How the USAID ACCESS Program is Responding to the Pandemic in Madagascar

“As a public health program, we knew we would have so many challenges to face when COVID-19 hit Madagascar. But we were ready for this; we had successfully stopped multiple outbreaks in recent years — including pneumonic plague and measles. When the first cases were reported, we started to roll out strategic approaches to support both the government and communities to stop the spread of the virus, by any and all means.” …

How can digital health solutions support patients during and post-pandemic?

A patient is reviewed by a medical officer at Mukuyuni Sub-County Hospital, Kenya. Photo credit: Urbanus Musyoki

In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, it is hard to think of anything else. And yet, the burden of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) — such as diabetes and hypertension — remains and continues to grow across low- and middle-income countries. Each year, NCDs kill 41 million people, equivalent to 71% of all deaths globally.

In Kenya, over half a million adults were living with diabetes in 2019, and 40% of them were unaware of their condition. Nearly half of hospital admissions and an estimated 55% of deaths in Kenya are associated with an NCD.

Recently, a World Health Organization…

Story by Agnès Ramananarivo and Misa Rahantason

Family planning client Meva and her son at their home in Mananjary, Madagascar

“Rasazy Mino, the midwife at Mananjary’s primary health center, introduced me to family planning methods. I have never changed providers because she inspires me with confidence and knows how to put me at ease while remaining very professional.” — Meva, 19 years old

In 2018, Madagascar enacted a new family planning law allowing youth to seek family planning services without parental consent. However, young couples still face major obstacles accessing these vital services due to a lack of availability, persistent cultural and religious beliefs, and minimal information about available options.


A mother and her child sit under their bednet in Vohipeno, Madagascar. Photo credit: Samy Rakotoniaina/MSH

While progress against malaria in the last 20 years has been significant, many people continue to suffer and die from this preventable and treatable disease. Malaria is among the leading causes of child mortality in Africa. In 2018, nearly 900,000 children in 38 African countries were born with a low birth weight due to malaria in pregnancy, and children under five still accounted for two-thirds of all malaria deaths worldwide. As COVID-19 tests the resilience of health systems worldwide, health leaders warn that disruption of malaria services and prevention activities could further derail hard-won gains. …

Story by Samy Rakotoniaina and Misa Rahantason

Malaria is one of the leading causes of mortality among children under five in Madagascar. Atsimo Andrefana is one of Madagascar’s regions most severely impacted by endemic malaria. More than half of the population in this region lives more than five kilometers from the nearest health facility, putting Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) on the front lines in the fight against malaria.

Retsilake is one of the 6,000 high-performing CHVs supported by the USAID-funded Accessible Continuum of Care and Essential Services Sustained (ACCESS) project. ACCESS is implemented by Management Sciences for Health (MSH), in…

Dr. Omer Adjibode

Meet Dr. Omer Adjibode, Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Advisor for the USAID-funded Integrated Health Services Activity (IHSA) in Benin. The purpose of IHSA is to strengthen local capacity for the delivery of high-impact malaria, family planning, maternal and child health (MCH), and GBV services with strong citizen engagement to reduce maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent girls’ mortality and morbidity.

In his role, Omer is responsible for defining strategies to improve care for GBV survivors. In this issue of Leading Voices, he talks about the virtual One Stop GBV center, an innovative resource for GBV survivors in Benin.

Dr. Omer Adjibode

Ce mois-ci pour Leading Voices, nous sommes allés à la rencontre du docteur Omer Adjibode, conseiller pour les questions relatives aux violences basées sur le genre (VBG) pour le projet Integrated Health Services Activity (IHSA). IHSA est un projet financé par l’USAID dont l’objectif est de renforcer les capacités locales à offrir des services à fort impact dans les domaines du paludisme, du planning familial, de la santé maternelle et infantile et des violences basées sur le genre avec un engagement fort des citoyens, afin de réduire la mortalité et la morbidité maternelle, néonatale, infantile et des adolescentes.

Au sein…

Program seeds providers in high-density health center

A woman receives depo-provera contraceptive method at Area 18 health center in Lilongwe District, Malawi. Photo credit: Rejoice Phiri/MSH

In July, 23-year old Esther walked a fair distance to Area 18, a health center in Malawi’s Lilongwe District, since no family planning services were available in her area. She has one child and wants to wait before having a second. At the health center, Esther joined a group counseling session where all family planning methods were presented. Afterwards, during individual counseling, she shared her desire to wait at least five years before becoming pregnant. Once informed of her options, including long-term reversible contraceptives, she chose to receive an intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD), and had it inserted right away.


A sustainable model for comprehensive HIV services

“We want to provide excellent services to our patients; the same level of care they would receive in Paris, Thailand, or the United States of America.” - Dr. Lombe Kilamba, an HIV Case Manager at Kilamba-Kiaxi Municipal Hospital

The Government of Angola is working to scale up early diagnosis and treatment of HIV. While the country’s HIV prevalence is lower than many of its neighbors, AIDS-related deaths increased by 33% between 2010 and 2018. …

MSH and USAID Co-Host Celebration of Inclusive Health Access Prize Winners

Prize winner Vishal Phanse shares how his company, Piramal Swasthya, uses telemedicine and community outreach programs to make health care more accessible and available to marginalized populations in India. Photo credit: Sarah McKee/MSH

On September 24, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and MSH recognized the five winners of USAID’s Inclusive Health Access Prize: GIC Med, Infiuss, JokkoSanté, mDoc, and the Piramal Swasthya Management and Research Institute. These private-sector organizations have developed and proven innovative solutions to expand access to lifesaving basic health care in low- and middle-income countries while demonstrating a vision for expanding their approach.

“Locally Leading the Way to UHC: USAID’s Inclusive Health Access Prize,” attended by nearly 200 people in person and online, was held in conjunction with the United Nations General Assembly’s first-ever High-Level Meeting on Universal…


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