Tagged: Featured

  • FHI 360 Celebrates World Water Day

    Americans on average use 400 liters of water per day and Europeans use 200 liters of water per day. Yet, in the developing world the average person uses only 10 liters of water per day, and this water may not even be safe for drinking.

    World Water Day, held every March 22, brings attention to the fact that much of the world still struggles daily to get enough water for drinking, sanitation and hygiene. We can all have a role in improving this situation. The theme for World Water Day this year is Water and Food Security. Do you know how much water you consume every day and how much water it took to produce the food you eat? How can you change your diet and your habits to reduce your water footprint? To learn how much water you use and get a full list of events worldwide, visit the U.N.’s World Water Day site. In Washington, D.C., the World Water Day DC Coalition has two full days of events planned for March 21-22. For more information about these events, visit www.waterday.org.

    FHI 360 and its partners have adapted innovative ways to help families living in water-scarce locations engage in good hygiene practices and ensure there is enough clean, safe water to drink and a way to wash hands, even if there is no running water. A simple, easy-to-make devise known as a tippy tap can be made using local materials. One kind of tippy tap can be made by hanging a water-filled plastic bottle with holes in the cap to act as a faucet. When set up around a home or schoolyard, children can be taught the importance of washing their hands at appropriate times — especially before eating and after using the toilet. (Learn how to make a tippy tap here). In addition, rain water harvesting can collect water from the roof of a house to use for hand washing, bathing, watering gardens and other household uses.

    The WASHplus project, led by FHI 360 and funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, supports healthy households and communities by creating and delivering interventions that lead to improvements in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). WASHplus recently initiated a project in Zambia to work with schools in two provinces to increase their ability to provide adequate water and hygiene and sanitation facilities for students. Reliable supplies of safe drinking water, as well as water for hand washing and latrines, can contribute to improved attendance and better learning through fewer days lost to diarrheal diseases and other illnesses. And fewer girls will need to miss school or drop out because of a lack of water or a separate latrine, which is especially important for menstrual hygiene as girls grow older.

    FHI 360 is also the coordinator for the Public–Private Partnership for Handwashing (PPPHW), an international coalition to promote hand washing and child health globally. The PPPHW supports organizations that want to increase hand washing in their communities. For example, a nongovernmental organization called Share Our Lunch, which provides healthy meals and health education to vulnerable communities in Ghana, reached out to the PPPHW for help. Share Our Lunch wanted advice on how to incorporate hand-washing training into their community lunches. The PPPHW introduced them to tippy taps and directed them to the necessary resources. Share Our Lunch now reports that the tippy taps are a great success, with kids clamoring to use this “fun” new technology to wash their hands before they eat.

  • SMARTgirls: Voices from Cambodia

    This month, Degrees is sharing stories from participants in SMARTgirl, an FHI 360-led program aimed at preventing and mitigating the impact of HIV among entertainment workers living in Cambodia. The program provides peer education and social support, and improves access to HIV and reproductive health services. SMARTgirl treats entertainment workers respectfully and celebrates their positive qualities. SMARTgirl is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).


    • Somany’s struggles

      Twenty-three-year-old Somany is a transgender entertainment worker who has HIV. Social stigma from the community and ostracism from her family leave Somany with a deep sense of loneliness and isolation. Speaking candidly to a SMARTgirl support group, she related how every day feels like a...

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    • Lang’s secret

      My name is Lang. My parents and friends back in my hometown don't know what I'm really doing here in Phnom Penh. They think I'm studying English and training in a wedding reception center...

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    • Sopheap’s strength

      Sopheap was born male but, at age 10, realized she identified as a girl. Because Sopheap’s parents feared other people’s responses, she wore boys’ clothing until age 17 “because I had to go to school and my parents didn’t like me wearing girls’ clothes.” Since then, Sopheap’s parents have...

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    • Sineng’s diagnosis

      Sineng, 21, works in a beer hall in Phnom Penh, where her job is to serve and entertain men. Sometimes she sells sex to make extra money. In the last month, she was diagnosed with HIV. Sineng fears how the virus will affect her health, her relationships and her job. Afraid and timid, she stood...

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    • Nguyen’s Day

      Twenty-six-year-old Nguyen's1 husband is a shoemaker, but his income of approximately 40 U.S. dollars a month is not enough to support them and their two children. To help make ends meet — including paying the monthly rent of 30 dollars on their one-room home — Nguyen supplements the household...

