Safe Delivery Kit that includes basic supplies like soap, gloves, a razor, a sterile cloth, along with two notable, very important additions: antiseptic (chlorhexidine) to clean the umbilical cord to avoid newborn infections, and misoprostol, a medication taken after childbirth to prevent severe life-threatening bleeding.
Reach women where they already seek health solutions by arming community health workers with low-cost Safe Delivery Kits. Train them on how to use the kits, and why. That way, the kits can be used at home or at a nearby health facility.
#4: EVERY WOMAN AND COUPLE SHOULD BE ABLE TO DECIDE WHETHER, AND WHEN, TO HAVE CHILDREN. UNINTENDED PREGNANCIES OFTEN HAVE UNEXPECTED CONSEQUENCES FOR POOR WOMEN, INCLUDING HEALTH COMPLICATIONS AND EVEN DEATH.
More than 200 million women and couples in the developing world want to plan for the families they desire but lack access to modern contraceptives. For women in the developing world, unintended pregnancy dramatically increases the likelihood of health complications or death. The London Summit on Family Planning set a goal of reaching 120 million additional women by 2020 with contraception, but currently funding is inadequate to meet the growing need for free and subsidized contraceptives for the lowest-income women and couples.
Bright Idea Pilot #4: Treat provision of contraception as a business, through the creation of a social enterprise for a range of contraceptives sold in the private sector to target those who have the ability to pay. This shifts those who can pay away from free and subsidized access, freeing precious resources to reach those with the least ability to pay. Use profits from selling higher-priced products to subsidize other family planning products, providing greater options and access and bringing us one step closer to reaching those 120 million women.
#5: LIFE FOR TEENAGE GIRLS DOESN’T NEED TO BE ANY MORE COMPLICATED THAN IT ALREADY IS. BUT MILLIONS OF GIRLS WHO NEED LONG-ACTING CONTRACEPTIVES CAN’T ACCESS THEM, PUTTING THEIR LIVES AND FUTURES AT RISK.
Complications from pregnancy and childbirth are a leading cause of death for young women aged 15-19 in developing countries. Yet there are very few efforts to reach young women with a full-method mix of contraception. New evidence shows that long-acting reversible contraceptives such as the intrauterine device and implant are safe and effective for young women.
Bright Idea Pilot #5: Through existing networks of health providers, develop cutting-edge communication and education programs that reach young women in urban and rural settings about a wide range of contraceptive options. At the same time, educate policymakers about the health and economic benefits of long-acting contraception and supportive policies for young women.
Technical briefs available upon request at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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