Like many Eastern European countries in the early 1990s, Romania had a history of low contraception use and a high rate of abortion. Starting in 1999, progress accelerated dramatically thanks to a number of critical and complementary interventions; a national health insurance scheme, the privatization of health providers, extensive policy change, training to enable more providers to offer family planning services, and a heavy focus on rural access.
Since 2006, the USAID | DELIVER PROJECT, implemented by JSI, has worked in coordination with governments and international and local partners in over 72 countries to achieve universal access to family planning by strengthening health commodity supply chains and the policy environments that support them. In each country, we have had an impact. Over the life of the project, commodities shipped by the project have averted an estimated 79.4 million unwanted pregnancies, prevented more than 200,000 maternal deaths, and averted more than 1.2 million child deaths.
As we commemorate World Contraception Day 2016, we must note that approximately 225 million women worldwide still lack access to a modern method of contraception. Increasing access to family planning was a premier goal of the Millennium Development Goals, and if we are to achieve the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals and the FP2020 goal of reaching 120 million new users of contraception in the world’s poorest 69 countries, we must provide people with readily available contraception.
Providing care for the mother during pregnancy has huge implications not just for her health but also for the child she carries and her community. Many health problems in pregnant women can be prevented, detected and treated during antenatal care by trained health workers.
Victoria notes that providing treatment in the community has also made caregivers more responsive to health education messages on improving household practices related to hygiene and sanitation, using long-lasting insecticide treated bed nets, and taking children with complications and non-iCCM conditions to the health centers.
Female Community Health Volunteers in Nepal have a long history of doing an excellent job promoting essential health services in communities cut off from facilities. Because of this history, the role of FCHVs was more crucial than ever after the earthquake devastated the country’s health infrastructure.
Meeting the nutritional needs of young children is a particularly important aspect of global health, as insufficient nutrition during periods of rapid growth, which overlap with the weaning period, can have serious negative effects on health and other life-long outcomes. The long-term solution for solving micronutrient inadequacy is ensuring a sustainable and diverse diet through food-based approaches.
Facing my own challenges with breastfeeding, pumping, and complementary feeding despite a supportive work environment, help from my family, and relatively easy access to healthy food has given me even more respect for the mothers and communities SPRING works with who overcome even greater barriers to making breastfeeding and healthy eating a reality in their lives.
It became increasingly clear as Kristina prepared for the arrival of her son that while training and counseling can provide critical information, it sometimes isn’t enough. A health worker or volunteer often has a fleeting and ephemeral interaction with mothers and while their guidance as professionals is certainly respected, a mother’s relationship with her child is intimately personal. This emotional nuance can be overpowering, making information from friends, family, and peers much more trusted.
I am passionate about the innovation that I represented at this forum, but it is very different to these innovations of “things”. Our proposal, partnering with Dimagi, is to replicate an approach JSI implemented and scaled with the Ministry of Health in Malawi and take those lessons to Kenya. While our approach does include innovative use of technology, a simple mHealth supply chain management tool for community health workers, this approach also includes IMPACT teams.