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RESULTS’ Legacy of TB Advocacy

Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the most pressing global health challenges of our time. Despite being preventable and curable, TB kills approximately 250,000 people a year. What’s more, curing TB requires a lengthy treatment period, which is often interrupted by poor access and adherence to therapy. Moreover, multi-drug resistant strains of TB are emerging at alarming rates in several regions across the globe.

When RESULTS began advocating for TB funding in 1997, citing it as a critical health issue and key contributor to poverty, the U.S. provided less than $1 million in global TB funding. Since then, RESULTS has helped members of Congress realize that not only is TB a global epidemic, but the fight against HIV/AIDS will not succeed without an equally aggressive effort against TB. In 2015, U.S. agencies accelerated progress towards a TB-free world by focusing on 10 priority countries and providing treatments to over half a million people with multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB). However, it has been six years since U.S. bilateral TB funding has seen a substantial increase, and only 7% of USAID’s global health funding goes to TB.

As we commemorate World TB Day 2017, RESULTS continues to lead advocacy efforts to urge Congress to increase funding for the Global Fund and USAID TB. On March 21, RESULTS will host a briefing, TB kills 5,000 people a day – what are the solutions?, with congressional staff on Capitol Hill. Visit GHC’s online calendar to view details of the event, and other activities happening in Washington, DC around World TB Day 2017. Also, read the TB brief in GHC’s Global Health Briefing Book for more information and key figures on the global impact of TB.


For 35 years, RESULTS has been changing government priorities and people’s lives by combining the powerful voices of citizen advocates with research and oversight of U.S. anti-poverty efforts to shine a light on effective solutions to end poverty.

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GHC NEWS FLASH: GLOBAL HEALTH ROUNDUP 3/20/2017

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Global Financing Facility Webinar Series Starts March 21

GHC and the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health (PMNCH) will host the first webinar in a three-part series on March 21 at 10:00 AM EDT to discuss feedback received on the draft Global Financing Facility (GFF) Civil Society Engagement Strategy. The strategy, developed by PMNCH in partnership with the GFF Secretariat, is intended to enhance civil society engagement in the GFF, a multi-stakeholder initiative that supports country-led efforts to improve reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health. The webinar will also provide an opportunity for partners to provide any additional feedback and recommendations. The draft is currently available in English and en Français. Learn more and register for the webinar series.


The Lucky Specials: A Movie Demystifying TB
The Lucky Specials, a film which seeks to educate viewers about the risk, prevention, and treatment of tuberculosis (TB), commemorates World TB Day 2017 on March 24. The movie tells the story of an aspiring cover band from a small South African mining town. On the verge of a huge career break, the band’s hopes and futures are cast in doubt as its key members are infected by TB. The film’s plot expertly addresses several misconceptions, treatment barriers, and stigma related to the disease. The movie makers, Discovery Learning Alliance (DLA), intend to broadcast the film throughout sub-Saharan Africa over the next several months. In addition, DLA is partnering with governments, community health workers, NGOs, schools, and the private sector to reach target audiences. A free download of the movie will be made available to the public in mid-2017. View the movie trailer.


Health Care Crisis in Syria Continues as Conflict Enters Its 7th Year
Last week marked six years of war and turmoil in the Syrian Arab Republic. Since the start of the Syrian crisis in 2011, civil unrest and armed conflict in the country have resulted in a rapidly increasing number of people being displaced both within and outside of Syria. The situation has created serious public health concerns, including: widespread malnutrition, mental health challenges, and low vaccination rates in children under the age of 5. More than half of the country’s health care facilities have been destroyed or damaged during attacks, while two-thirds of its health workers have fled to other countries for safety. Invisible Wounds, a new global report by GHC member Save the Children, highlights the mental impacts and psychological scars the conflict has left on the children of Syria. Read the report and learn how you can get involved in the ongoing response to the crisis.


