By Oscar Abello, PSI Trymore Chikwiriro is 29 years old, and his wife gave birth to their first child just this past October. Just like they expected, all of their nights were focused on their new baby– so the time seemed right for Trymore to undergo voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC). The World Health OrganizationRead More ›
Reaching challenging populations by integrating services under a social franchise brand
By Stephano Gudukeya, PSI Zimbabwe This year’s AIDS Conference has been a whirlwind of activity and information. One topic that has come up time and again is linkages and the challenges involved with connecting people to the services they need. It seems like a no-brainer – when services are integrated, it’s easier for people toRead More ›
By Karl Hofmann, President & CEO, PSI
When you invest in local heroines, women win.
Despite all the systemic challenges women and children face around the world, we’ve learned that investing in local heroines who provide education and resources can help tear down barriers and save lives.
Here is an impact primer that shows how investing in local heroines helps PSI get results for women and children.
Local heroines trained in community health services save children’s lives.In many countries, mothers are unable to access health care for their children to treat preventable but deadly diseases like malaria, pneumonia, and diarrhea. We can shift that equation by deploying local health workers. In Cameroon, 48% of children received diarrhea treatment in areas served by community health workers vs. 7% of children in other areas with no community health workers.
Local heroines are effective champions for social change.There is often stigma associated with family planning activities. In Zimbabwe, where women are embarrassed to purchase female condoms, local heroines like hairdresser Tears Wenzira are distributing them in beauty salons. In fact, more than one million female condoms are distributed through this network of 2,500 hairdressers across the country.
Local heroines help keep mothers alive during childbirth.In the next 24 hours, 931 women will die worldwide from preventable pregnancy-related causes. In Pakistan, more than three-quarters of births take place at home, which is high-risk for maternal mortality. A pilot voucher program – where trained outreach workers recruit pregnant women from low-income households to receive subsidized reproductive health services from private health providers – increased prenatal clinic care by 16%, health care-facility based deliveries by 20% and postnatal care by 35%.
As you can see, PSI is committed to measuring our impact. And we’ve learned that investing in local heroines provides extraordinary returns on your investment.Read More ›
By Beth Skorochod, Senior Technical Advisor at PSI. This originally appeared on the USAID Impact blog.
Believe it or not, the female condom is a controversial tool in the arsenal againstHIV transmission. Donors argue that it’s expensive and not widely used. Women complain that it’s too big and hard to insert. What no one can argue is that it works.
Female condoms are the only woman-initiated method available that offers dual protection from unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV. Studies have shown that the female condom is at least as effective as the male condom in reducing the risk of contracting STIs and can reduce the per-act probability of HIV infection by 97 percent. Studies fromMadagascar, Brazil, Kenya, India and the United States demonstrate that female condom promotion and use increases the total number of protected sex acts.Read More ›
Most couples don’t make getting tested for HIV part of their wedding plans. But when single parents Lovemore and Fungai got engaged, they decided it was a good idea before blending their families. Zimbabwe, where they live, is one of countries hardest hit by HIV.
Even still, they were shocked when the counselor at PSI’s New Start center gently told them that their test results weren’t the same. While Fungai tested HIV negative, Lovemore was diagnosed with the disease. This is their story.
Lovemore is a truck driver from Harare, Zimbabwe. “My son stays with his grandmother because I travel so much,” says Lovemore. “But I’m glad I can come home to him and to Fungai, who I hope to marry this year.”
Lovemore met Fungai a year ago through her aunt. “We had so much in common – both in our thirties, divorced with a child,” says Fungai, who lives with her daughter.Read More ›
By Dr Karin Hatzold, MPH, Deputy Country Director, PSI/Zimbabwe
21 May 2013 (Zimbabwe) It looks like any other day at the New Start clinic in downtown Harare – a waiting area packed with clients about to be served by the team of 30 health care providers working at this site.
The PSI/Zimbabwe clinic offers services including HIV testing and counselling, a range of family planning methods, TB screening and diagnostic services, rapid CD4 cell count testing , HIV risk reduction counselling and male and female condoms.
But today is different. The site just opened its doors to HIV positive clients requiring treatment and care. The services, provided by a friendly team of doctors and nurses, are designed to serve those most vulnerable to HIV and least likely to have access to the highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART ) services they seek. These clients include sex workers, their families, discordant couples (where one partner is HIV positive and the other is HIV negative), pregnant HIV positive mothers and other vulnerable groups with difficulty accessing HIV treatment services in the public or private health sector.
This new treatment program, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), addresses the health needs of key populations currently not adequately met by the existing government-run health delivery system.Read More ›
By Karl Hofmann, President and CEO, PSI
Private capital is needed to test and develop proof that existing health solutions can be adapted to a developing world context. Once this proof is established, the solution has the power to unlock the large-scale government funding needed to dramatically improve health across the developing world.
As demonstrated in a new report released this week by PSI’s Impact magazine and Devex, in partnership with Fenton Communications, the landscape for global health financing has changed dramatically. High-income governments that provide foreign aid for health have steadily increased their support over the last decade. That support is now leveling or shrinking due to budget constraints. Governments are under increased pressure to reduce risk and ensure that all public funds for foreign aid are invested in solutions that guarantee results.
As a result, corporations, foundations and philanthropists are now taking an active role to help protect the progress already made against serious threats to health and economies like HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, pneumonia, and lack of access to family planning, which remain as urgent as ever. They are providing private capital to fund the type of innovation that governments cannot afford to advance on their own.Read More ›
In 2008, PSI started pumping $500,000 privately raised funds to support Zambian public health clinics performing adult male circumcisions. It was a bold move, says Doug Call, Senior Regional Director of Southern Africa at PSI, despite support from local government and evidence from recent randomized controlled trials that showed a 60 percent reduced chance of HIV transmission forRead More ›
By: Alexandra Steverson, Program Assistant for the Southern Africa Region*
Globally, one woman dies every two minutes from cervical cancer. As the second most common cancer among women, there are 530,000 new cases every year. The developing world is disproportionately burdened by this disease – 86% of cases occur in developing countries where prevention services are limited or unavailable. In some environments, the mortality rate is as high as 52%.
We know that infection with one of many strains of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a leading cause of cervical cancer. The good news is that it can be prevented. Screening and treatment of pre-cancerous lesions is the most cost effective method of preventing the disease and creating positive health impact in low-resource settings. However, less than 5% of women in developing countries have accessed screening services. With simple, low-cost interventions, organization like PSI can improve health outcomes for a population that is often neglected, women around the world.Read More ›
By Petra Stankard, HIV/TB
In 1882, Robert Koch discovered the bacteria that caused tuberculosis (TB) and introduced sputum smear microscopy as a method for diagnosing the disease. It was a major scientific advancement. Thousands of scientific advances have followed—we’ve walked on the moon, eradicated smallpox and discovered the makeup of an atom. But until recently, in laboratories throughout the developing world, the diagnosis of tuberculosis remained firmly rooted in Koch’s discovery.
Unfortunately, smear microscopy is far from a flawless diagnostic tool. Time-consuming and cumbersome, smear microscopy often fails to detect TB in people living with HIV (one of the populations most at risk for TB disease) limiting efforts to prevent unnecessary deaths. Added to that, microscopy cannot identify whether the TB bacilli present in a smear are drug resistant. This consequently slows diagnosis and treatment of multi-drug resistant TB even as it becomes a growing health problem.Read More ›