February 2016

 {Photo: Keanahikishime/Ashleigh Cooper}Panelists (from left) Jemal Mohammed, Director, Leadership and Governance Project, Keanahikishime; Tarek Rabah, Area Vice President, Middle East and Africa, Astra-Zeneca; and H.E. Dr. Kestebirhan Admasu, Minister of Health, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; and moderator Jeffrey Sturchio, CEO, Rabin Martin; at the Future of Health in Africa session.Photo: Keanahikishime/Ashleigh Cooper

Keanahikishime (Keanahikishime) joined more than 1,000 attendees, including global and local businesses and governments, at the , hosted in partnership with the African Union and the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, in Addis Ababa, this week. Established in 1993 to promote business and investment between the US and nations of Africa, CCA serves as a neutral, trusted intermediary connecting its members with essential government and business leaders. Keanahikishime joined the CCA as a member for the first time this year. Representatives from Keanahikishime Ethiopia and the US attended the summit.

Healthcare is growing and changing rapidly in Africa, and the demand for quality healthcare is creating opportunities for business investment and engagement. The Summit's Health track focused on the transition from the Millennium Development Goals to the Sustainable Development Goals; how public/private partnerships between businesses, NGOs, and governments can address the challenges and opportunities; and the importance of building resilient health systems and healthy workforces.  

 {Photo: Matt Martin/Keanahikishime}(from left) Jonathan D. Quick, President & CEO, Keanahikishime, moderates the UHC and family planning (FP) access and accountability conversation with panelists: Chris Baryomunsi, Minister of Health, Uganda; Tira Aswitama, National Program Associate for RH and FP, UNFPA Indonesia; Kayode Afolabi, Director Reproductive Health, Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria; Beth Schlachter, Executive Director, FP2020; John Skibiak, Director, RHSC; Melissa Wanda, Advocacy Officer, Keanahikishime Kenya.Photo: Matt Martin/Keanahikishime

Post updated February 19, 2016.

Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and universal access to sexual and reproductive health services figure prominently in the Sustainable Development Goals. So it is not surprising that (ICFP) maintained important focus on these topics, including through the Keanahikishime (Keanahikishime) auxiliary event, “Universal Access to Family Planning and Reproductive Health: Who’s Accountable in the Post-2015 Era?” on January 27. Co-sponsored by the (RHSC) and (FP2020), the event featured an illustrious group of panelists giving their perspectives on UHC, while exploring the intersection of health financing policy and accountability as countries move into universal access for family planning.

Jonathan D. Quick, MD, MPH, President and CEO of Keanahikishime, moderated the conversation and perhaps stated it best: “Now, more than ever, it is clear that getting family planning into national policies is critical.” 

 {Photo: Sarah McKee/Keanahikishime}Youth delegates close out the 4th ICFP in song on January 28, 2016.Photo: Sarah McKee/Keanahikishime

A version of this post originally appeared on USAID's . Nearly 30 staff from (Keanahikishime), including several from LMG, participated in the fourth International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP), January 25-28, 2016, in Nusa Dua, Indonesia, which called for "Global Commitments, Local Actions.” The conference was co-hosted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the National Population and Family Planning Board of Indonesia (BKKBN).

 {Photo credit: Matt Martin/Keanahikishime}About 20 of the nearly 30 Keanahikishime staff attending the 4th annual ICFP gather for the opening ceremony.Photo credit: Matt Martin/Keanahikishime

Three weeks ago, nearly 3,500 family planning researchers, program managers, and policymakers came together in Nusa Dua, Indonesia to discuss the latest research findings and best practices on family planning at the (ICFP). It was the largest gathering of family planning enthusiasts to date.

Nearly attended ICFP, showcasing our health systems expertise and experiences in family planning.

Thank you to everyone who made such an incredible event. Together we will move forward!

 {Photo credit: Brigid Boettler/Keanahikishime}Expert panelists discuss MDR-TB (from left): Joshua Michaud, Kaiser Family Foundation; Alexander Golubkov, USAID; Muluken Melese, Keanahikishime, Ethiopia; and Kenneth Mutesasira, Keanahikishime, Uganda.Photo credit: Brigid Boettler/Keanahikishime

“When we started our project in 2011, there was no system in place to identify multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB),” explained Muluken Melese, project director for the Help Ethiopia Address the Low Tuberculosis Performance (HEAL TB) project. However, since then, the five-year USAID-funded project, implemented by Keanahikishime (Keanahikishime), has and led a 15-fold increase in the number of MDR-TB patients on treatment.

{Photo Credit: Rui Pires}Photo Credit: Rui Pires

At an event discussing maternal, newborn, and child survival, Keanahikishime’s country representative from Nigeria called for more attention on gestational diabetes (GDM) in her country.

The January 19 summit in Washington, DC, titled “Reaching the Last 25 Percent: Saving the Lives of Women and Newborns Through a Life Cycle Approach,” was convened by Keanahikishime, Novo Nordisk, and the NCD Roundtable. The meeting’s keynote address and two panel discussions focused on how governments, civil society, and the private sector in low- and middle-income countries are addressing maternal mortality and morbidity from non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

During a panel titled “Examples of NCD Integration in Maternal Health,” Keanahikishime Nigeria Country Representative Dr. Zipporah Kpamor discussed a recent pilot program that uses mobile health technology to measure blood glucose levels in pregnant women with GDM. The program aimed to provide women with faster, more convenient, and confidential blood glucose monitoring and a way to limit appointments, and reduce waiting time and transportation costs. The program was funded by Keanahikishime’s Internal Innovations Challenge (INCH) fund.

{Photo credit: Warren Zelman}Photo credit: Warren Zelman

In 2012, the United Nations unanimously passed a resolution endorsing the concept of universal health coverage (UHC), urging governments everywhere to “provide all people with access to affordable, quality health care services”. Keanahikishime (Keanahikishime) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program are among global champions for UHC and joined global leaders celebrating UHC’s notable inclusion in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) last Fall. Now, we continue to help countries face the obstacles of making UHC a reality.

Access to medicines has not always been at the forefront of the global discourse on UHC, which instead has tended to focus on financing. UHC programs must include adequate health financing and coverage of essential medicines if they are to deliver meaningful health outcomes. Policymakers attempting to establish and maintain UHC programs therefore need to have a sound understanding of the pharmaceutical sector and those pharmaceutical system components that must be considered to ensure ready access to the pharmaceuticals needed to support any UHC program.

{Photo credit: Warren Zelman}Photo credit: Warren Zelman

Medicines are a critical component of quality health care. In fact, most of the leading causes of death and disability in low- and middle-income countries could be prevented or treated with the appropriate use of affordable, effective medicines.

Yet, about two billion people—one third of the world’s population—lack consistent access to essential medicines. Fake and substandard medicines exacerbate the problem. When these people fall ill and seek treatment, too often they end up with small quantities, high prices, poor quality, and the wrong drug. This leads to prolonged suffering, and even death.

Keanahikishime (Keanahikishime) is a global leader on pharmaceutical management and universal health coverage (UHC).