Women Paving the Way in Global Health

Global Health News

Spring 2019

Women Paving the Way in Global Health

These women are Safe Motherhood Action Group members in Lunga, Zambia who use their USAID-supported training through Saving Mothers, Giving Life to help women in their community access life-saving care. Photo: John Healey

These women are Safe Motherhood Action Group members in Lunga, Zambia who use their USAID-supported training through Saving Mothers, Giving Life to help women in their community access life-saving care. Photo: John Healey

Women's History Month is an opportunity to celebrate women who are paving the way for future generations. This month, and every month, we recognize the strength and resilience of women, whose contributions to global health are improving the lives of their children, families, communities and nations.

 

Promoting Health on the Road and Online: Thai Woman Champions Malaria Elimination

Kanyarat Lausatianragit collects blood for malaria testing. Photo Credit: Sisaket Provincial Public Health Department

Kanyarat Lausatianragit collects blood for malaria testing. Photo Credit: Sisaket Provincial Public Health Department

Kanyarat fights malaria deep in the tropical rainforests along the Thailand-Cambodia border. From her base in Sisaket’s Mueng District, she travels long distances by car and boat to care for communities in need, such as rubber plantation workers, soldiers and farmers. Drug resistance to DHA-PIP treatment—the current drug regimen for malaria treatment—was recently detected in Sisaket, one of the northeastern provinces of Thailand, making eliminating malaria even more critical.

Kanyarat could have ended up in a more traditional role on her family’s fruit farm. Instead, she pursued a medical lab science degree and gradually worked toward leading Sisaket’s vector borne diseases program, overseeing 10 staff. “At first, I only had basic knowledge of malaria—not enough to lead the process to control the disease. I read to improve my knowledge and participated in training. I learned how to use the national malaria information system to help me plan my work,” she said.

Kanyarat pioneered the use of a mobile platform that feeds real-time data into the national system, enabling the work of rapid response teams and enhancing coordination. The U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative supports training on Thailand’s national malaria surveillance system, helping people like Kanyarat test, treat and track malaria cases, and monitor coverage of lifesaving interventions like insecticide-treated bed nets.

Kanyarat is a champion for malaria, and for female leadership. “Women and men don’t differ in terms of malaria work,” she said. “The most important thing is we should be flexible, understand the context of the field and collaborate.” Now 56-years-old and married with three adult children, Kanyarat continues to pursue her goal to eliminate malaria from the province before she retires. Read more.

 

8 Inspiring Women Changing the Landscape in Global Health

Eight female innovators who accelerate global health progress through USAID’s Global Health Grand Challenges

Eight female innovators who accelerate global health progress through USAID’s Global Health Grand Challenges.

As we celebrate Women’s History Month and reinvigorate a call to action for more gender-balance at all levels of society, we seek to recognize women around the world who are dedicated to accelerating our progress in achieving health targets through their contributions to science, technology and innovation.

These women are as diverse as the communities they serve, but they hold a shared vision: a future where every woman and girl can access quality health services and lead a healthy life, enabling her to reach her full potential, define her value on her own terms and empower those around her.

Meet eight inspiring women who, through our Global Health Grand Challenges, push the boundaries to solve the world’s toughest challenges, while paving the way for the next generation of scientists, policy makers, change agents and entrepreneurs.

Read More

 

From Student to Teacher: One Nepali Woman Fights Malnutrition in Her Community

Bimala with her 10-month-old daughter, Sudikchya. Photo: Dave Cooper for USAID

Bimala with her 10-month-old daughter, Sudikchya. Photo: Dave Cooper for USAID

At 25-years-old, Bimala Chaudhary is many things: a daughter, a wife, a support for other women, a leader in her community. But the role she is most proud to be? A mother.

When Bimala looks at her 10-month-old daughter Sudikchya, she sees a bright and healthy future. She believes her daughter’s health is a reflection of all she has learned about nutrition, hygiene and sanitation. Now, Bimala uses what she learned about nutrition through a USAID-supported program to teach her community how to improve children's health and ensure a bright future for her daughter. She is working toward a future where no children in her community are malnourished. This month, in support of International Women’s Day, we are proud to share stories about women like Bimala who are making lasting improvements to the health of their communities and countries.

Learn more about Bimala’s story.

 

GLOBAL HEALTH HIGHLIGHTS

DOT App

Dynamic Optimal Timing (DOT™) Fertility App

The Dynamic Optimal Timing (DOT™) Fertility App is an innovative mobile app that was shown to be as effective as the pill, vaginal ring and other fertility awareness-based methods. The development of DOT™ and the first-of-its-kind efficacy trial were funded by USAID, in partnership with the Institute for Reproductive Health at Georgetown University. The trial is the first study to show how women use a fertility app in real-time and evaluate its effectiveness of avoiding or spacing pregnancy.

