Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Webinar: Developing Markets for Sanitation

PSI recently participated in a webinar, alongside the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), focused on developing markets for sanitation products and services. Drawing largely from PSI’s Supporting Sustainable Sanitation Improvement (3SI) project in Bihar, India, participants discussed how to properly analyze and understand the sanitation market, how to prioritize areas for intervention, and how

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Solving for Tomorrow’s Global Health Markets

By Blair Hanewall, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation There is much to celebrate in global health in the last two decades: cutting child mortality in half, nearly halving maternal mortality, increasing global DTP3 coverage to more than 85% in 2015, and much more. While these successes can be attributed to many factors, a key driver

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Melinda Gates Offers 5 Ways to Get Us Back on the Family Planning Track

In HuffPost Tech, Melinda Gates lists five resources we need to keep us on the right path to meeting our family planning commitments. Data, tablets, radio, youth empowerment and injectables – what do they have in common? According to Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMFG), they are essential to upholding our

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What Kind of Global Citizen are You?

We all want to make the world a better place, but everyone leaves their mark in their own way. Social impact leaders from Bill and Melinda Gates to Mother Teresa to Nelson Mandela have all made their impact in unique ways. Here at PSI, we are working to make it easier for people in the

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Infographic: How Money Needs to be Spent to Aid the Developing World

By Sophia Greenbaum, Graphic Designer, PSI The most recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa has left more than 11,000 people dead in less than two years. Although it has been the most widespread epidemic of the disease in history — ranging across five countries and inducing fatality rates up 70% — the global community was slow to respond

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On Eve of BRICS Summit, PSI’s HIV Prevention Programs in India Serves as a Model of Scalable Intervention

The annual BRICS Summit, a meeting of diplomats from emerging economy countries – is taking place in Russia on July 8 and 9. Today, as Russia plays host and prepares for the annual summit, Moscow is hosting an International Conference on “Common threats — Joint actions: The response of the BRICS countries to dangerous infectious

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One Woman's Battle with Cervical Cancer May Help Save a Neighborhood

Gabrielle Fitzgerald if the Director of Program Advocacy at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  She travelled to Myanmar last week with Population Services International, an NGO that has worked in Myanmar for nearly 20 years.  Dr. Aye Aye Mu is a health provider in the SUN Quality Health Network, a health franchise run by PSI. This originally appeared in the Impatient Optimists blog.

Dr. Aye Aye Mu runs a thriving medical practice in the North Okkalapa Township in Myanmar’s capital of Yangon.  Her office can be found after winding through labyrinthine, rutted roads, filled with puddles from the morning’s torrential rain.  She gave up her middle-class existence to move with her family to this neighborhood, so she could be closer to the people that needed her most.

One of those people is Ma Ni, who is dying of cervical cancer on the floor of her two-room home near Dr. Aye Aye Mu’s office. Dying of any kind of cancer anywhere in the world is sad, but this case is particularly heart-rending because cervical cancer is so easily preventable.

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mHealth Increasing Vaccine Deliver in Mozambique

VillageReach has been employing mobile health technologies for over a decade in Mozambique. The initiative seeks to “ensure prompt and universal access to vaccines and related medical supplies in Mozambique.” The model used by VillageReach  is currently used in 251 health centers across the country that reaches an estimated 5.2 million people. This short video from the Gates Foundation shows how VillageReach is transforming lives through its services and innovations.

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A New Chapter in Tuberculosis Diagnostics

By Petra Stankard, HIV/TB Technical Advisor at PSI

In 1882, Robert Koch discovered the bacteria that caused tuberculosis (TB) and introduced sputum smear microscopy as a method for diagnosing the disease. It was a major scientific advancement. Thousands of scientific advances have followed—we’ve walked on the moon, eradicated smallpox and discovered the makeup of an atom. But until recently, in laboratories throughout the developing world, the diagnosis of tuberculosis remained firmly rooted in Koch’s discovery.

Unfortunately, smear microscopy is far from a flawless diagnostic tool. Time-consuming and cumbersome, smear microscopy often fails to detect TB in people living with HIV (one of the populations most at risk for TB disease) limiting efforts to prevent unnecessary deaths. Added to that, microscopy cannot identify whether the TB bacilli present in a smear are drug resistant. This consequently slows diagnosis and treatment of multi-drug resistant TB even as it becomes a growing health problem.

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Melinda Gates Says Contraception is Not Controversial

Melinda Gates delivers her recent TEDxChange talk where she discusses the issue of contraception. She points out that 200 million women who want contraceptives, don’t have access to them. She says there is no controversy over the idea that women should have the opportunity to choose when they want to have children. However, contraception is a debated topic that then disproportionately affects the poorest women in the world.

She argues in her talk:

1. Birth control is an uncontroversial idea (practiced by a billion people) that has unfortunately become controversial.

2. As a result, hundreds of millions of the poorest families in developing countries don’t have access to contraceptives that can change their lives—and their children’s lives.

3. If we all start talking about how transformative birth control can be—and how important it has been in our own lives—we can help poor women and men empower themselves and spur large-scale economic development.

Melinda, PSI and other global health partners all want to hear how contraceptives have changed your life. Head on over to the TEDxChange site to share your story and read what others have already shared. This leads into the July 11 Family Planning Summit in London.

Join the conversation today!

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PSI and Gates Collaborate to Test Male Circumcision Innovation in Zimbabwe

This week, the New York Times reported on the development of two male circumcision devices: PrePex and Shang Ring. Both are exciting innovations that make it quicker, easier and safer to perform circumcisions on men.

Now that three studies have shown that circumcising adult heterosexual men is one of the most effective “vaccines” against AIDS — reducing the chances of infection by 60 percent or more — public health experts are struggling to find ways to make the process faster, cheaper and safer.

The goal is to circumcise 20 million African men by 2015, but only about 600,000 have had the operation thus far. Even a skilled surgeon takes about 15 minutes, most African countries are desperately short of surgeons, and there is no Mohels Without Borders.

So donors are pinning their hopes on several devices now being tested to speed things up.

Dr. Stefano Bertozzi, director of H.I.V. for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said it had its eyes on two, named PrePex and the Shang Ring, and was supporting efforts by the World Health Organization to evaluate them.

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