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  • Blog post

    Over the past decade, the digital health field has sought to enhance opportunities to improve the delivery of, and access to, health services and information. At the third annual Global Digital Health Forum in Washington, D.C., programmers, researchers, tech providers, and investors convened for two days to share the latest innovations that are igniting the digital health arena in low- to middle-income countries. Presenters expanded on technologies ranging from a mobile app that offers reproductive health information to female refugees to highly sophisticated data dashboards that provide real-time feedback to community health workers. The vastness and endless potential of the field was an underpinning theme that excited and motivated participants and offered a glimpse into future horizons.

  • Blog post

    It’s my pleasure to announce the 12th Annual Photoshare Photo Contest! Photoshare’s annual contest recognizes the best in global health and development photography and rewards the talents and generosity of amateur and professional photographers who share photos for charitable and educational use.

  • Blog post
    Products from the AFFORD Health Marketing Initiative, including Injectaplan, MoonBeads, and Protector, available for sale at the Nyeihanga Medical Clinic in Uganda.

    Products from the AFFORD Health Marketing Initiative, including Injectaplan, MoonBeads, and Protector, available for sale at the Nyeihanga Medical Clinic in Uganda. © 2007 Jennifer Orkis, Courtesy of Photoshare

    In its strategy document for 2014-2020, USAID’s Office of Population and Reproductive Health identified total market approach, or TMA, as a key focus area for their work. Advocates argue that a TMA can increase access, improve equity, and make health systems more sustainable. While we can all agree that these are laudable outcomes, many people have been left wondering just what a TMA is. The term itself is jargon and not very clear. For a long time, different people would mean different things when they used the term, adding to the confusion. In recent years, though, a general consensus has begun to emerge.

  • Blog post
    A community health worker counsels her client on family planning issues under a tree in rural Uganda.

    A community health worker counsels her client on family planning issues under a tree in rural Uganda. Credit: Morrisa Malkin, FHI 360

    Community-based family planning (CBFP) is a safe and effective way to increase access to vital family planning (FP) services for people across the world. The global shortage of health care workers leaves many women with an unmet need for FP. Employing CBFP approaches helps reach the women who are most vulnerable to unintended pregnancy by bringing sexual and reproductive health services to them. FP2020’s goals include reaching an additional 120 million women by the year 2020—a goal that is attainable in large part because of CBFP practices, with their high efficacy in reaching more women and delivering effective services, safely—particularly to women in rural and underserved communities.

  • Blog post
    With no dock in Usisya, Malawi, workers load lifesaving health commodities onto a small boat to transport them from the large boat to the mainland.

    With no dock in Usisya, Malawi, workers load lifesaving health commodities onto a small boat to transport them from the large boat to the mainland. © 2012 USAID | DELIVER PROJECT, Courtesy of Photoshare

    Imagine a health system in which low-income clients can access free contraceptive products and services, those with slightly more financial means can access partially subsidized products and services, and those with the most robust ability to pay can purchase products and services from the commercial sector. Countries implementing a total market approach to family planning strive to make this a reality by using all available public, nonprofit, and private commercial sector resources and infrastructure to improve sustainable access to family planning services for all clients.

  • Blog post
    Amino LARC data

    Who uses long-acting birth control? Via Amino.

    In the world of international development, data visualization is in the spotlight—but is it stealing the show from other content adaptation approaches?

    Data visualizations are undeniably powerful. They can clearly convey a complex story to a particular audience, and when done correctly, can serve as a call to action.

  • Blog post
    Tinkertoys

    Tinkertoys. Photo by Peter Miller (via Flickr); Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic license (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

    The 2016 Global Digital Health Forum offered a variety of sessions and formats. From simultaneous interactive workshops, panel presentations and fireside chats, one of the challenges for me was that I found all of the content so compelling, I had a hard time prioritizing sessions. One cannot be everywhere—although Co-Chairs Amanda BenDor and Heidi Good Boncana tried to be—and any one person’s observations are really anecdotal. Well, here are my anecdotes.

  • Blog post
    Global Digital Health Forum panelists: Sam Wambugu, Mark Cardwell, Siobhan Green, Melissa Sabatier.

    Global Digital Health Forum panelists: Sam Wambugu, Mark Cardwell, Siobhan Green, Melissa Sabatier. Photo: Jarret Cassaniti, 2016

    Data is a powerful tool that can help managers improve health care delivery to the people they serve. During the two days I spent at the Global Digital Health Forum, big data was referenced and audience-first approaches were frequently discussed. Data visualizations were also mentioned as an effective way to deliver meaningful messages. And, they can be as simple as developing a pie chart or table.

  • Blog post
    A DKT Nigeria community health worker gives Sayana Press injectable contraceptive to a woman in the Makoko slum of Lagos, Nigeria.

    A DKT Nigeria community health worker gives Sayana Press injectable contraceptive to a woman in the Makoko slum of Lagos, Nigeria. Photo by David Olson.

    The Nigerian government has approved Sayana Press injectable contraceptive for self-injection by users, a change which advocates hope will improve access to the product. The United Kingdom has already approved self-injection. Other countries are considering doing the same.

    Sayana Press is the three-month progestin-only injectable contraceptive that combines the drug and needle in a Uniject™ injection system. It is small, light, easy-to-use, and requires minimal training, making it ideal for rural settings and community-based distribution efforts and, increasingly, for women to administer themselves.

  • Blog post

    This post was originally published by MEASURE Evaluation.

    Sam Wambugu speaks with Global Digital Health Forum attendees.

    Sam Wambugu speaks with Global Digital Health Forum attendees. Photo by Jim Thomas, MEASURE Evaluation.

    Last week at National Harbor, Maryland, I and about 500 others from around the world gathered at the Global Digital Health Forum 2016 to talk about ways in which digital technology is being used to improve the efficiency of health information systems and improve health overall. In particular, my eyes and ears were tuned to digital health data ethics, security and confidentiality because my organization, MEASURE Evaluation, plays a role here and because this is a concern essential to effective harnessing of technology that needs more attention.