Using historical cycle data and the start date of a woman's cycle, Dot’s algorithm predicts pregnancy risk for each day of her menstrual cycle, flagging days of high and low fertility. As the app tracks a woman’s cycle over time, it personalizes her fertile window—the days of her cycle when pregnancy is likely.

Through direct-to-user messaging, the Dot app gives women immediate access to critical fertility information and encourages correct, consistent use. Dot is a non-hormonal method that can be offered to women independently of traditional health systems and location, and it has the potential to be a valid, feasible addition to the contraceptive method mix.

 
Cover of the Blended Finance Roadmap

Introducing the Blended Finance Roadmap for Global Health

In an environment of stagnant donor funding and increasing private sector investment in low- and middle-income countries, actors in both the public and private sectors are increasingly interested in using blended finance approaches to catalyze new funding for global health and achieve health outcomes. As USAID moves towards greater engagement with the private sector, blended finance will be an important component to help achieve development objectives.

Introducing Greater than the Sum of its Parts: Blended Finance Roadmap for Global Health, a new report by USAID’s Center for Innovation and Impact. This report presents a blended finance roadmap as a practical resource to help USAID, other donors, and partners identify blended finance opportunities to achieve health goals.

 
Cover of the Tripartite Guide

New Launch: Taking a Multisectoral, One Health Approach: A Tripartite Guide to Addressing Zoonotic Diseases in Countries

Through support from USAID and other donors, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the World Organisation for Animal Health and the World Health Organization developed the 2019 Tripartite Zoonoses Guide (TZG) entitled, Taking a Multisectoral, One Health Approach: A Tripartite Guide to Addressing Zoonotic Diseases in Countries. The TZG provides a framework for countries, through a multisectoral, One Health approach, to work across disciplines, government and non-governmental entities to jointly address zoonotic disease threats.

This approach helps countries to address health threats in a more effective, efficient and sustainable way than might be achieved by any one sector acting alone. The TZG also aligns closely with USAID’s multisectoral, One Health approach to prevent, detect and respond to emerging infectious disease outbreaks.

 

USAID Announces $12 Million for the Prevention of Cervical Cancer in sub-Saharan Africa

Two young sub-Saharan women laugh and walk hand-in-hand, free of the perils of cervical cancer.

USAID, in partnership with the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, will dedicate $12 million to support the expansion of programs to prevent cervical cancer and improve women's health in the Republics of Malawi and Mozambique.

In the Republic of Malawi, USAID will partner with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Malawi College of Medicine to evaluate the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of integrating testing and treatment with voluntary family planning at static and community-based sites.

In the Republic of Mozambique, USAID will partner with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane in Maputo to integrate existing screening and treatment technologies with voluntary family planning programs, while testing the feasibility and efficacy of innovative diagnostic tests. Read more.

 

LOOK AHEAD

World Health Worker Week, April 1-7

From community health workers in remote villages to doctors and health managers in urban hospitals, a country’s health workforce is the primary link to the health system for individuals, families and communities. Engage with us on Facebook and Twitter April 1-7 as we recognize their critical roles in the health system.

World Malaria Day, April 25

This year’s theme, Zero malaria starts with me, acknowledges the role we all play in eliminating malaria. Engage with us on Twitter as we celebrate the important work of the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative and its partners working to end malaria.

World Immunization Week, April 24-30

This year’s theme is Protected Together: Vaccines Work!. The campaign will celebrate Vaccine Heroes from around the world—from parents and community members to health workers and innovators—who help ensure we are all protected, at all ages, through the power of vaccines.

International Day of the Midwife, May 5

This International Day of the Midwife, we will honor the critical role that midwives play in ensuring mothers and their babies receive life-saving, quality care. Learn more about the midwives that USAID supports here.

 

USAID GH MEDIA MENTIONS

Long-acting Contraceptive Patch Gives Women DIY Option for Birth Control
NBC News — January 14, 2019

How Bempu’s Innovative Wristband is Saving Thousands of Babies
Economic Times India — January 15, 2019

Reverse Innovation Could Save Lives, Why Aren’t We Embracing It?
The New Yorker — February 9, 2019

Global Health Champions: From the Peace Corps to USAID
Medium —  February 25, 2019

Striving for Gender Equity in the Fight Against Neglected Tropical Diseases
Royal Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene — March 8, 2019

Uganda: Preparing for Ebola
PBS NewsHour — March 20, 2019

Water Works: How Access to Clean Water Transforms Lives in Madagascar
Exposure — March 21, 2019

 

Last updated: June 02, 2019

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