Africa, Sub-Saharan

  • Blog post
    Tamunotonye Harry is a Nigerian-based digital health advocate who has completed several courses through K4Health’s Global Health eLearning platform.

    Tamunotonye Harry is a Nigerian-based digital health advocate who has completed several courses through K4Health’s Global Health eLearning platform. Photo Credit: Carrot Photography.

    Tamunotonye Harry is a young digital health professional based in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. After learning about the Global Health eLearning Center (GHeL) and taking a course on digital health, Tamunotonye connected with K4Health for information about our Global Digital Health Network. In this lightly edited interview, Tamunotonye explains how discovering GHeL has influenced his career path in a positive way.

    How did your experience in the National Youth Service Corps engage you in mHealth work?

    Tamunotonye Harry: I graduated from the University of Port Harcourt with a degree in Human Physiology in 2015. I had to wait a whole year before I was finally accepted into the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). The one-year gap was actually a blessing as I used this time to gain work and volunteer experience, which involved building capacity for children with disabilities.

  • Blog post
    Adolescent girls and young women enrolled in DREAMS through Hope Worldwide Kenya after meeting with CHANGE in Mukuru Kwa Reuben, Nairobi, Kenya.

    Adolescent girls and young women enrolled in DREAMS through Hope Worldwide Kenya after meeting with CHANGE in Mukuru Kwa Reuben, Nairobi, Kenya. Courtesy of Bergen Cooper.

    We know what works to prevent HIV. Over the course of the epidemic, we have seen the body of evidence grow. Unfortunately, in too many cases, we have also seen donors and implementers favor interventions based on ideology rather than data. In order to address HIV, there’s no question that we need to program the standard interventions like condoms, pre-exposure prophylaxis, and post-exposure prophylaxis. Yet we also need to address areas not consistently included in HIV prevention, including family planning, gender-based violence, education, access to employment, and social norms. On this World AIDS Day, I am filled with hope: A program is finally doing just that.

  • Blog post

    Abstract Submission Deadline Extended to November 6, 2015

    The East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community

    The East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community is a regional inter-governmental health organization that fosters and promotes regional cooperation in health among its ten member states.

    Contribute to the health policy conversation! The East, Central, and Southern Africa Health Community (ECSA-HC) has extended the deadline for submitting abstracts to its 62nd ECSA Health Ministers Conference, to be held from 30th November to 4th December, 2015, in Port Louis, Mauritius.

    The theme of the Conference is Transitioning from Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Goals. The Conference will address the theme by examining four areas:

    1. Enhancing universal health coverage through innovations in health financing for risk protection
    2. Surveillance and control of emerging health conditions (NCDs and trauma)
    3. Regional collaboration in the surveillance and control of communicable diseases
    4. Innovations in health professional training using the College of Health Sciences model

  • Blog post

    To me, [community health workers] are very helpful because in most cases I am busy. They have taken over that heavy work. You see, family planning needs a lot of talking to clients and yet I am always busy at the unit with deliveries, antenatal, immunization and many others. So with them I get helped. They have really taken off a big burden from me. 

    ~Achieng Rose, Midwife, Bulumbi Health Clinic, Busia, Uganda

    Global health worker crisis

    © 2013 Todd Shapera, Courtesy of Photoshare

    Community Health Worker Marie Chantal walks into her village of Batamuliza Hururiro, near Rukumo Health Center, Rwanda. © 2013 Todd Shapera, Courtesy of Photoshare

    Right now, we are 7.2 million health workers short of meeting the global population’s health care needs. By 2035, that shortage will reach 12.8 million. Twenty-nine of the 46 sub-Saharan countries are below the World Health Organization’s (WHO) lowest category of 2.5 doctors per 10,000 individuals. Moreover, medical providers are unevenly distributed; in most low-resource countries, doctors and nurses typically live and practice in urban areas, yet the majority of the populations in those countries reside in rural areas. Family planning services, in particular, suffer from grossly inadequate numbers of providers to meet the needs. A 2012 Guttmacher Institute estimate calculated 222 million women with an unmet need for modern contraception in low-resource countries.

  • Blog post
    Women attend a free IUD and medical camp at Udani Village in Sindh Province, Pakistan

    Women attend a free IUD and medical camp at Udani Village in Sindh Province, Pakistan.

    © 2009 Population Welfare Department Sindh, Courtesy of Photoshare

    What is the best way to deliver family planning services? Should family planning programs concentrate on improving clinic infrastructure and services? Extend services out to communities through mobile outreach services? Or direct their resources on social marketing approaches?

    The answer, of course, depends on the specific setting and ultimately on the needs and mobility of potential family planning clients, how human and financial resources are organized in a health system, and the expected costs of the service delivery model.    

    In Global Health: Science and Practice (Volume 2, Number 1), an original article by Duvall et al. documents the experiences of Marie Stopes International with scaling up contraceptive implants in sub-Saharan Africa. Between 2008 and 2012, Marie Stopes expanded voluntary access to implants in 15 sub-Saharan African countries, from 80,041 implants in 2008 to 754,329 implants in 2012. This 9-fold increase amounted to more than 1.7 million implants delivered cumulatively over the 5-year period. (Implants were provided as part of a comprehensive method mix.) 

