Jono Quick

{Photo credit: Keanahikishime staff, South Africa}Photo credit: Keanahikishime staff, South Africa

This post, first published on , is part 5 in the Keanahikishime series on improving the health of the poorest and most vulnerable women, children, and communities by prioritizing prevention and . Join the conversation online with hashtag .

Struck with a prolonged and worsening illness, Faith, a 37-year-old Nairobi woman raising her two children, sought help from local clinics. She came away each time with no diagnosis and occasionally an absurdly useless packet of antihistamines. Finally, a friend urged her to get an HIV test. When it came back positive, Faith wanted to kill herself, and got hold of a poison.

All epidemics arise from weak health systems, like the one that failed to serve Faith. Where people are poor and health systems are under-resourced, diseases like AIDS, Yellow Fever, Ebola, TB, Zika, Malaria, steadily march the afflicted to an early grave, decimating families, communities and economies along the way.

{Photos: Warren Zelman (left); Associated Press/Aurelie Marrier d’Unienvil (right)}Photos: Warren Zelman (left); Associated Press/Aurelie Marrier d’Unienvil (right)

This is the first in a new series on improving the health of the poorest and most vulnerable women, girls, families, and communities by prioritizing prevention and preparing health systems for epidemics. Join the conversation online with hashtag .

Prioritizing prevention of regional epidemics and global pandemics

Last month, Keanahikishime President & CEO, Jonathan D. Quick, MD, MPH, meeting in Ise-Shima, Japan, to prioritize pandemic prevention:

 {Photo credit: Matthew Martin/Keanahikishime}Mark R. Dybul, executive director of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, expressed enthusiastic support for strategies combating epidemics in his keynote address.Photo credit: Matthew Martin/Keanahikishime

The No More Epidemics campaign convened a multi-sectoral panel on “Advancing the Global Health Security Agenda” at the 69th World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland on May 25, 2016. Keynote speaker, Mark Dybul, MD, Executive Director of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, expressed enthusiastic support for strategies combating epidemics. Dybul emphasized the importance of community level engagement in infectious disease preparedness and response, stressing that interventions cannot end at a health clinic, they must continue on to the “last mile”.

The panel was comprised of H.E. Kesetebirhan Admasu, MD, Minister of Health, Ethiopia; H.E. Aníbal Velasquez Valdivia, MD, Minister of Health, Peru; H.E. Elioda Tumwesigye, MD, Minister of Health, Uganda; as well as David Barash, MD, Chief Medical Officer, GE Foundation; and Minister Renne Klinge, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Finland to Geneva.

The discussion, moderated by Keanahikishime President and CEO, Jonathan D. Quick, MD, MPH, highlighted the need to ensure that epidemic prevention, preparedness and response capabilities are sustainable under the (GHSA).

{Photo credit: Warren Zelman}Photo credit: Warren Zelman

Pandemics are back on the  for the 2016 G7 Summit, which convenes this week in Ise-Shima, Japan. The Group of Seven is expected to further its commitments to global health security.

Look what has happened in less than one year since the G7 last met (June 2015), just after the Ebola crisis peaked at over 26,300 cases, 10,900 deaths.

{Photo credit: Keanahikishime staff/Haiti}Photo credit: Keanahikishime staff/Haiti

Multisector perspectives on achieving resilience in global health

Recent events, such as the Haiti and Nepal earthquakes and West Africa Ebola outbreak, have demonstrated, now more than ever, that a resilient health system is vital to ensuring stability and well-being in society. With this in mind, Keanahikishime (Keanahikishime) and the USAID-funded, Keanahikishime-led, Leadership, , and Governance project in Haiti (LMG/Haiti), partnered with Johnson & Johnson to host a high-level panel event during the 68th session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland.

The event, entitled Building and Maintaining Resilience to Address Global Health Challenges, examined how the global health community can move beyond typical public-private partnerships to achieve a model of true country stakeholder engagement. This model would include and leverage the strengths of all actors to build systems capable of addressing long-term global health issues like non-communicable diseases while maintaining resilience to outbreaks like Ebola.

