K4Health Highlights

  • Blog post
    David Alexander, Liz Futrell, and Sarah Harlan pose for a pre-interview selfie with Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng, 120 Under 40 winner from South Africa.

    David Alexander, Liz Futrell, and Sarah Harlan pose for a pre-interview selfie with Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng, 120 Under 40 winner from South Africa. Photo by David Alexander.

    There’s no better way to take the pulse of a movement than to listen to what its youngest leaders have to say. Last week, K4Health and FP2020’s Family Planning Voices initiative did just that in New York City, when we interviewed the 2016 World Contraception Day Ambassadors and several winners of 120 Under 40: The New Generation of Family Planning Leaders about their commitment to expanding awareness of and access to contraception and related services to underserved populations. We spoke with young leaders from Uganda, India, Trinidad & Tobago, Canada, Lesotho, Poland, Vietnam, Egypt, South Africa, Nigeria, the Philippines, Kenya, and the U.S. about the work they’re being recognized for and their priorities for the future. While their countries, backgrounds, disciplines, and programs are diverse, several common threads that highlight the innovation that young people are bringing to the movement emerged from our conversations.

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    FP Voices cover FP2020

    Through FP Voices, K4Health, FP2020, and our partners document and share stories from individuals around the world who are passionate about family planning. Many of you have supported our efforts by participating in an interview and portrait session, visiting the FP Voices installation at global conferences, or reading and sharing FP Voices stories. With your help, we have collected more than 200 stories from more than 40 countries.

  • Blog post

    This post originally appeared on the Zika Communication Network.

    USAID, K4Health, and the Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) are pleased to launch the Zika Communication Network (ZCN) —a reliable one-stop shop for Zika prevention and preparedness materials. ZCN curates essential, evidence-based tools and resources to help health and development professionals minimize the spread of Zika and related negative pregnancy outcomes using four key strategies:

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    On November 5, the Steering Committee of the International Conference on Family Planning announced the difficult decision to postpone the conference. A nearby volcano has disrupted air travel and created potential health hazards at the conference site. No new date or location has been announced yet. But as Melinda Gates says, not even a volcano can stop the conversation about family planning.

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    As a rookie player to the game of mothering, I recently realized I had taken for granted the pleasant labor and delivery unit I experienced with the birth of my first child in October 2013. I was coached, cared for, and, most importantly, respected by all of the labor and delivery unit staff – isn’t that what everyone experiences? Unfortunately, I came to find out that the answer is “no.”

    This spring I had the opportunity to interview Meredith, a Certified Nurse-Midwife who works for Zanmi Lasante, the sister organization of Partners in Health in Haiti. She enlightened me to the fact that not all women have a positive or respectful experience during childbirth. One unfortunate result is that some women, upon hearing about or having a negative experience, choose to deliver at home without a skilled birth attendant. This puts them at risk of childbirth-related complications.

    How did a K4Health Toolkit help Meredith strengthen respectful maternity care in Haiti? Watch our new video to find out!

    If you are like Meredith and have used a Toolkit or a Toolkit resource in your work in an impactful way, I would love to hear your story.

  • Blog post
    Cover of GHSP Volume 3 Issue 2

    From the cover of GHSP: A BlueStar social franchisee provider in Senegal talks with prospective clients about service offerings on opening day. Global franchisors MSI and PSI have rapidly scaled their family planning social franchising programs in recent years. Credit: Nils Elzenga/Marie Stopes International.

    Social franchising “should be pursued vigorously” to reach the FP2020 goal of providing access to modern contraception to 120 million additional clients by 2020, report the editors of Global Health: Science and Practice (GHSP) in the new June 2015 issue.

    Social franchising organizes small, independent health care businesses into quality-assured networks. It leverages the vast resources of private-sector health facilities in low- and middle-income countries to expand access to and quality of services by building facilities’ capacity to deliver important yet underprovided services, such as inserting and removing implants and IUDs.

