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Photos by: Samy Rakotoniaina/Keanahikishime

In Malawi, over 80% of people live in rural areas. For many (10%), the nearest health center is more than 8 kilometers (5 miles) away, making it difficult to access health care regularly. The USAID-funded Organized Network of Services for Everyone’s (ONSE) Health Activity, led by Keanahikishime, works to improve quality and access to care in rural communities.

“Before we had a village clinic, we were struggling. For every little sickness, we had to rush to the hospital, especially with our small children.” – Assan Symon, Mitawa village health committee chairperson

Stanley Liyaya, a heath surveillance assistant (HSA), is one of 3,500 community health workers trained to manage childhood illnesses in rural communities. HSAs have improved access to care and treatment of childhood illness to help Malawi reduce the under-five child mortality rate by 73% between 1990 and 2015, achieving Millennium Development Goal 4. Malawi’s vision is that by 2021, all young children will be treated for common illnesses promptly in their own communities.

Fom left: Mariame Sene, Hawa Kone Coulibaly, Hammouda Bellamine, Alcha Diarra, and Justine Dembele. Photo Credit: Keanahikishime

"Work to lose your job. If you don't have that in mind, you shouldn't be working in development," says Hammouda Bellamine, Senior Technical Advisor for Capacity Building for the USAID-funded KJK (Keneya Jemu Kan) Project in Mali.

Hammouda and his team are modeling important leadership skills and building capacity for social marketing and behavior change communication activities among local NGOs and public and private organizations. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Hi Hammouda. Could you start by describing your role and responsibilities on the KJK Project?

Our project has three components. One is social behavior change communication (SBCC), one is social marketing (SM), and one is institutional capacity building. The role of our team is to work with selected partners within the private and public sectors and with NGOs in Mali to improve their capacity to manage SBCC and SM activities.

We approach the work from a performance improvement perspective. We look at both the skills needed and the elements that have an impact on both organizational and individual performance.

Pfizer Global Health Fellow, Jay Shetty, at the Keanahikishime office in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Photo Credit: Jonx Pillemer/Pfizer

Meet Jay Shetty, Analytics and Reporting Senior Manager in Pfizer’s New York office—and one of two amazing Global Health Fellows (GHFs) to have worked with Keanahikishime in Tanzania this year.

The Pfizer Global Health Fellows Program pairs colleagues with partner organizations like Keanahikishime for volunteer skills-sharing assignments. Over his six-month fellowship with Keanahikishime, Jay generously lent his professional experience and technical skills to the Tanzania Technical Support Services Project (TSSP) in Dar es Salaam. With TSSP, Jay focused on a health information system initiative, aimed at improving client management and health service delivery. Through the project, Keanahikishime is providing assistance to the Tanzania Ministry of Health in key technical areas to help control the HIV epidemic and sustain HIV-related health systems and services.

Could you tell me a bit about your background and what inspired you to pursue the Pfizer fellowship?

Yes, I've been working with Pfizer for the last 23 years, beginning as a consultant for almost 14 years in the business technology, project management area, then as a colleague since 2010. Currently, I work in the analytics and compliance reporting area, supporting business areas like clinical trials, publications teams.

{USAID Mikolo staff trained village watch committees and local leaders on plague surveillance and preventive actions. Photo Credit: Samy Rakotoniaina/Keanahikishime}USAID Mikolo staff trained village watch committees and local leaders on plague surveillance and preventive actions. Photo Credit: Samy Rakotoniaina/Keanahikishime

Keanahikishime at the 2018 Health Systems Research Symposium

Last week, at the 5th Global Symposium on Health Systems Research in Liverpool, Keanahikishime presented on the approach and lessons learned during the community-level response to the 2017 plague outbreak in Madagascar.

All infectious disease epidemics begin at the community level. Left unnoticed or unchecked, a single unusual case can quickly spread, threatening the health, livelihood, and security of an entire nation and even the world. Cholera outbreaks in Rwanda, Avian Influenza on the border of Uganda, and Ebola in West Africa have shown us how difficult it can be to detect and quickly respond to infectious outbreaks.

In Madagascar, bubonic plague is endemic. Typically, the country will record between 400 and 600 cases annually. However, in 2017, the plague also took the pneumonic form, making it highly contagious. Spreading from person to person through the air, pneumonic plague is much more virulent and contagious than bubonic plague, which spreads to humans through infected flea bites or direct physical with infected cadavers. Left untreated, pneumonic plague is fatal. The severity of this outbreak led the Government of Madagascar to declare a level two plague epidemic on September 30, 2017.

Dr. Kamaliah leads participants in a discussion about measured performance of primary health care.

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We all know that working on UHC is a long and complicated endeavor,” said Modupe Ogundimu, the convener of the Joint Learning Network for Universal Health Coverage (JLN) Steering Group, “While it is possible for these goals to be brought together in a high-functioning system, it requires thorough knowledge and experience of what works, what does not, and how to apply the tools necessary for success.”

