May
20

Omoro: Mothers embrace group farming to fight malnutrition

While Uganda is considered as the food basket of East Africa, some families are still going hungry, many children are malnourished, and diet-related non-communicable diseases are on the rise. For some children in Omoro district, nutritious foods are not accessible to their families while for others, a lack of access to essential health services lea...
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Mar
07

Why gender is vital in maternal and child health programming

 By Lynette Kamau, Senior Policy and Communications Officer

The World Health Organization defines gender as socially constructed characteristics of women and men – such as norms, roles, and relationships of and between women and men. Gender varies from society to society and can be changed. People are taught appropriate norms and behaviors – including how they should interact with others of the same or opposite sex within households, communities, and workplaces.

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1008 Hits
Jul
12

Women Deliver – Reflections on Power

My Women Deliver experience started on Sunday, June 2, at the Vancouver airport. The airport was flooded with individuals from across the globe, forcing me to stand in line for over two hours, a sheer testament to the number that had arrived to attend the conference. As I made my way to the front of the line, one of the airport staff asked me inquisitively, "What is this conference for women about?" I smiled as I replied, "it is not a women's conference but one where people — men and women– discuss how to advance equity in all aspects of a girl's and woman's life.

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1433 Hits
Mar
12

Barriers to maternal health: A South Sudanese woman’s journey

A nutritionist screening the nutrition status of babies under five years at the Nyong Health Facility in Torit, Imotong State in South Sudan.

 

By Lynette Kamau, Policy and Communications Officer, APHRC

At about 8.30 am on December 5, 2017, we arrived in Torit town, Imotong State in South Sudan. It was my maiden trip to South Sudan.

We made our way to Nyong health facility which was recently renovated so as to provide antenatal, delivery and nutrition services to the women and children in the area.

As we drove to the health facility, the radio presenter blurted out to everyone’s amusement: “It is air-conditioned weather today in Torit.” I imagine we were all silently hoping for cool temperatures. This was the confirmation we needed. The temperatures in South Sudan can rise to 40 degrees Celsius.

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2639 Hits
Dec
21

South Sudanese mothers and babies survive in conflict

By Lynette Kamau.

During times of crisis, many women are unable to access maternal health services due to insecurity. Some are forced to flee their homes due to conflict and are not able to access a health facility. For many of them, this lack of access to health facilities or any form of assistance, is a matter of life and death for them and their children.

The conflict and fragility of South Sudan has led to the deaths of many women from preventable pregnancy and delivery complications. Even though the number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births has reduced from 2,054 in 2006 to 789 in 2015 according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the situation is still severe.

To contribute to reducing maternal and child mortality, researchers supported by the Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa (IMCHA) initiative are looking at community-centered approaches to enhance the linkage between communities and health facilities in fragile contexts and thereby increase the utilization of maternal health services. Read about the maternal health services provided by two health facilities working with the researchers supported by the IMCHA initiative in Torit, Imotong State.

 

A pregnant mother undergoes screening at the Nyong Health Facility in Torit, South Sudan as part of prenatal care. In South Sudan only 17% of women attend the four antenatal visits recommended by WHO. From information disseminated by researchers working in the IMCHA supported project, some of the reasons pregnant women are not utilizing maternal health services is because of the long distances to health facilities, lack of transport, flooding and poor roads as well as cultural practices. Researchers are testing whether community-approaches will increase access and utilization of maternal health services.A woman holds her child as they wait patiently for the doctor during a postnatal visit. Even though the postnatal period is a critical phase in the lives of mothers and newborn babies, according to WHO, it is the most neglected period for the provision of quality care yet most maternal and infant deaths occur during this time. The IMCHA supported project is implementing and assessing community-centered approaches to facilitate access and utilization of maternal health services during labor, birth and the immediate postnatal period to improve newborn and maternal survival.A child being immunized during a postnatal visit at the Torit Hospital in Imotong State, South Sudan. Torit Hospital is one of the health facilities working with researchers supported by the IMCHA initiative.A health worker conducts a mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) test to assess assessment nutritional status of the child. MUAC is recommended for children between six and 59 months of age. This type of screening is essential as enables health workers detect children with nutritional problems early. Malnutrition is a major cause of mortality among children.Mothers wait at the nutrition clinic in Nyong Health Facility so that their children can be screened. Some of the mothers have to trek long distances to access the facility as it is one of the closest ones in Torit, Imotong State. The nutrition clinic is part of the hospitals’ efforts to ensure that mothers receive counselling and support to ensure their children are healthy
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3096 Hits
Dec
15

Innovative research approaches to inform maternal and child health policy in uganda

