PSI Ambassador Mandy Moore visits with the patient of a community health worker in a small village in Cameroon. Courtesy PSI.
Two years ago I traveled to Cameroon with global health organization, PSI. We set out from the capital city of Yaoundé and traveled by car over dusty, unpaved roads to the small village of Ebanga.
Driving along the bumpy road, I thought about the millions of parents in developing countries who wake up in the middle of the night to find that one of their children is ill with a life-threatening fever. To get treatment many have to carry their children miles by foot to the nearest health center – all the while knowing they may not be able to afford treatment once they arrive.
This is why I was here in Ebanga; I wanted to see firsthand a program that could change that reality for thousands of Cameroonians, allowing them to receive care in their communities by a trusted health worker.
The PBS series To the Contrary shows how increased access to reproductive health services can save the lives of women and children around the world. Viewers meet some of the people who see their lives changed by healthcare access and features the May Women Deliver Conference held in Malaysia.
One section (~15 min mark) highlights the work of PSI and our ambassador, Mandy Moore. She says that people should challenge themselves to drive the conversation about reproductive health forward by making allies, meeting people and starting discussions about the issue.
“The majority of the young people I talk to really are advocates and passionate about sexual health and reproductive rights,” says Moore.
Give the video a watch and also see PSI board member Barbara Bush talk about her organization’s, the Global Health Corps, impact on family planning in Malawi.
A delegation of PSI ambassadors and staff toured the work of PSI/Myanmar and its affiliates after attending the Women Deliver Conference in Malaysia. Here are some of their tweets and pictures from their travels:
“Simple, affordable solutions exist to save children’s lives,” said Karl Hofmann, President and CEO, PSI. “I’m very happy to see that the new Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhoea prioritizes these proven strategies and ensures that we tackle these critical diseases in an integrated and coordinated way to reach the most vulnerable children.”
The plan sets out steps for key partners, namely governments, the private sector and the two UN organizations. Private sector recommendations include:
- Committing to producing quality, affordable treatments and vaccines in child-friendly formulations that are easy-to-administer and to improving distribution to ensure these products reach the most vulnerable children;
- Developing and delivering improved water treatment, sanitation products and clean-cooking technologies and supporting accessible and affordable service delivery for all; and
- Conducting communications campaigns to reach families and health providers about best practices.
This is a special guest post from PSI Ambassador Mandy Moore.
Here in the United States, most of us spend the holiday season worrying about “important” things like what gifts to buy, what decorations to put up, what meals to make. But we are in the minority.
In my travels with PSI, a global health organization I have supported for the last three years, I have seen firsthand that millions of families around the world spend their holidays worrying about far more important and serious questions: Where can I find safe drinking water for my family? How can I treat my child for pneumonia? How do I protect myself, my family, and my community from HIV?
PSI Ambassador Mandy Moore sat down for a quick chat about engaging young people in international development during the Frontiers in Development forum hosted by USAID. “The most important thing to do, and the easiest thing to do, is to educate your self,” advises Moore. Watch the video to see her answer:
1) What would you tell young people that want to get involved in international development?
2) As a non-traditional figure in development, Mandy shares her insights on the best way to gain credibility from the broader international community. We asked her, “How would you recommend other outside actors prepare themselves to engage development issues in an appropriate and responsible manner?
3) How did you personally get involved with development, coming from a non-traditional background?
Of course, everyone is wondering: Will President Obama make an appearance? Now that would really help focus attention on important subjects like child and maternal mortality in the world’s poorest countries.
To raise awareness about the huge number of children who die before they reach the age of five (there were 7.6 million in 2010), many of these global health advocates have sent photographs of themselves taken when they were five to USAID’s excellent new website.
PSI Ambassador Mandy Moore will join other advocates tomorrow for a briefing that will highlight the importance of front line health workers in global health. Mandy sat down with CNN to discuss her work with PSI, what motivates her to focus on global health and the importance of front line health workers.
“80% of the population in the developing world will never set food in a health facility,” Mandy points out in the discussion and continues saying that such workers do save lives. Watch the video above to learn more about why front line health workers are vital to ensuring child survival.
“By sustaining its current financial and political commitments for malaria, the United States could help make “zero malaria deaths” the first great humanitarian achievement of the 21st century,” write Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) and PSI Ambassador Mandy Moore in The Hill blog.
The two highlight how US efforts, including the President’s Malaria Initiative, have helped bring the world closer to eradicating malaria. The write:
In 2005, President George W. Bush made a commitment to help push malaria into history. At the time, malaria killed nearly one million children annually in sub-Saharan Africa and cost the continent $30 billion in lost economic productivity. Cognizant of the health, security, and economic ripple effects of the crisis, President Bush established the President’s Malaria Initiative. Led by USAID and CDC, PMI aimed to reduce malaria-related deaths by 50 percent in 19 African and Asian countries.
Seven years later, the results speak for themselves. Buoyed by ongoing support from President Barack Obama and Congress, the fight against malaria is now one of global health’s most impressive success stories. In partnership with Population Services International (PSI), the Global Fund, UNICEF, Roll Back Malaria, Malaria No More, the World Bank, and other partners, PMI has helped cut malaria deaths by one-third on the African continent alone.
“This World Malaria Day, protecting a child from malaria boils down to an issue of dignity and pride for parents who just want to see their children survive childhood and give them every opportunity to succeed in life,” says PSI Ambassador Mandy Moore in an exclusive video for AOL to mark World Malaria Day.
PSI is at the forefront of global malaria control effort, supporting national ministries of health to implement malaria control programs in more than 30 countries around the world. For just $10, you can help PSI provide long-lasting insecticide treated nets (LLINs), artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) and strategic behavior change communications to protect children from malaria, and help them continue to live healthy lives.
Want to support the provision of bednets for malaria-prone families? Please visit www.psi.org/BuyANet to help support PSI’s critical malaria work. “I guarantee you it will be the best $10 you’ve ever spent,” says Mandy.
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