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    • Kimthy’s Story

      My name is Kimthy1 and I’m living far from home, where my son and mother are. I’m selling sex in Phnom Penh, and it’s a lifestyle I want to keep quiet about. My hometown community already dislikes me, so I’m not going to tell them what I do or that I’m HIV positive...

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    • Celebrating International Women’s Day all month

      Today is International Women’s Day. Rather than celebrate it for just one day, FHI 360 will pay tribute to women throughout the month of March by sharing stories from participants in the SMARTgirl program...

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    On Friday, March 9, FHI 360 is hosting Human Development: The 360-Degree Perspective, an event that aims to open the discussion on what human development means. Speakers include author Charles Kenny, Dr. Catherine Hankins of UNAIDS, Dr. Michael Bzdak of Johnson & Johnson, photographer Jessica Scranton, and more. This event is open to the public and we encourage you to attend!

    To RSVP for the event, please visit the reservation page here.

    Join the #HumanDevelopment Conversation

    Mother and child in ZambiaAlongside this inaugural event, we are launching the hashtag #HumanDevelopment on Twitter in order to hear your thoughts on the subject. For us at FHI 360, human development is about creating an environment in which people can develop their full potential and lead productive, creative lives in accord with their needs and interests. What does human development mean to you? How is human development crucial to creating lasting change around the world? Let us know! Be sure to include #HumanDevelopment in your tweets!

    For more information about human development, please visit UNDP’s 2011 Human Development Report.

  • STDs are no party. Click on the image above to view an interactive video about them.

    Talking about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is no easy matter, especially when speaking to youth. That’s why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) enlisted FHI 360 to assist with a new project to educate young audiences about STDs (also called sexually transmitted infections or STIs).

    The mission is to convince youth to get tested and treated. The challenge was to convey the message without sounding parental, preachy or patronizing. FHI 360 met that challenge by helping CDC and its partners MTV, Planned Parenthood of America and the Kaiser Family Foundation develop an interactive video for their joint Get Yourself Tested, or GYT, campaign.

    The video lets you scroll, click and listen in on different conversations between people at a house party. After each conversation, icons pop up to link to key information ranging from where to get tested to STD basics and tips on talking about STDs. Check out the video this Valentine’s Day, and beyond.

  • Yesterday morning the White House hosted an open forum on innovation in global development. The discussion panel included Raj Shah (Administrator of USAID), Gayle Smith (Special Assistant to the President & Senior Director of the National Security Council), and Tom Kalil (Deputy Director for Policy, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy & Senior Advisor for Science, Technology, and Innovation, National Economic Council). Questions were taken from the public via Twitter with the hashtag #WHChat and through Facebook.

    FHI 360 submitted four questions through Twitter, and three of them were answered by the panel (though we were not directly mentioned):

    In which areas of development is innovation most urgently needed?

    The panel answered that innovation is urgently need in all sectors, but stressed food security, global health, and climate change as key focus areas.

    How can we best involve youth in the innovation conversation?

    The panel answered that it is important to engage college students in the US through university partnerships. They discussed USAID’s University Engagement program specifically, and talked about harnessing the power of the Internet to engage students in the developing world.

    How can development partners support home-grown innovation in developing countries?

    Similar to the above question, the panel talked about supporting students in developing countries and giving them platforms to voice their opinions. They also said that giving direct support to innovative projects and building networks of partnerships were important to foster home-grown innovation.

    What do you think? Let us know in the comments, or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+.

    For more information about the White House’s innovation initiatives, check out their fact sheet, “Harnessing Innovation for Global Development.”

  • World Bank releases World Development Report 2012

    World Development Report 2012 Want to know where women stand worldwide? This week the World Bank released its World Development Report 2012, which focuses on gender equality and development. The report finds that development has closed some gender gaps in educational enrollment, life expectancy, and labor force participation. However, gaps persist in girls’ schooling, access to economic opportunities and household decision-making. Further, “females are also more likely to die, relative to males, in many low-and middle-income countries than their counterparts in rich countries.”

    What should be the priorities of policy makers interested in bringing about gender equality? What policy actions will result in the greatest benefit? Explore the report in the link above, or examine the issues by viewing a summary of the report here.

  • VOA’s health correspondent Linord Moudou talks to FHI 360’s Dr. Doyin Oluwole about the cholera outbreak in Mali. Dr. Oluwole works as the Director of the Center for Health Policy and Capacity Development at FHI 360.

    For more infmoration about cholera, visit the WHO Cholera Topics Page.