The number of women who die from pregnancy and childbirth-related complications in Uganda has declined in the last five years -- from 430 to 336 per 100,000 live births. To ensure that progress is sustained, members of the Eastern Africa Health Policy Research Organization consortium are undertaking research on the value and cost effectiveness of social enterprise models and incentives for community health workers (CHWs).
Efforts to enrich the body of evidence for human resources for health has spurred interest among high-profile government officials as was confirmed during a stakeholders’ meeting co-hosted by APHRC and BRAC Uganda in Kampala on 1 June. Uganda’s Minister of State for Health (Primary Health Care) Hon. Joyce Kaducu, who was the guest of honor, said: “We can reduce maternal mortality by eliminating the inequalities that lead to disparities in access and quality of care.” Existing Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) policies either need to be strengthened or enforced to ensure that all women access quality maternal services. This formed the heart of the discussions that brought together nearly 50 participants representing the ministry of health, members of parliament, academia and non-state actors.

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2637 Hits
Sep
29

Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa teams share early findings in Dakar

As the seven-year Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa (IMCHA) program reached its halfway mark, 80 African and Canadian experts gathered in Dakar, Senegal, from April 24-27, 2017 to discuss the program’s emerging findings and to hone their research and policy engagement skills.

Distinguished representatives of the Government of Senegal and the Canadian Embassy in Senegal welcomed participants and reiterated the high priority they place on improving maternal and child health and ending the unnecessary deaths of women and children in Africa.

Members from the 19 IMCHA research teams reported on initial research in the communities where they are testing innovations in maternal and child health. A baseline study in Jimma Zone, Ethiopia, for example, showed that 46% of women still delivered babies at home — far from medical care should complications arise. Kunuz Hajibedru, head of the federal government’s Zonal Health Office in Jimma, said that childbirth still occurs at home despite the existence of government maternal waiting areas, which enable pregnant women to live in close proximity to health centres as their due date approaches.

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2413 Hits
Jul
01

The second meeting of the West African Network of Emerging Leaders in Health Policy and Systems (WANEL) has ended here in Niamey, Niger.

It was attended by 17 members of the network made up of public health physicians, research scientists, medical anthropologists, media and civil society organisation from Francophone and Anglophone countries in ECOWAS.

Addressing the meeting, the director general of the West African Health Organisation (WAHO), Dr. Xavier Crespin, pledged to support the capacity building of members of WANEL to help make a positive change in health policy and systems and health outcomes in the sub-region.

He underscored the importance of action research, stressing that research must go beyond making recommendation and putting them on the shelves, to translate the findings into actions to improve health outcomes.

Dr. Crespin noted that, in spite of the financial and human resources challenges of WAHO, the organisation succeeded in mobilising resources to support the control of the recent outbreak of the Ebola virus in the sub-region.

Commenting on the importance of addressing the multi-sectoral and social determinants of improved health outcomes in the sub-region, Dr. Crespin mentioned the “One Health Approach Platform” that would seek to build partnership with other sectors like education, agriculture, communication sectors for better human development outcomes in the sub region.

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1884 Hits
Jun
05

Three habits of successful policy entrepreneurs

‘Policy entrepreneurs’ invest their time wisely for future reward, and possess key skills that help them adapt particularly well to their environments. They are the agents for policy change who possess the knowledge, power, tenacity, and luck to be able to exploit key opportunities. They draw on three strategies: 1. Don’t focus on bombarding policymakers with evidence. Scientists focus on making more evidence to reduce uncertainty, but put people off with too much information. Entrepreneurs tell a good story, grab the audience’s interest, and the audience demands information. Click here to go to full article..

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1663 Hits
Apr
27

Innovation pour la santé des mères et enfants d’Afrique : Renforcer les opportunités d’apprentissage et d’application des résultats de la recherche pour améliorer la santé de la mère et de l’enfant

Du 24 au 27 avril 2017, l’Organisation Ouest Africaine de la Santé (OOAS) et le Centre de Recherche pour le Développement International (CRDI) co-organisent à Dakar au Sénégal, un atelier international à mi-Parcours sur l’initiative ‘’Innovation pour la Santé des Mères et Enfants d’Afrique (ISMEA).

 

Près de 80 participants représentant les différentes structures impliquées (ECHSA Community et CEDEAO) assistent à cette rencontre dont le principal but est de renforcer les opportunités d’apprentissage de la mise en œuvre de cette initiative au niveau national et régional et faciliter la collaboration entre les équipes de recherche de mise en œuvre (ERMO) et les Organisme de politiques et de recherche en santé (OPRS) pour le transfert de connaissances.

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Apr
01

Factsheet - Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa: Greater Access, Better Data and Improved Quality of Care

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2198 Hits
Oct
22

Fourth Global Health Systems Research Symposium features innovative research on improving maternal and child health in Africa

It is women and children across developing countries who suffer most from the shocks and stresses to health systems. In South Sudan — a country ravaged by conflicts — limited infrastructure, lack of health information, and severe shortages of health personnel contribute to high levels of maternal and child mortality.

