• Blog post
    Plan B ® (levonorgestrel) emergency contraception

    Plan B ® (levonorgestrel) emergency contraception.

    © 2006 David Alexander, Courtesy of Photoshare

    Julie and her husband Ben have two children and don't want to have any more. They have successfully been using condoms for more than ten years to prevent another pregnancy, but late one night, a condom breaks. To the couple's great relief, a nearby pharmacy carries emergency contraception. Ben and Julie have plenty of worries in their everyday lives, but at least they can take care of their daily responsibilities without worrying she has become pregnant.

    Like Julie, roughly one in nine American women ages 15-44 has relied on emergency contraception at least once. For these women, and a growing number of women and girls around the world, emergency contraception has not only prevented unwanted pregnancy and related risks—it has also given peace of mind to its diverse users

  • Blog post

    “The condom broke, and I was totally scared. So was he.”

    A representative of Ixchen, a local NGO, explains outreach activities of the Reproductive Health/Emergency Contraception (RH/EC) Project to a pharmacy attendant in Managua, Nicaragua

    A representative of Ixchen, a local NGO, explains outreach activities of the Reproductive Health/Emergency Contraception (RH/EC) Project to a pharmacy attendant in Managua, Nicaragua. Jolene Beitz from PATH looks on attentively. The consumer-driven quality pharmacy project for adolescents was implemented by PRIME II/Intrahealth, PATH, and Ixchen.

    © 2002 Alfredo L. Fort, Courtesy of Photoshare

    This is how one woman begins her video testimonial on Princeton University’s Emergency Contraception website in support of access to emergency contraception. Though this particular woman is American, there are millions of women like her throughout the world who, whether because of sexual assault or coercion, failure of a contraceptive method, or unprotected sexual intercourse, have been at risk of unwanted pregnancy.

    When taken within five days of intercourse, emergency contraceptives can prevent most pregnancies. Emergency contraceptives, which include both emergency contraceptive pills and the copper IUD, are not only a safe and effective way to reduce the risk of unwanted pregnancy, but they also help prevent unsafe abortion and maternal morbidity and mortality. In this way, emergency contraception has been a lifesaver for many women—literally. This is incredibly important in low- and middle-income countries, where 18.5 million unsafe abortions—86 percent of the annual global total—occur each year, claiming the lives of 47,000 women and accounting for 13 percent of all maternal deaths.

  • Blog post

    For many of us, sharing knowledge is second nature. We are often uncomfortable with keeping secrets and information close to our chests, especially when it’s information and knowledge that we are proud to possess – something that we’ve learned from an activity that we undertook, or an experience that we had. We want to share so that our experience can help others. Maybe this is unique to the nonprofit sector, public health, or this generation? Or maybe it’s a confluence of all of these factors? With access to the Internet, Google’s search engine, and the plethora of online learning opportunities, you can learn just about anything online nowadays.

  • Blog post
    eLearning Toolkit

    K4Health's eLearning Toolkit

    One of our eLearning partners in Nigeria, the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria, often tells us that the other organizations and universities they work with also want to develop an eLearning program. It is, of course, much harder than just polishing a PowerPoint presentation.

    In Nigeria, through very careful consideration of each step in the strategy and implementation process, we have authored and published six eLearning courses for medical laboratory scientists. Over the last year, 3,237 registrations have been recorded and over 2,300 certificates issued. We’ve taken similar approaches and had similar success in Bangladesh and South Africa, using eLearning to improve health knowledge and application among front line healthcare workers.

    The crown jewel of K4Health’s eLearning projects, however, is our global effort: USAID’s Global Health eLearning Center (GHeL). As Managers of the Global Health eLearning Center for the past seven years, K4Health has facilitated the development of over 63 courses in collaboration with numerous partners and implementing agencies. Over 100,000 registered learners have earned over 200,000 certificates of completion. You can access guidance related to our cumulative experiences at the global and national levels by visiting the eLearning Toolkit.  

  • Blog post
    Old Toolkit Platform

    The original K4Health Toolkit platform, which was replaced in 2012.

