Cross-Sector Alliances Needed for Sustainable and Profitable Growth

By: Jackie Presutti, Associate, Corporate Partnerships & Philanthropy “Few of our challenges are going to be addressed unilaterally, and most will be solved through successful partnership,” said Karl Hofmann, President and CEO of PSI during a live webcast on Thursday. The webcast, hosted by PYXERA Global, was part of a weeklong series of events in

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A Response to Michael Gerson: Strengthening Tanzania’s Health Systems through ‘Social Franchising’ [Video]

By Minal Bopaiah While the importance of improving maternal and neonatal health is indisputable around the world, the “how” can be overwhelming at best and elusive at worst. Op-Ed columnist Michael Gerson highlights the complexity of the issue in Tanzania in a recent piece in The Washington Post: [N]ewborn and maternal mortality rates in Tanzania

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Myanmar's Health Systems at Critical Point

Myanmar, as it undergoes its democratic transition, now is seeing changes in its health systems. Reporter Julie Turkewitz recently traveled to Myanmar to look at the problems the country faces in its efforts to improve its child health outcomes. She reports for the GlobalPost:

The high rate of child death in Myanmar is among the most painful legacies left by the military dictatorship that ran the country from 1962 to 2011. During that time a corrupt and brutal junta shifted the country’s abundant resources to military spending and military industry rather than investing in a progressive health care system. In the years following World War II, Myanmar had the best health care system in Southeast Asia. Today, one in 15 children in Myanmar will not live to see his or her fifth birthday, according to UN data — the highest under-5 death rate the region. Between 56,000 and 70,000 children die here every year, largely of preventable causes.

The government in Myanmar realizes it has a problem that can have a major impact on its people and its reviving economy.

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Want to reduce child and maternal deaths? The key is contraception, say experts

The panel tasked with coming up with the framework for the goals that will replace the millennium development goals in 2015 are taking contraception seriously.

“Women continue to die unnecessarily in childbirth,” said the 29 member panel recently. Their report, recently presented to the UN Secretary General, calls for the immediate improvement of health facilities and increased access to both a skilled birth attendant and contraceptives.

“Universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights is an essential component of a healthy society,” wrote the panel that included British Prime Minister David Cameron. “There are still 222 million women in the world who want to prevent pregnancy but are not using effective, modern methods of contraception.”

An article by Kenneth R Weiss for the Washington Post also cites recent studies and discussions on the issue of contraceptives. All agree that the issue is vital to the health of mothers and children. Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University best known for his book The End of Poverty, told Weiss that the lessons have been learned from the MDG process when contraceptive access was left off the agenda. The later inclusion of Goal 5B to achieve universal access to reproductive health was a step forward, but the new goals need to include it from the get-go.

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Using Legos to illustrate Population Growth and Climate Change

Everybody’s favorite Swedish academic Hans Rosling sat down with the Guardian to discuss population growth and climate change. The man know for taking boring data and making it come to life through compelling visuals needs only a few Legos to illustrate the changes ahead the challenges that will be faced. Give it a watch.

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Mobile Technology Supporting Health in Ghana

This Gates Foundation video shows how mobile technology deployed by the Grameen Foundation in Ghana is improving maternal and child health. The MOTECH mobile midwife program lets pregnant women register to receive voice message reminders during their pregnancy.

MOTECH Ghana is a mHealth service for pregnant women and their families in rural Ghana built on the MOTECH Platform. It delivers weekly automated voice or SMS messages to the women which contain time-specific information encouraging them to make health-seeking choices such as receiving recommended vaccinations or maintaining proper nutrition. Via the MOTECH Ghana mobile application, Community Health Nurses in Ghana use their mobiles to record the care given to patients and the caregivers receive alerts of patients who are due or overdue for care so they can follow up with them. A detailed overview is available in our Early Lessons Learned in Ghana report.

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Keeping Vaccines on Ice in Haiti

You might see a lot about vaccines here, but you may not know that many have to be kept cold in order to remain effective and safe. That poses a challenge when they are transported across unpaved roads and stored in countries with poor energy resources. Keeping vaccines cold is so important that it is driving some neat ideas and innovations. This video shows how UNICEF is taking on the challenge in Haiti.

Give it a look.

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Correcting the Child Mortality Myth

The ever entertaining and informative Hans Rosling shows that there are some real star countries, like Ethiopia, that are rapidly reducing child mortality. More and more of the countries once considered ‘developing’ are inching closer and closer to the Western countries on this measure. Though there is still much work to be done, Rosling’s illustration proves that it is possible to see remarkable change in only a few years. Give it a watch.

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Video: Eradicating Polio

Great short video from the Global Poverty Project’s Global Citizen campaign that shows how close we are to eradicating polio.

HT World Bank

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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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Video: Mozambique Youth Seeks to 'Reclaim the Condom'

A young sexual health councilor named Sheila Manjate in Maputo wants to reclaim how condoms are sold and marketed. She believes that condoms should be sold as contraceptives and made appealing to youth. Watch her story above.

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AIDS Vaccine Researchers Gather in Boston

Today, Boston is playing host to the AIDS Vaccine 2012 conference. Researchers, advocates and practitioners are meeting for four days to collaborate, share new ideas and ultimately find ways to achieve the goal of an AIDS vaccine. Over 400 new researcher studies will be presented at the event.

“HIV vaccine research is in its most promising era since the epidemic began,” said Bill Snow, Director of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise to Joy Online. “With sound and well-financed implementation, new HIV prevention strategies could produce important reductions in the 2.5 million HIV infections occurring each year.
At the same time, the development of a safe and effective AIDS vaccine remains central to efforts to bring us significantly closer to the end of this epidemic.”

A Reuters report from July that was in advance of the International AIDS Conference in Washington DC highlighted the promising advances that bring us closer to an AIDS vaccine.

A 2009 clinical trial in Thailand was the first to show it was possible to prevent HIV infection in humans. Since then, discoveries have pointed to even more powerful vaccines using HIV-fighting antibodies. Now scientists believe a licensed vaccine is within reach.

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