    Two landmark articles published in the newest issue of GHSP showcase the accomplishments made by Marie Stopes International (MSI) and Population Services International (PSI), two of the largest global franchisor entities. Sarah Thurston and colleagues from MSI and PSI report on their social franchising footprint between 2013 and 2014. In just one year, the total couple-years of protection (CYPs) delivered by the two organizations combined grew by a remarkable 25%—from 8.6 million to 10.8 million. Reporting on detailed results from MSI’s program, Munroe, Hayes, and Taft describe many other positive accomplishments, including reaching a high proportion of young women aged 15–24 and low-income women living on under US$2.50/day. In addition, a very high proportion of MSI social franchising clients (68%) chose to use long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), confirming findings reported by Curry et al. in the previous GHSP issue that LARCs can be delivered successfully in many settings.   

  • Blog post
    Fostering Change eLearning Course Image

    Change occurs frequently in health settings in many different ways. Even the best kind of change can be disruptive to service delivery, and many people are naturally resistant. In light of this struggle, in 2010, the Global Health eLearning Center (GHeL) released a course designed to build the skills of those in a position to support change in health service delivery. This course, Fostering Change in Health Services, focuses on the principles of organizational change and supporting change agents. To date, the course has been taken by 4,775 users; after five years, it is now available with new resources and information updates.

    This important update includes resources from the WHO and Implementing Best Practices Consortium's 2013 revised Guide to Fostering Change to Scale Up Effective Health Services, in particular new materials from ExpandNet/WHO, the USAID Health Care Improvement Project, University Research Co. (URC), the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), and additional guidance on leading change from Management Sciences for Health (MSH).

    The course only takes 1.5 hours to complete and offers a range of information to help with improvements and change to any health system.

    For more information, take the course or visit the Guide to Fostering Change to Scale Up Effective Health Services toolkit.

  • Blog post

    POPLINE: Putting Research in the Right Hands

    Last year, K4Health launched the Idea Lab, a forum for users to directly share their feedback on our products and services with us. We’ve held several Idea Lab evaluation sessions since then and received great suggestions from users on how we can enhance our products and services to better meet their information needs.

  • Blog post
    CHN Image

    Through Concern Worldwide’s Innovations Care Community Hub (CCH) for MNCH Project, Grameen Foundation/Ghana and K4Health are collaborating to make eLearning courses more accessible to rural Community Health Nurses (CHNs) in Ghana. CHNs are the frontline health workers of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and play a vital role in extending maternal and child health care to rural communities. However, as the lowest credentialed nurses, they are at the bottom of the GHS hierarchy, have limited opportunities for career advancement, and report challenges with isolation and lack of resources. 

    To address the issue of lack of opportunities for career advancement as well as a desire for improving their health knowledge, Grameen Foundation/Ghana and K4Health selected a sample of family planning (FP) and maternal, newborn, child health (MNCH) courses from the Global Health eLearning Center (GHeL) that contain provider-specific content to adapt and transfer onto CCH’s mobile app – “CHN on the go.” With support from Concern Worldwide, Grameen Foundation/Ghana developed “CHN on the go” to support CHNs through tools for continuous learning, diagnostic decision making, and improved nurse-supervisor interactions. It is an open source hybrid application, leveraging the open source elearning platforms Moodle and Oppia Learning, and was developed in Ghana by Grameen’s team of local software developers.

  • Blog post
    © 2004 Ahsanul Kabir, Courtesy of Photoshare

    A health worker administers a Somazet injection for family planning at a community health clinic in Islampur union, Rajbari district, Bangladesh. © 2004 Ahsanul Kabir, Courtesy of Photoshare

    Hormonal contraceptives are very effective in preventing pregnancy when used correctly and are an important part of a program's contraceptive method mix. There are many exciting developments in terms of new contraceptive technologies, as well as evidence that the renewed focus on long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), specifically implants, has been quite successful in some countries. The following three come to mind:

    1.)    Injectable contraceptives continue to be one of the world’s most popular methods for preventing pregnancy, offering women safe and effective protection, convenience, and privacy. Until now, however, they have not been widely available outside clinic settings. The introduction of Sayana® Press, a lower-dose formulation and presentation of Depo-Provera®, offers the potential to improve contraceptive access for women worldwide.

    Sayana Press is a three-month, progestin-only injectable contraceptive product packaged in the Uniject™ injection system and administered via subcutaneous injection. It is small, light, easy to use, and requires minimal training, making it especially suitable for community-based distribution. PATH and partners are supporting country-led pilot introduction of Sayana Press in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Niger, Senegal, and Uganda, which will continue through 2016. 

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