    The first three K4Health ToolkitsIUD, Injectables and Elements of Family Planning Success – debuted in October 2009. By October 2010, our Toolkit offerings had quickly expanded to 26 Toolkits with the addition of several HIV-focused Toolkits, more family planning and reproductive health Toolkits, our mHealth Toolkit, the first country-specific Toolkits developed by working groups in Malawi, and a series of eight Peace Corps Toolkits for volunteers across the world.

    Since then, more than 50 Toolkits have been published, bringing variety and breadth to the collection. Some of these Toolkits are country-specific and offered in a variety of languages including the Adolescent Reproductive Health in Indonesia Toolkit in Bahasa, a French HIV/AIDS Toolkit from Cote d’Ivoire and a Spanish Standard Days Method Toolkit from Guatemala. Some address cross-cutting issues such as Human Resources in Health, Knowledge Management, Leadership & Management, and Monitoring & Evaluation. The number and diversity of Toolkits reflects the over 100 collaborating organizations involved in building and maintaining the Toolkits hosted by K4Health.

    IYWG Toolkit

    The K4Health Toolkit platform was revised in 2012.

    Three years after the first Toolkits launched, K4Health redesigned the Toolkit platform to improve the functionality and appearance of the site for both Toolkit builders and end users. In the year since we launched the new Toolkit design, builder and user feedback has been very positive. Toolkit builders shared that the platform and interface is easier to use and the color customization and banner photos makes a big difference. Our end users are pleased with the improvements in navigation and quicker page loads.

  • Blog post

    New K4Health Family Planning Advocacy Toolkit Can Help

    Siblings in the remote area of Gairi, Dolakha District, Nepal

    Siblings in the remote area of Gairi, Dolakha District, Nepal.

    © 2011 Sirish B.C., Courtesy of Photoshare

    In 2011, the United Nations predicted that the world’s population would grow to 9.3 billion by 2050. In the newly published Population Prospects: the 2012 Revision, however, the UN has now increased its projection of world population to 9.6 billion by 2050 and 10.9 billion by 2100. This means that nearly 4 billion more people will inhabit the earth by the end of the century.

    But what about fertility decline?

    This projected increase comes despite rapidly decreasing fertility rates in many countries. Japan’s birth rate, for example, has fallen to 1.39 children per women, well below the replacement rate. Though Japan is an oft-cited example of fertility decline, journalist David Brooks noted last year that almost half the global population lives in countries with birthrates below the replacement level. Even in the Middle East, where we often hear about the “youth bulge,” birth rates are falling dramatically. On average, Brooks pointed out, a woman in Oman has 5.6 fewer babies today than a woman in Oman 30 years ago. Fertility rates in Morocco, Syria, and Saudi Arabia have declined nearly 60 percent, and in Iran, fertility rates have fallen more than 70 percent. The authors of the UN report expect that the population of developed countries will change very little between now and 2050, hovering just below 1.3 billion.

  • Blog post

    K4Health has partnered with 117 organizations to create over 50 Toolkits, which are practical collections of trusted public health resources, chosen by experts, arranged for easy use. USAID’s Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP) manages the Respectful Maternity Care Toolkit, highlighted here in a post by Susan Moffson, MCHIP Senior Program Officer, published on the USAID Impact Blog.

    Abuse and disrespect during maternity care has been documented and observed globally. In response, USAID’s flagship Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP) is launching the Respectful Maternity Care (RMC) Toolkit. This package of materials is designed to provide clinicians, trainers, managers and other stakeholders involved in the provision of maternity care with the tools necessary to begin implementing RMC in their area of work or influence. This toolkit contains program learning documents, such as: surveys and briefs on country experiences; training materials; tools to assess and improve RMC within programs and services; job aids; and a resource list.

    Women who chose to give birth at home without a skilled health care provider, as well as their newborns, are more likely to suffer complications and die. In less developed countries, there may be many reasons women chose not to give birth in a health facility, such as distance, and lack of transport or money to pay for health services. However, all too often a lack of respectful care from frontline health workers—such as doctors and midwives—cause women and their families to distrust the health care system and opt for more risky homebirths, with unskilled traditional birth attendants (TBAs). Women often choose to deliver with TBAs not only because their services cost less, but also because they provide RMC and follow up care, and are trusted and known within their communities.