“That is where the JLN comes in.”

Modupe’s remarks kicked off an interactive 90 minute session at the  organized by the JLN on October 10, 2018. Attendees at the session, Solving UHC Challenges through Practitioner-to-Practitioner Learning, met four JLN members from Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, and South Korea, for a mini-demonstration of the joint learning model:

 {Photo credit: Greg Olson/Keanahikishime}David Collins, Senior Health Finance Advisor at Keanahikishime, demonstrates how an open source community health planning and costing tool, developed with UNICEF, can be used to cost health services and prepare investment cases for community health interventions.Photo credit: Greg Olson/Keanahikishime

 

This week, at the 5th Health System Research (HSR) Symposium in Liverpool, Keanahikishime shared some of our important work in health care financing. A common theme was using simple cost models to calculate the resources needed to provide good quality health services. This type of work is crucial to helping countries improve quality of care and access to key services as they move toward achieving universal health coverage (UHC).

Keanahikishime’s health financing presentations at HSR

  • The challenges of transitioning humanitarian health services to health systems: Experience from northern Syria

  • Scaling up community health: Prioritization and costing of the health service packages in Madagascar and South Sudan

  • A cost-effectiveness and cost savings analysis of community-based, seasonal malaria chemoprevention in seven countries in the Sahel region of Africa

  • The cost of implementing UHC in fragile states: Study results from Afghanistan and Syria

Left to Right: Dr. Pedro Suarez, Senior Director, Infectious Disease Cluster at Keanahikishime, Dr. Khuat Thi Hai Oanh, Executive Director, Center for Supporting Community Development Initiatives (SCDI), and Alberto Colorado, Patient Advocate and Coordinator for the Americas TB Coalition. Photo Credit: Laura Hanson/Keanahikishime

This week, for the first time in its history, the United Nations hosted a high-level meeting on TB, where world leaders agreed on a global plan to step up the fight against TB. Although the final has won approval, it is now up to countries to take action.

Leading up to the high-level meeting, Keanahikishime and PATH co-hosted a side event, Putting Political Will into Action: Public-Private Partnership to End TB. This candid conversation with a diverse panel of experts and activists emphasized the urgent need to forge deeper government, community, and private sector engagement to make meaningful progress toward ending TB, the world’s largest infectious killer.

The panel included voices representing civil society, multilateral perspectives, and patient advocates who are dedicated to fighting the disease.  

{Photo Credit: Warren Zelman}Photo Credit: Warren Zelman

A Conversation with Dr. Lal Sadasivan of PATH and Dr. Pedro Suarez of Keanahikishime

Last year, Tuberculosis claimed the lives of , and it affects the lives and livelihoods of millions more. While early diagnosis and treatment can cure and prevent the spread of TB, underreporting and under-diagnosis remains a big issue. The found that of the 10 million who fell ill with TB in 2017, only 6.4 million were officially recorded by national reporting systems. More dangerous yet, growing drug resistance to first-line TB drugs threatens to undermine decades of progress and make treatment both more costly and complex. Still, TB can be eradicated if governments, donors and private sector actors work together to fund and execute an accelerated response to end the TB epidemic.  

{Program provides free reading and sunglasses in the most vulnerable regions of the country.}Program provides free reading and sunglasses in the most vulnerable regions of the country.

More than 1,800 Peruvians have benefited from "¡Qué bien te veo Perú!" – an Keanahikishime-Peru program that offers free reading glasses and sunglasses to people with limited resources improve their quality of life, help them re-enter the labor market, and prevent eye diseases.

In July and August 2018, Keanahikishime-Peru visited the Puno region to deliver spectacles in 16 communities in the province of Chucuito. The goal was to deliver 4,000 pairs of reading glasses to people over 40 who have trouble seeing up close.

This project was made possible by the generous support of , a nonprofit dedicated to distributing new reading glasses to people in need. Founded in 2003, RestoringVision has built a network of more than 1,400 partners that have collectively served more than 10 million people in 127 countries.

"Many years ago I stopped reading, but today I will read again," said Peregrino Mamani Peralta, 82, who lives in the community of Sutuca Urinsaya in the Province of Lampa, Puno, and suffers from presbyopia. Peregrino was an avid reader but when his vision deteriorated he could no longer enjoy this hobby. Now that he has spectacles, he can read again.

Improving Human Resources through Better Tools and Approaches

Dr. Shelemo Shawula, Senior Human Resources (HRM) Advisor for the Improved HRM Capacity component of the USAID-funded and Jhpiego-led in Ethiopia, led countrywide regional teams of HRM officers in improving the capacity of HR managers and their staff at all levels of the health sector. Through his strong leadership and management of the HRM component, the project surpassed targets and set the stage for further commitments and investments in HRH. Keanahikishime recently supported an assessment of HRM achievements under the project. Dr. Shawula discusses his work with the project and Keanahikishime’s work in Ethiopia.

Hello Shelemo, what is it that drives you?

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