  • Blog post

    Save the Children and CARE, in collaboration with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication ProgramsKnowledge for Health (K4Health) Project, launched a six module eLearning certificate program on Early Childhood Development (ECD) for vulnerable populations on USAID’s Global Health eLearning (GHeL) Center. The eLearning modules are a complement to the Essential Package, launched in January 2012.  The eLearning modules, launched at a three-day event on 10-12 September 2013 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, provide useful information on ECD for vulnerable populations including children living with HIV and AIDS or with a disability, monitoring and evaluation, and policy. The eLearning launch brought together over 60 participants from 10 African countries – Tanzania (including representatives from Zanzibar), Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, and South Africa – who completed the eLearning modules while taking part in discussions that fostered knowledge sharing across countries to enhance programming focused on young vulnerable children and their caregivers. The launch event was funded by USAID as part of the PEPFAR eLearning Initiative (PDF), which is implemented by the K4Health Project in collaboration with USAID, the Office of U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention along with a multitude of other implementing partners.

    Participants of the Essential Package eLearning Launch

    Participants of the Essential Package eLearning Launch Event in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania from September 10-12, 2013. 

    Photo credit: Colleen Farrell/Save the Children

    The tone of the launch was set by the opening remarks of Greg Ramm, Associate Vice President for Child Protection and HIV and AIDS at Save the Children, and Elizabeth Lema, USAID Tanzania’s Community Care Lead. Mr. Ramm provided an inspirational call to action for the care and protection of Africa’s most vulnerable families, while Ms. Lema gave an impassioned statement on the importance of ECD for vulnerable children and the value of such programs for the caregivers of these children.

    Ms. Lema was followed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Community Development, Gender, and Children, Anna Maembe, who delivered a strong keynote address stressing the importance of 1) increasing access to and equity in ECD service provisions, 2) establishing coherent governance structures for ECD, and 3) mobilizing, planning, and allocating the necessary resources to ensure quality services for all children from birth to eight years of age. Ms. Maembe expressed support for the use of the Essential Package to ensure that children in Tanzania and the world at large are protected and nurtured to reach their full developmental potential.

  • Blog post

    Imagine an urban slum in Kenya where trash is so abundant that children are prevented from playing. This is where Diana Mong’are, the 2012 Anzisha Prize winner, grew up – a community where the norm was to throw your trash wherever you saw fit. Upon graduating from high school, she saw this as a large problem and came up with a solution.  At 18 years old, Mong’are started small with her own community and 10,000 Kenya Shillings (≈$120 USD) raised from her family and friends. Her solution, Planet Green, was threefold:

    Boy in Kibera


    A small boy rummages through trash in Kibera, Africa's largest slum in Nairobi, Kenya, where most people live below one dollar per day. Youths depend on collecting debris from the Nairobi River (a flowing sewer in this slum area), such as bottles and bags, which they then hope to sell. Most of the homes are shacks, and schools are built on the flowing, murky river. Residents have no access to clean water and hence depend on the polluted river for survival.


    © 2005 Felix Masi, Courtesy of Photoshare


    1. Provide bags for garbage sorting and a pickup service for the trash and recycling.
    2. Purchase waste from carpenters (wood chips) and sell to the chicken farmers to be used as coop flooring to be made into manure to then be used or sold.
    3. Create environmental clubs through primary school in the community to increase demand for positive environmental awareness.

    On May 1, 2013, the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Africa Program hosted a program on African Women and Youth as Agents of Change Through Technology and Innovation. Diana Mong’are was part of the first panel focused on problem solving through innovative solutions for sustainable development. What struck me about Mong’are’s project was that while extremely innovative, it did not utilize any form of technology as we are used to seeing with innovation. In the age of technology that we all live in, I think innovation without technology is still extremely valuable and often not recognized. Mong’are’s presentation was inspiring and truly showed the ability for one individual to impact social problems. Since the start of her small project she has expanded from 20 families to 80 and continues to expand with more employees and into more areas of Kenya.

  • Blog post

    While mobile technology has attracted widespread recognition of the enormous opportunity for its application to development challenges, few m-enabled solutions are commercially viable.  New business models in mhealth are needed that take into account the constraints of a country’s health system and a community’s purchasing power.

    SHOPS co-funded a study conducted by the Monitor Group which mapped  430 inclusive businesses (see box for definition) from nine African countries.  The purpose of the study was to identify successful business models that enable enterprises to engage profitably at scale with base of the pyramid (BOP) populations.  In the study, twelve m-enabled businesses were identified, but none were profitable other than mPesa, which offers financial transactions through mobile phones.  A new primer released last week entitled m-Enabled Inclusive Business Models: Application for Health, examines enterprises leveraging mobile technology with considerable potential to contribute to poverty alleviation.

  • Event
    March 19, 2013 (All day) to March 21, 2013 (All day)
    Johannesburg, South Africa

    The Summit will offer an opportunity for capacity building experts, policy-makers and the HIV-affected community to review and refine evidence based sustainable capacity building interventions that are, country-owned, in order to attain the HIV and health targets towards achieving the MDGs.

  • Event
    February 27, 2013 (All day) to February 28, 2013 (All day)
    Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

    The Association of Private Health Facilities in Tanzania, a Network for Africa member, will lead an East Africa regional conference on public-private partnerships in the provision of health services, with a focus on maternal and child health. More than 500 participants are expected to attend this two-day conference at the Blue Pearl Hotel in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.