  • Climate Change and Health

    On December 4, 2011, I attended the inaugural Climate and Health Summit in Durban, South Africa. The Summit was organized by Health Care Without Harm and other organizations and occurred simultaneously with the Conference of the Parties (COP-17) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The goal of the Climate and Health Summit was to bring together actors from key health sectors to discuss the impacts of climate change on public health and solutions that promote greater health and economic equity between and within nations.

    Climate change has brought about severe and possibly permanent alterations to our planet. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) now contends that “there is new and stronger evidence that most of the global warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities.” These changes have led to the emergence of large-scale environmental hazards to human health mainly in the following areas:

    • Poorer air quality and increased pollution leading to respiratory disease
    • Increase in the spread of infectious diseases including diarrheal disease and insect-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever
    • Reduction in the availability of land for farming due to floods, droughts and other dramatic weather changes, which leads to poverty and malnutrition
    • Increase in the number of extreme weather events, such as floods, droughts and heat waves, which leads to substantial morbidity and mortality as well as economic loss
    • More forced migration as families move to find food and water and end up living in crowded and under-resourced refugee camps

    The impacts of climate change on health are, and will continue to be, overwhelmingly negative. To make the situation worse, the majority of the adverse effects of climate change are experienced by poor and low-income communities around the world, which have much higher levels of vulnerability to these impacts. This was a hot topic in Durban, where it was argued that the more developed countries should pay “climate debt,” that is, compensate the poor for damages suffered as a result of climate change.

    One thing is certain: Climate change IS happening. It also impacts human health. Governments, societies and individuals need not only to adapt to the changes that have occurred but also to take steps to mitigate any further damage to our planet. There is no Planet B!

    Janet Robinson is the Director of Research, Asia Pacific Region, and the Global Director of Laboratory Sciences for FHI 360 based in Bangkok, Thailand.


    Watch videos and join the conversation at our LIVE coverage of the Climate and Health Summit here.

    FHI 360 wishes you a happy and promising 2012!

    What is your hope for 2012?

    Include #HopeFor2012 and @FHI360 in your tweets to share with us your hope for the new year.

  • Mobilizing Critical Family Planning Content

    She stood there, in beautiful red robes, with a small, serene baby bound firmly to her back. “This document is our bible,” the woman said as she cradled the green volume, in a way that was both matter-of-fact and full of awe. The book she was referring to is the vastly popular collaboration between WHO, USAID, and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public of Health: Family Planning: a Global Handbook for Providers. “The Handbook,” as it is known around the world, was first published in 2007 and has been updated with new content this year. More than 500,000 paper copies have been distributed, with tens of thousands of electronic copies downloaded and distributed on CDs and flash drives. The Handbook has also been translated into nine languages.

    Here in Dakar, at the 2011 International Conference on Family Planning, the Knowledge for Health (K4Health) Project, led by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for Communication Programs (JHU•CCP), has distributed thousands of updated Handbooks in French and English, and taken orders for tens of thousands more. But this Conference has also provided us the opportunity to broaden the reach of this critical content, by launching a portfolio of technology-based versions of the manual.

    During the Conference, the K4Health Project launched the English and French versions of the Handbook in EPUB and Kindle formats, allowing the handbook to be read on a variety of platforms including iPads, iPhones, Kindles, and other eReaders. Perhaps the most exciting product release was the first version of K4Health’s Android App for Contraceptive Eligibility (ACE), based on the Contraceptive Eligibility Criteria from the Handbook. ACE allows a healthcare provider to quickly and simply identify the most appropriate contraceptive methods depending on a woman’s health conditions. Alternately, it can also be used by a provider to learn more about any of the contraceptive methods in the manual, their effectiveness, and their side effects. “This is incredible,” said a young man from Ghana who supervises a cadre of community health workers. “This means that we can carry the handbook in our pockets, even when there is no Internet or mobile connection.”

    At K4Health, we strive to combine appropriate information technology with knowledge management best practices to ensure that the right information is made available to the right people at the right time in the right format. We believe that by making this seminal text available through a variety of formats, we can contribute to expanding access for service providers and health workers at all levels of the health system. This will improve knowledge and best practices about Family Planning and Reproductive Health, thereby expanding awareness about choices that women have to make informed decisions about their lives, their families, and their futures.


    The Knowledge for Health (K4Health) project is a leader in health information dissemination using traditional and new media mechanisms and in facilitating information use through dynamic learning and exchange programs. K4Health is implemented by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health/Center for Communication Programs in partnership with FHI 360 and Management Sciences for Health. Find more information about K4Health here.