24-year-old Hawa Swaleyi facilitates a discussion about relationships with her youth group at Kapiri Health Center, Malawi.

The grounds around Kapiri Health Center in Malawi’s Nkhotakota District are a beehive of activity, with boys and girls of all ages playing hotchpotch, kicking a makeshift ball, and chattering loudly. Suddenly, they run for the indaba—a repurposed outpatient waiting shelter. Hawa Swaleyi is approaching, carrying her frame with an aura of grace and positivity. With a familiar smile she greets her youth group, who cheerily respond in sing-song voices.

{Photo credit: Mark Tuschman}Photo credit: Mark Tuschman

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It’s a public health nightmare: 250,000 doses of substandard vaccines for diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus administered to children through a government health program. While China has had scandals over tainted food or drugs before, this recent debacle threatens to destroy already shaky public confidence in the country’s growing pharmaceutical industry.

Meet Andrew Etsetowaghan, Associate Director for Technical Services with the CaTSS project in Nigeria. Fueled by a passion to help others since childhood, Andrew was determined to find a way to fulfill his dreams. He decided to pursue medicine—otherwise becoming a priest or superhero—and dedicate his career to improving health systems in his community. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Describe your daily work briefly.

My work day starts quite early, usually by 7:30 a.m., where I review key tasks to be done or pending from the previous day. I meet frequently with thematic leads (ART, quality improvement, OVC, gender, supply chain systems, laboratory advisor) to track programmatic performance against achievements. And I work with field-based teams to improve service delivery and follow-up on all reporting deadlines as needed. One of the most enjoyable parts of my day is our daily communal breakfast meal, where the entire team comes together to have bean cake, usually between 7:30–8:30 a.m. It is a great bonding time—something I recommend for anyone visiting Nigeria.

How did you get to where you are today?

{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.

 {Photo Credit: Keanahikishime}Fire due to a power surge erupts at Mangochi District Hospital in Malawi, destroying critical vaccine supplies.Photo Credit: Keanahikishime

When a fire recently destroyed the Maternal and Child Health block of Mangochi District Hospital in Malawi, vaccines intended for the more than 45,000 children and an equal number of pregnant women that the hospital serves were destroyed. The vaccine depot housed in this block supports the distribution of vaccines to 44 fixed sites and 312 outreach sites for administration to children and pregnant women as part of the National Expanded Program on Immunizations (EPI).

 {Photo credit: Tsion Issayas/Keanahikishime}Dr. Degu (far right) answers questions raised from the audience in a lively discussion during his presentation at the 13th Annual TB Research Conference in Addis Ababa.Photo credit: Tsion Issayas/Keanahikishime

The 13th Annual TB Research Conference in Ethiopia took place from 21-24 March in Addis Ababa. Organized by the Ethiopian Public Health Institute in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health, the TB Research Conference is a forum designed to promote discussion and share innovations toward strengthening national response to the spread of tuberculosis. The conference was also part of the World TB Day celebrations that took place nationwide.

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