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1642 Hits
Oct
16

Abuja workshop calls for evidence-based policies to improve maternal and child health in Nigeria

Innovative interventions to improve maternal and child health in Nigeria were the focus of a workshop in Abuja on September 21, 2016. Nigeria has the second highest absolute number of maternal deaths and perinatal deaths in the world, contributing to approximately 15% of all maternal deaths worldwide.

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Jun
22

Living Goods Kenya Trains, Equips, and Empowers 1,000 Community Health Promoters!

By: Liz Jarman, Living Goods Kenya Country Director

In July 2015, our first class of Living Goods Kenya Community Health Promoters–known as community health volunteers (CHVs) in Kenya–graduated in Busia County, brimming with pride. If you could be a fly on the wall at a Living Goods graduation, you would see how inspiring and joyous these events are. CHVs are so excited to have been trained and given the tools to do their job. They are just raring to get to work! They proudly stand up in front of their families to receive their well-earned certificates and collect their equipment and uniform. Two years, and 18 graduations later, this still remains the same. Click here to view full article..

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1686 Hits
Apr
06

Improving maternal and child health in West Africa – the importance of knowledge translation

From February 18-20, 2016, I attended a workshop on the situational analysis of maternal and child health in West Africa. Held in Dakar, Senegal, the workshop provided a unique platform for researchers working on maternal and child health to engage with government policymakers from a number of West African countries.

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1620 Hits
Feb
20

Linking research to policy: West Africa workshop highlights use of evidence to improve maternal and child health

Eighty people—researchers, policymakers, donors, and experts—attended a workshop to discuss the current situation and emerging evidence on maternal and child health in West Africa. Held in Dakar, Senegal from February 18-20, 2016, the workshop provided a unique platform for researchers working on maternal and child health to engage with government policymakers from several West African countries, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, and Senegal.

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1652 Hits
Nov
28

Promotion de l’utilisation de l’évidence en santé maternelle et infantile en Afrique de l’ouest : Atelier d’engagement des parties prenantes au Bénin

Du 27 au 28 novembre 2015 s’est tenue dans la salle de Conférences de l’Institut de Management Public de Cotonou (Bénin), l’atelier national d’engagement des différentes parties prenantes du projet MEP « Moving for Maternal Newborn and Child Health Evidence into Policy in West Africa ».

Cet atelier national de deux jours vise à faciliter l’appropriation du projet MEP par les acteurs nationaux, de valider l’analyse de la situation sur le transfert des connaissances et l’utilisation de l’évidence dans le domaine de la santé maternelle et infantile au Bénin et de collecter des informations complémentaires sur les connaissances, les compétences, les attitudes et les besoins des parties prenantes. Il a été facilité par des équipes mixtes composées des deux cadres de l’OOAS et du représentant de la Direction de la Santé de la Mère et de l’Enfant du Ministère de la santé du Bénin. Les exposés illustrés, les travaux de groupes et les séances en plénière étaient privilégiés durant l’atelier.

Une vingtaine de personnes a pris part audit atelier dont des cadres centraux, régionaux et départementaux des ministères de la santé, des représentants des organisations de la société civile et savante travaillant dans le domaine de la santé maternelle et infantile, des représentants de l’ordre de médecins et sage-femme, des représentants des leaders et autorités religieuses, des partenaires techniques et financiers (UNICEF, PSI-ABMS) et de l’équipe OOAS.

L’atelier s’est déroulé en deux phases : • La cérémonie d’ouverture de l’atelier ; • La conduite de l’atelier avec des exposés illustrés, des travaux de groupes et des discussions en plénière.

La cérémonie d’ouverture a été présidée par le Directeur Adjoint du Cabinet du Ministre de la Santé avec à ses côtés, les représentants de l’OOAS, la Professionnelle en charge de la Santé de la Mère et de l’Enfant et le Point Focal. Les deux parties se sont félicitées avant de rappeler la nécessité d’utiliser les données probantes de recherche, des évidences pour les prises de décisions et surtout pour l’élaboration et la mise en œuvre des politiques afin d’obtenir les résultats probants.

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1488 Hits
Jul
07

How can your research have more impact? Five key principles and practical tips for effective knowledge exchange.

Generating new knowledge is a relatively straightforward concept compared with the more unknown territory of getting knowledge to those that might need it. To ensure knowledge is useful, relationships must be built: two-way, long-term, trusting relationships between researchers and the people who need the new knowledge we are generating. Mark Reed and Anna Evely share their top five principles for effective knowledge exchange. Read more..

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