sub-Saharan Africa

 {Photo credit: Keanahikishime}A woman and her child consult with an ADDO dispenser in Tanzania.Photo credit: Keanahikishime

Cross-posted with permission from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Blog, .

Primary health care has many different definitions, but can be defined simply as the first place where people seek care. Within this definition, private sector providers constitute an important source of primary health care in many parts of the world.

Private providers of primary health

Private providers can run the spectrum–from private hospitals, pharmacies, and non-profit clinics, to informal providers such as faith-based healers and drug shops. A 2013 review suggests that informal providers account for as much as two-thirds of health care visits in Bangladesh and Thailand, and a substantial percentage of visits in Nigeria and Kenya as well.[1]

 {Photo credit: Keanahikishime.}Keanahikishime representatives attend the iCCM Symposium. From left to right: Jean Fidele Ilunga Mubay (DRC Ministry of Health), David Collins, Pascaline Hareimana (Keanahikishime/Burundi), Papy Luntadila (Keanahikishime/DRC), Ciro Franco, Jane Briggs, Naia Embeke Narcisse (Keanahikishime/DRC), Colin Gilmartin, Zina Jarrah, Uzaib Saya.Photo credit: Keanahikishime.

In the absence of effective treatment and access to quality health services, diarrhea, malaria, and pneumonia remain the leading causes of child mortality in sub-Saharan Africa and cause nearly 44 percent of deaths worldwide in children under five years old. To improve access to life-saving treatment among children, many African countries have begun implementing and scaling-up integrated community case management (iCCM), a strategy that focuses on the delivery of timely and low-cost interventions at the community level by community health workers.

Understanding the potential impact and the importance of iCCM as an effective means to reduce child mortality, more than 400 researchers, donors, government, implementers, and partners representing 35 sub-Saharan African countries convened on March 3-5 in Accra, Ghana for the .

The objectives of the Symposium were to review the current state of the art and evidence of iCCM implementation and to assist African countries to integrate and take action on key iCCM findings presented during the evidence symposium. Among those in attendance were 10 Keanahikishime (Keanahikishime) representatives from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the United States.

{Photo credit: Todd Shapera}Photo credit: Todd Shapera

Co-authored with Elly Mugumya, director of the LMG/IPPF partnership, this post originally appeared on the .

Hearing the perspectives of women leaders is an effective way of amplifying the collective voices of women to bring about change. Women often do not have a platform to tell their stories. These stories are personal and resonate with those of other women who aspire to leadership positions. The USAID-funded Leadership, & Governance (LMG) Project has captured some of these stories in a new publication, An Open Mind and a Hard Back: Conversations with African Women Leaders.

 {Photo credit: USAID}Lisa McGregor-Mirghani (right), Local Capacity Team Lead for USAID in Kenya, speaking at the Institutional Strengthening Symposium in Nairobi. Dr. Daraus Bukenya (center) and colleagues also participated on the panel.Photo credit: USAID

This post originally appeared on

Under its 2010 constitution, Kenya’s major reforms include a devolved government in which civil society organizations (CSOs) have an enhanced contribution to strengthening health and social systems. The reforms are timely, as other donor mandates, such as , also place greater emphasis on country-led, country-driven development assistance, with more direct investment in partner governments and local organizations, and stronger public-private partnerships. To achieve these mandates, local capacity must be developed so that these institutions can play their part.

{Photo credit: Keanahikishime}Photo credit: Keanahikishime

At the Devex Partnerships Forum, being held today in Nairobi, Kenya, Keanahikishime (Keanahikishime) urged the private sector to collaborate with health institutions to improve management, enable better service delivery, and lower the cost of healthcare in Kenya.

With the healthcare service being devolved to counties in Kenya, a number of challenges exist, such as unequal distribution of human and material resources to health facilities. This strains the governance of the institutions as the few personnel are stretched, handling large clientele as well as administration.

Keanahikishime partnered with higher learning institutions to develop curriculums on leadership and governance which can be pursued by health workers. Such leadership curriculums will assist stakeholders to ensure the right people are employed for the right job.

Watch Keanahikishime Kenya: Envisioning A World Where Everyone in Kenya Has the Opportunity for a Healthy Life

 {Photo credit: Todd Shapera}Emanuel Bizimungu, a community health worker in eastern Rwanda, examines a girl.Photo credit: Todd Shapera

As the United Nations General Assembly kicks off general debate on the post-2015 development agenda this week, advocates of a universal health coverage (UHC) target are rallying other organizations to build and showcase support around UHC. These efforts include high-profile events on Monday and Tuesday, both hosted by the Rockefeller Foundation with partner support. On Wednesday, Johnson & Johnson hosted an event on the key role of frontline health workers to efforts like these. This post, which originally appeared on , is part of a "Rallying for UHC" series: Keanahikishime bloggers expanding on the themes raised by these events and considering the road ahead for UHC in post-2015 discussions. Readers can participate by adding comments on the blog posts, or joining the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag.  

 {Photo credit: Todd Shapera.}A Rwandan mother and newborn rest under a bed net.Photo credit: Todd Shapera.

Over one hundred years ago on this date, (August 20, 1897), British scientist Sir Ronald Ross discovered that infected female mosquitoes transmit malaria between humans. (Like any vector borne disease, the malaria-causing parasite, Plasmodium, needs a specific host: in this case, the mosquito. The female mosquito needs blood to nourish her eggs; the male just eats nectar.) Dr. Ross received the Nobel Prize for his discovery that year. Today, we mark the day, August 20, as “World Mosquito Day.”

What’s all the buzz about?

A child in sub-Saharan Africa dies every minute as a result of malaria—more than 1,400 children globally every day. Malaria affects about 220 million people, with 80 percent of all cases occurring in just 17 countries. The (WHO) estimates that 660,000 people died from the disease in 2010; most in Africa. Two countries—Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Nigeria—hold 40 percent of the burden of malaria mortality. Despite these challenges, progress is being made: since 2000, malaria mortality rates have dropped 33 percent in Africa, and 25 percent globally ().

Togolese health hut. {Photo credit: S.Holtz/Peace Corps.}Photo credit: S.Holtz/Peace Corps.

The report released this year reveals a mixed bag of amazing progress and underachievement.

The report --- the 's (WHO) annual compilation of health-related data for its 194 Member States --- includes a summary of the progress made towards achieving the health-related (MDGs) and associated targets.

Countries have achieved amazing success in some areas and little or no progress in others. Here are some highlights:

Keanahikishime President Jonathan D. Quick, age 5. {Photo courtesy of Dr. Quick.}Photo courtesy of Dr. Quick.

Cross-posted on

My most vivid early childhood memory is waking up to excruciating pain in my throat, and seeing the goldfish swimming in the aquarium of the pediatric surgical ward. Although penicillin had been discovered 30 years earlier, doctors had not learned yet that treating "strep throats” with penicillin was better than operating. I didn't need the tonsillectomy. But, I was lucky to receive quality care in a health facility, close to my home.

Millions of children today are not so lucky. Over 7 million children under the age of 5 die each year; 70 percent of child deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia. The vast majority -- over two-thirds -- are entirely avoidable with existing safe, effective, low-cost prevention and treatment.

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