World’s Largest HIV Self-Testing Initiative Expands in Critical New Phase

PARIS, 24 July 2017 – Three out of every 10 people living with HIV do not know they are infected with the virus. The HIV Self-Testing Africa (STAR) Initiative, funded by Unitaid, has amassed compelling evidence that self-testing can reach more people than traditional diagnostics, enabling individuals to learn their HIV status when and where

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Putting the Consumer at the Center

By Beth Skorochod, PSI During its 40-plus year history, PSI has continually refined its approach to understanding our beneficiary. We have learned that saddling the burden of behavior change solely on our beneficiary is neither fair nor effective. We know we must understand the entire ecosystem around if we want to design practical solutions with

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4 Social Enterprises You Should Know About

By Sandy Garçon, Communications Manager, PSI Over the past several years, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of social enterprises – for-profit ventures with social objectives at their core – working to solve some of the world’s most pressing needs. These social enterprises often work in areas where the state is not able

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Global Health Corps Fellow

Healing the World through Communication: A Q&A with Lute M’kala, a PSI Global Health Corps Fellow

By Maria Dieter, External Relations and Communications Assistant, PSI A person can contribute to the fight against injustice in any number of ways. Yesterday, we posted a Q&A with Global Health Corps fellow Jasmine Burton, who uses her expertise in toilet design to fight sanitation inequality. Today, we asked Society for Family Health and Global

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Safichoo toilet

Improving Sanitation through Empathic Design: Meet Jasmine Burton, a PSI Global Health Corps Fellow

By Maria Dieter, External Relations and Communications Assistant, PSI Each day, the youth of today find innovative ways to combat injustice. In the world of global health, some of these young people can be found as fellows in the Global Health Corps, which was founded by Barbara Bush to combat some of the injustices she

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Honoring our Health Workers on World Health Day

Around the world today, many of our friends and colleagues are celebrating World Health Day. The day marks the anniversary of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) First World Health Assembly, which was held on April 7, 1948. Each year, the WHO chooses a theme for the day — this year it’s Food Safety — and

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Women Leaders in Global Health: Margaret Sanger and Aggie Phiri Nkhunika Make Contraception a Household Word

Have you ever taken an oral contraceptive pill or used a diaphragm? Then you have Margaret Sanger to thank. In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re highlighting famous and unsung women heroes in global health, and there’s no better person to start with birth control activist Margaret Sanger. Ahead of her time in many ways,

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Small Global Health Investments can Lead to Big Results

By Amy Lieberman

Zambian public health clinics performing adult male circumcisions.

It was a bold move, says Doug Call, Senior Regional Director of Southern Africa at PSI, despite support from local government and evidence from recent randomized controlled trials that showed a 60 percent reduced chance of HIV transmission for HIV-negative circumcised men.

“It was risky on a number of fronts,” Call remembers. “The randomized controlled trials were published but there was and continues to be a backlash against male circumcision. We didn’t know whether or not the donor environment in the U.S. would really get behind the idea to fund this.”

PSI also did not want to make an investment and have it fall apart, Call says, over a project that was culturally loaded.

By the end of 2008, PSI, through its partnership with the Zambian government, performed nearly 2,500 circumcisions. The next year, the program expanded to Zimbabwe – with more than $1 million in private funding for the start-up initiative – and by 2011, the project received its first funding award from the U.S. Agency for International Development and then by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2010.

Now, PSI’s voluntary medical male circumcision program has performed the surgical operation on more than 400,000 teenage boys and adult men in Southern Africa. The United Nations Children’s Fund, the Gates Foundation, USAID and the U.K. Department for International Development are backing is Zimbabwe project with an approximate collective $57 million, and the Zambia initiative is receiving roughly $39 million from USAID, the Gates Foundation and the U.S. Department of Defense.

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What Male Circumcision Taught Us About the Future of Funding for Global Health

By Karl Hofmann, President and CEO, PSI

Private capital is needed to test and develop proof that existing health solutions can be adapted to a developing world context. Once this proof is established, the solution has the power to unlock the large-scale government funding needed to dramatically improve health across the developing world.

As demonstrated in a new report released this week by PSI’s Impact magazine and Devex, in partnership with Fenton Communications, the landscape for global health financing has changed dramatically. High-income governments that provide foreign aid for health have steadily increased their support over the last decade. That support is now leveling or shrinking due to budget constraints. Governments are under increased pressure to reduce risk and ensure that all public funds for foreign aid are invested in solutions that guarantee results.

As a result, corporations, foundations and philanthropists are now taking an active role to help protect the progress already made against serious threats to health and economies like HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, pneumonia, and lack of access to family planning, which remain as urgent as ever. They are providing private capital to fund the type of innovation that governments cannot afford to advance on their own.

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CSIS Shows Saving Mothers, Giving Life in Action

Nearly 800 women die each day around the world from complications in pregnancy or childbirth, opens this short film on the Saving Mothers, Giving Life program in Zambia. 99% of the deaths occur in developing countries and many are the result of healthcare access. Women who do not receive adequate care or arrive too late to health facilities face greater risk of death during pregnancy and childbirth.

“In Zambia, when women have delivered, we say ‘Oh, you have survived,’” says Zambian government public health official, Professor Elwyn Chomba in an interview for the video, “One of the challenges has been that less than 50% of women can access skilled delivery.”

Janet Fleischman and Julia Nagel of the Center for Strategic and International Studies explain their video:

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Small Global Health Investments Can Lead to Big Results

      In 2008, PSI started pumping $500,000 privately raised funds to support Zambian public health clinics performing adult male circumcisions. It was a bold move, says Doug Call, Senior Regional Director of Southern Africa at PSI, despite support from local government and evidence from recent randomized controlled trials that showed a 60 percent reduced chance of HIV transmission for

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Screening and Preventing Cervical Cancer in Zambia

CSIS traveled to Zambia to document the ways that cervical cancer impacts women in the country. Janet Fleischman and Julia Nagel spoke with provincial coordinator for the cervical cancer screening program Dr. Joan Katema. She told them that the attention has been on issues like HIV/AIDS, while women continue to die from cervical cancer. “But we’d still find that despite [women] accessing the ARVs and all the services that come with the ART clinic, they were still dying from cervical cancer,” she said.

Watch the video to learn more and here is a further explanation of what is being done in Zambia to address cervical cancer.

The Zambian government has also been very engaged in PRRR, led by the first lady, Dr. Christine Kaseba Sata, an obstetrician and gynecologist herself. The impact of this leadership is apparent, according to a nurse supervisor with the cervical cancer program: “We’ve been encouraged a lot by our women leaders in this country… including the First Lady. She’s been talking about cervical cancer screening and [its] importance a lot on TV, on radio, and so as a result, we’ve seen that a lot of women have reacted positively, received the message and have come in for screening.”

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