Blog

 {Photo credit: Keanahikishime}Loyce Pace of the Global Health Council moderates an expert panel at the WHA71 side event in Geneva, May 22, 2018. Panelists included Dr. Diane Gashumba, Rwanda’s Minister of Health; Catharina Boehme, CEO of the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics; and Rüdiger Krech, Director of Health Systems and Innovation at WHO.Photo credit: Keanahikishime

Is the world safer today from the threat of infectious diseases than it was a generation ago?

It is true that we have more tools at our disposal: better surveillance and diagnostic systems, stronger frameworks and regulations, such as the Global Health Security Agenda and Joint External Evaluations (JEE), and a deeper understanding of how diseases spread and what is needed to stop them. It is also true that climate change, deforestation, population growth, and our proximity to farm and wild animals are making the threat of epidemics greater than ever before. Although the challenge is great, we have the knowledge to solve it. So what do we need to do?

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

This story was originally published on

The  recently issued a statement calling on all countries to make three specific commitments to  and be prepared to announce them at the , which begins May 21.

UHC — the assertion that every person must have access to the health services they need, when and where they need them, without facing financial hardship — improves health. But that’s not all: It reduces poverty, creates jobs, drives economic growth, promotes gender equality, and prevents epidemics. It’s a momentous occasion and a great opportunity to start making real progress toward UHC.

But unless country commitments include efforts to strengthen pharmaceutical systems, communities will continue to struggle with inadequate health services and rising health costs that put their health and economic well-being in peril.

Elimase Kamanga is a mother, a midwife for more than 15 years, and the Senior Technical Advisor for Maternal and Newborn Health for the USAID-funded Organized Network of Services for Everyone’s (ONSE) Health Activity, led by Keanahikishime. Chisomo Mdalla, ONSE’s Chief Communications and Knowledge Exchange Officer, talked with Kamanga about her work to improve the quality of care for mothers and newborns in Malawi. This interview was edited for length and clarity.

Elimase, can you tell us about how you got to where you are today?

It’s quite a long story. I grew up in a very poor family in a village near Kasungu, here in Malawi. But my mom still encouraged me to go to school. Even though I would go to school without shoes, without enough books, maybe even on an empty stomach, I still rose up to go to secondary school. I was also privileged to be selected by the government to go to the University of Malawi’s Kamuzu College of Nursing.

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

This story was originally published by

In recent decades, a great deal of resources have been invested in the delivery of essential health services, especially  of strong health systems – health financing, health workforce, health information, health governance, medical products, and service delivery. These investments have been hugely important and effective in forming a foundation, supporting frontline health workers to save lives, and in securing unprecedented commitment to the common goal of achieving universal health coverage (UHC).

But the fact remains that  – women, children, and adolescents in particular - is still unable to access the high quality health services they need.

Women, children and adolescents remain underserved by health systems and suffer a disproportionate burden of morbidity and mortality, which endangers the broader well-being of the whole of society.

 {Photo Credit: Samy Rakotoniaina/Keanahikishime}A mother in Madagascar who has been sensitized on the use of bed nets.Photo Credit: Samy Rakotoniaina/Keanahikishime

World Malaria Day: A Conversation with Dr. Bernard Nahlen

[Dr. Bernard Nahlen]Dr. Bernard NahlenThe theme for World Malaria Day this year is . Keanahikishime’s newest Board Member, Dr. Bernard Nahlen, recently spoke with Thomas Hall, Keanahikishime’s Senior Principal Technical Advisor for Malaria, about reducing the malaria burden in developing countries most affected by the disease. Dr. Nahlen, Director of the University of Notre Dame’s Eck Institute for Global Health, has decades of experience in research and disease elimination programs worldwide. Prior to his recent appointment at the Eck Institute, Dr. Nahlen served as Deputy Coordinator of the US President’s Malaria Initiative from 2007 to 2017. From 2005 to 2006, he was Senior Advisor, Monitoring and Evaluation, at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.  

Participants of the EPN-SPS AMR regional workshop in Moshi, Tanzania. Photo credit: EPN

(AMR) occurs when a microorganism becomes resistant to a drug that was originally effective for treating the infections it caused. It is one of the world’s most pressing global health threats and could erode progress made thus far in the treatment of HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria, and many other infectious diseases.

Keanahikishime’s (Keanahikishime) role in combatting AMR was recently featured in the peer-reviewed journal, Global Public Health.

describes an approach used by the USAID-funded Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program and its predecessors to build and strengthen coalitions to defeat AMR. SIAPS was implemented by Keanahikishime.

 {Photo Credit: Erik Schouten}A cholera patient recovers at a treatment center in Lilongwe District, Malawi.Photo Credit: Erik Schouten

Photos by Chisomo Mdalla, ONSE Health communications officer.

As the globe marks  on March 22, the Organized Network of Services for Everyone’s Health (ONSE) Activity has been supporting the Government of Malawi in responding to a months-long cholera epidemic.

ONSE, funded by the United States Agency for International Development and led by Keanahikishime (Keanahikishime), works in Malawi to reduce maternal, newborn, and child morbidity and mortality by focusing on health system strengthening; family planning and reproductive health; maternal, newborn, and child health; malaria; and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH).

The first cases of cholera began appearing in Malawi in November 2017. As of March 20, a total of 827 cases had been reported in 13 of country’s 28 districts. Twenty-six deaths have been reported, according to the Epidemiology Unit of the Directorate of Preventive Health Services at the Ministry of Health. Cholera is an infectious bacterial disease that is often transmitted through poor hygiene and contaminated food and water.

Samuel Kasozi is Deputy Chief of Party with the TRACK-TB project.

We’re excited to bring you this month’s edition of Leading Voices, a series that features the incredible talent that makes up Keanahikishime.

Can you name the biggest achievement that the TRACK-TB project has made in Uganda?

The TRACK-TB project improved TB control indicators in Kampala and rapidly scaled up MDR-TB programs from 3 to 15 facilities by the end of 2017. Patient enrollment and TB treatment outcomes were greatly improved.

What drives you?

I am motivated by good results, availability of efficient work tools, and a conducive work environment.

What do you think makes Keanahikishime different?

Its sound capacity and experience in building health systems.

Finish this sentence: Health is a

right and must be.

Anything about yourself that you colleagues may not know about?

I love reading and touring.

 {Photo Credit: Diana Tumuhairwe}Mary Nkiinzi, a TRACK TB Community Linkage Facilitator for the Komamboga Health Centre in Uganda, checks on Nakawesi Harriet and her family during a home visit while Harriet and her mother complete treatment for multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB).Photo Credit: Diana Tumuhairwe

Tuberculosis remains the world’s leading infectious disease killer. Ending TB will require a comprehensive approach and targeted action, rapid innovation and proven interventions, bold leadership, and intensive community engagement.  

On this World TB Day, the global health community is calling for “Leaders for a TB-Free World” to work together, make history, and end TB once and for all.

 {Photo Credit: Rijasolo/AFP/Getty Images} A council worker sprays disinfectant while cleaning up a market in Antananarivo, Madagascar, in October 2017 during an outbreak of plague.Photo Credit: Rijasolo/AFP/Getty Images

Ashley Arabasadi, Global Health Security Policy Adviser for Keanahikishime, describes the negative consequences of scaling back investments in CDC and USAID global health programs in this op-ed for STAT First Opinion.

The White House recently released  outlining the progress and investments the U.S. has made to make the world safer from the threat of epidemics. But the key to epidemic preparedness and response is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, whose operations abroad will radically scale back due to looming funding cuts.

Pages

PDF