    Mozambican Mother

    Mozambican mother holds her newborn. Photo credit: Jhpiego

    Multiple factors may contribute to disrespect and abuse within healthcare services. Health systems may be underequipped, and healthcare workers may be overwhelmed due to inadequate pay, lack of infrastructure, or insufficient staff and supplies. An attitude of disrespect for clients and patients may permeate the healthcare system, and healthcare workers may not receive any guidance or supportive supervision related to RMC or their work in general.

    The goal of this toolkit is to empower frontline health workers to provide RMC, allowing women and their families to experience better maternity care and to choose to deliver with a skilled provider at home or, preferably, in a health facility. The ultimate impact of more women using skilled birth services during child birth will be reduced newborn and maternal deaths.

  • Blog post
    Field Knowledge is the Best Knowledge

    At the Global Health Knowledge Management Share Fair, Stacey Young from USAID's Bureau of Policy, Planning and Learning discussed the importance of local knowledge, and how the curated knowledge base needs be be accessible to practitioners in the field.

    This post originally appeared on the Global Health Knowledge Collaborative (GHKC) Blog. Basil Safi presented the Strategies Against Flu Emergence (SAFE) program at last month's Global Health Knowledge Management Share Fair, and how it's not always necessary to create a new tool to manage knowledge. Using Indonesia as an example, he illustrated how galvanizing a local team to optimize an existing tool can make life-saving knowledge accessible to those who need it most.

    Stacey Young, Senior Learning Advisor at USAID's Bureau of Policy, Planning and Learning, remarked that the knowledge base needs to be more than accessible to local partners, it needs to be created at the field level. 

    Strategies Against Flu Emergence (SAFE) is a program created to support USAID/Indonesia’s Avian and Pandemic Influenza (API) Program and the Government of Indonesia’s National Strategy for Avian Influenza (AI) Control and Preparedness for Human Pandemic Influenza. In addition to a range of prevention activities at the local level, the program uses state of the art KM and social media tools to promote public-private partnerships, good poultry farming practices, improved biosecurity and hygiene behaviors at farms and markets, and improved care-seeking behavior for AI. 

    During the Global Health Knowledge Collaborative's Knowledge Management Share Fair on April 16th in Washington, DC, I discussed that a key objective of the SAFE program was to facilitate coordination among partners by sharing important health information that is targeted for program managers and other decision-makers. In order to achieve this, SAFE taps into the potential of digital technology and create an online platform as a tool to share knowledge and communicate experiences for AI and Pandemic Influenza Programs in Indonesia.  

    Avian Influenza Toolkit

    Since it launched, this collection of Avian & Pandemic Influenza resources has been one of K4Health's most popular online toolkits.

    In its process, SAFE did not wish to create a new tool, but rather to optimize the already existing online platform under the USAID-funded Knowledge for Health (K4Health) project led by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for Communication Programs. In this endeavor, Indonesia has become a pioneer in which documents on Avian Influenza and Pandemic Influenza are carefully selected, stored, and shared among users. No less than 160 documents have populated the sites from different organizations in both Bahasa and English, and as SAFE is entering its final months, it is ensuring the continuation of the process by formally handing over the eToolkit to a KM technical advisory group made up of government and local NGO members. Representatives of these institutions will be granted special access to upload their own resources as they become available, so that the toolkit remains a living and dynamic platform through which all stakeholders can share the latest and most important information.  In February 2013, this eToolkit was the 8thmost visited toolkit within all the K4Health online toolkit resources and continues to receive a high degree of traffic each month, with the average visitor reading 3.4 resources per visit. 

  • Avian Influenza Toolkit

    Since it launched, this collection of Avian & Pandemic Influenza resources has been one of K4Health's most popular online toolkits.

  • Blog post

    The Global Health Knowledge Collaborative is pleased to announce the addition of a Useful Technologies for KM Practitioners tab on the Knowledge Management for Health and Development Toolkit. The new tab features sixteen categories of tools which can be used to share knowledge, collaborate virtually, and communicate with audiences.

    Useful Technologies for KM Practitioners

    Useful Technologies for KM Practitioners

    Researched and reviewed by members of the Global Health Knowledge Collaborative, this tab highlights technology tools that would enable KM practitioners to successfully transfer and exchange knowledge within and outside their organizations.