Workshop on Best Practices for Global Health Experiential Learning
NAFSA: Association of International Educators, the Secondary Field in Global Health and Health Policy at Harvard University,  GHC member Child Family Health International, and GlobalSL will host a workshop at the CUGH conference on competencies, assessments, and other pedagogies of global health fieldwork on April 6 in Washington, DC. The workshop aims to build skills and resources to improve risk-management, optimize cross-cultural learning, deliver effective reflection, and create structures for program management and administration. It will bring together leaders in international and global health education to explore best practices to optimize global health experiential learning. View event and registration details.


Emerging NCD Crisis in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
A new report by The Economist Intelligence Unit examines the growing burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in developing countries. The report highlights cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer as some of the leading contributors to the global NCD epidemic. It calls on donors to revise allocation priorities and for governments to address the various shortfalls and capacity constraints in their health systems, which limit a patient’s ability to access quality care and treatment. With a shortage of diagnostic tools and trained personnel across the developing world, the report emphasizes the need for innovative solutions such as mobile phone technology to improve the consistency and frequency of routine checks and management of chronic conditions. Read full report.

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Make Aid Go Further: A Brief for Congress and the President

Eight of America’s top ten export markets are former aid recipients, and all are now close U.S. allies. Not only does support for global development advance U.S. economic, diplomatic, political, and security interests, but it is also an expression of America’s core values in ensuring that every individual has a fair chance to achieve his or her potential and shape the world around them.

These briefs from Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) provide information about the importance of foreign assistance. Access briefs.

 

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We cannot afford to leave women out

This guest post was written by Catharine Taylor, Vice President, Health Programs Group, Management Sciences for Health.

Photo: Women in Malawi are increasingly engaging in sustainable ways to grow household income and end poverty. Credit: Feed the Children / Amos Gumulira

The evidence is clear: to achieve progress in the world, now is the time to prioritize and invest in women and girls. As key drivers of sustainable development, when women are empowered to fully participate in society, everyone benefits. We know, for instance, that women spend more of their income on their families than men do – prioritizing healthcare, nutrition, and education, setting up families and communities for more prosperous futures. We also know that when women are empowered to care for themselves and their children’s health from pregnancy through childhood and adolescence, families and communities grow stronger and more productive.

As I prepare to join the Commission on the Status of Women next week, where the focus will be on women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work, I am reminded of a visit to Malawi last month. For many years, women in the country’s remote villages had no access to health care during pregnancy and childbirth, which meant no information on how to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy for themselves and their baby, and no care if and when complications arose, almost certainly resulting in death. But now, more than 90 percent of all women in Malawi go to a health care facility to deliver their children, up from only 53 percent in 2000. The investments in midwifery education and an expanding system to make healthcare free for the poorest have greatly contributed to better quality of care and improved health outcomes. Women’s participation in Village Savings and Loans associations, agribusiness groups, and livestock activities has increased markedly in the past few years, securing women‘s access to household income and greater engagement in non-traditional roles.

The power of investing in women is paying off.

Today, there’s a new generation of young Malawian women who are finding that family planning tools are helping them take charge of their futures. And there are more and more women confronting barriers to education and adding their voice in the workforce or in political spheres. By focusing on women and children, the country has also made incredible progress in addressing the HIV and AIDS epidemic, reducing the number of new HIV infections per year by more than half in just over ten years.

Under the new sustainable development agenda, countries and development actors from across the spectrum have an opportunity to work together to help communities ensure that women and girls have access to a comprehensive range of services promoting their right to health. On International Women’s Day, we at Management Sciences for Health mark the achievements of women and call for continued recognition that investments in global development programs yield a return that improves our security, prosperity, and advances the values of our nation. By helping women drive development to advance their health and well-being and that of their families, their communities, and societies, we will build lasting change that benefits all.


Catharine Taylor is the Vice President of the Health Programs Group at Management Sciences for Health – a leading organization dedicated to building stronger health systems for greater health impact. Catharine is an internationally recognized expert in maternal, newborn, and child health policies and programs, a champion for women’s health and rights, and an advocate for universal, equitable access to high-quality care. Follow Catharine on twitter @CTaylor_MSHVeep.

 

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