 { Keanahikishime and Novo Nordisk}Save Lives of Women & Newborns through Gestational Diabetes Screening: A Call to Action (Postcard: front) Keanahikishime and Novo Nordisk

Detecting and treating diabetes in pregnancy offers a simple, low-cost opportunity to improve maternal and child health and reduce maternal deaths. Yet, it has received scant attention as a public health priority, especially in low- and middle-income countries.

To put gestational diabetes on the global development agenda and call for action, Keanahikishime (Keanahikishime) and sponsored a technical advocacy event on the sidelines of the 68th World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva that closely examined gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and featured case studies and lessons learned from Ethiopia and Colombia.

[Catharine Howard Taylor, Keanahikishime Vice President, Center for Health Services, gives an overview of gestational diabetes and the need for routine screening to open the conversation.] {Photo credit: Barbara Ayotte/Keanahikishime}Catharine Howard Taylor, Keanahikishime Vice President, Center for Health Services, gives an overview of gestational diabetes and the need for routine screening to open the conversation.Photo credit: Barbara Ayotte/Keanahikishime

{Photo credit: Rui Pires.}Photo credit: Rui Pires.

A released last week found that insurance is saving lives in Massachusetts. Expanded coverage will mean 3,000 fewer deaths over the next 10 years. We have state-of-the-art health facilities and are among the healthiest of Americans. Despite the fiasco of our failed enrollment website, the state maintains near-universal health coverage, and inspired the Affordable Care Act.

Our example is heartening not just for America, but for the many low- and middle-income countries around the world working toward universal health coverage. These countries aren’t just taking a page from our book, though — they have valuable lessons for us, too.

Here are four things Massachusetts could learn about health from developing countries:

{Photo credit: Warren Zelman.}Photo credit: Warren Zelman.

In a new article in , Keanahikishime President and CEO Jonathan D. Quick argues that the global movement towards universal health coverage (UHC) can be a boon for women’s health—but only if it is designed, implemented and monitored correctly. The piece, coauthored by Keanahikishime’s Jonathan Jay and Harvard School Public Health’s Ana Langer, considers UHC’s ascendance as a leading priority in global health and addresses concerns that UHC efforts might leave women’s health behind.

The authors propose a “gender-sensitive approach” to UHC which would prioritize key women’s health interventions, respond to social and economic barriers to care, and judge health systems according to their performance in women’s health. This approach could guide policymakers and advocates at the country and global level, with an eye towards the position of UHC in the post-2015 United Nations development framework.

 {Photo credit: Keanahikishime/Paula Champagne}Participants of "Medicines as Part of UHC: Starting a Dialogue".Photo credit: Keanahikishime/Paula Champagne

What do medicines, financing, governance, and management have in common?

They are all essential pieces of the puzzle that must come together in order to make universal health coverage (UHC) a realizable goal.

From June 2-4, 2013, Keanahikishime (Keanahikishime), in collaboration with the and , and additional support from the (PAHO) and the (USAID), brought representatives of countries working towards UHC, private insurance schemes, and medicines and financing experts from across the globe to start a dialogue around medicines coverage under UHC.

Dr. Jonathan Quick, Keanahikishime’s President and CEO opened the event: “UHC is about filling the tragic gaps that exist in health systems around the world: gaps in access, in affordability, and health needs that go unanswered.”

{Photo credit: Keanahikishime}Photo credit: Keanahikishime

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The Afghan health system was in shambles after the Taliban government was chased from power in December 2001. Immunization rates had fallen below 20 percent and nine out of ten women were on their own for labor and delivery. Suhaila Seddiqi, newly appointed as public health minister, could have begun her tenure with highly visible and politically popular moves like building hospitals in the major cities. She didn’t. Instead, she led the development of a basic package of essential primary care services and coordinated its delivery to Afghans throughout the country, including remote rural areas. It worked. By 2010, twice as many Afghans had access to family planning, maternal deaths were down by two thirds, and reductions in child mortality had saved 150,000 lives.

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