{Hawa Coulibaly Kone leads a workshop with partner NGO YA-G-TU to develop its strategic plan. Photo credit: Keanahikishime}Hawa Coulibaly Kone leads a workshop with partner NGO YA-G-TU to develop its strategic plan. Photo credit: Keanahikishime

Meet Hawa Coulibaly Kone, capacity building advisor and the representative on gender for the USAID-funded Keneya Jemu Kan (KJK) Project in Mali. Most recently, Hawa helped conduct a situational gender analysis of the KJK project and its partner organizations to assess the level of gender integration in the project design, implementation, and monitoring framework. The analysis found that KJK’s work with local partners across the country enabled the project to strengthen its institutional capacity in gender at the policy and programmatic levels and to respond to gender-related challenges.

We caught up with Hawa to learn more about how she and her team are working to break down barriers for women and build mutual trust among the project’s local partner organizations in Mali.

Tell us about your role and daily work on the KJK project in Mali

I joined the KJK project in August 2015. At first, it was a small team of two, myself and Hammouda, the senior technical advisor. I assisted in all activities, from developing plans and budgets to supporting activities for partners.

{Hospital pharmacy in Antananarivo, Madagascar. Photo Credit: Warren Zelman}Hospital pharmacy in Antananarivo, Madagascar. Photo Credit: Warren Zelman

This op-ed was originally published by . 

Multidrug-resistant germs are spreading. A number of antibiotics and other antimicrobials already don’t work as they should, and as many as  because of it.

If we don’t act to contain antimicrobial resistance, it may kill up to 10 million more people yearly by 2050 and cumulatively cost patients and health systems across the globe up to . This crisis may start to seem insurmountable, like a vague scientific problem with no apparent solution. Many of us have contributed to it, and each of us will need to collaborate — as nations, organizations, and individuals — to solve it.

“Without tackling wasteful, inefficient, and irrational use of antimicrobials, we cannot contain AMR.” — Mohan Joshi, a principal technical adviser for Keanahikishime 

 {Photo credit: Mary Dauda/Keanahikishime}After nearly losing her business, Adekeye Dorcas now mentors HIV positive pregnant mothers in her community and trains apprentices in the art of nylon production.Photo credit: Mary Dauda/Keanahikishime

A trader skilled in the art of nylon production, Adekeye Dorcas once generated enough income to provide for her family. During a routine visit to the health center in Kwara state, she tested positive for HIV and was immediately offered counseling services and antiretroviral therapy (ART). The growing demands on her time to travel on open clinic days for ART and the cost of transportation began to threaten her family’s financial stability. She knew that adherence to her treatment was key to allowing her to live positively and ensuring that her husband remained HIV negative.

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.

 {Photo credit: Rebecca Weaver/Keanahikishime}With the support of IHP, midwives are able to apply the helping babies breathe (HBB) approach to resuscitate newborns.Photo credit: Rebecca Weaver/Keanahikishime

“I became a nurse because my grandmother was a nurse, my sisters are nurses, and one of my aunts is a nurse,” says Neema Kitima, Head Midwife at Bahira Hospital in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). While 80% of births in DRC occur at health facilities with a trained assistant, maternal and neonatal mortality rates remain among the highest in the world. The most recent Demographic and Health Survey (2013–2014) showed that maternal deaths account for 35% of all deaths of women 15–49 years old.

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