Tuberculosis (TB) has now overtaken HIV as the world’s leading cause of mortality. There were about 10.4 million TB cases in 2016, despite the fact that TB is an old and often curable disease whose incidence declined in industrialized countries long before the introduction of the TB vaccine and anti-TB drugs. TB continues to disproportionately affect low-income countries. For those of us who work in public health, this is tragic — we ought to be moving forward at a much faster pace to end TB for good.
On August 3, 2017, FHI 360 will host an event, Building Resilient Communities in Changing Times, in Abuja, Nigeria.
FHI 360 has had a continuous presence in Nigeria for more than 30 years, and our programs have reached more than 20 million Nigerians. Over that time, our commitment to using science to improve lives has required us to adapt our programs and be flexible and creative.
Whether focused on health, education or gender, our activities in Nigeria are integrated and designed to produce results that go beyond project targets. As an example, our Strengthening Integrated Delivery of HIV/AIDS Services (SIDHAS) project has not only provided HIV testing, it has also provided skills training to people with HIV to enable them to earn income and support their families. When people with HIV receive regular health care, they can continue to thrive no matter what their HIV status may be. They are living examples of adaptation.
Every year, the International AIDS Society (IAS) holds the largest open scientific conference on HIV and AIDS-related issues. This year’s conference, IAS 2017, will take place in July in Paris. FHI 360 is a media partner with IAS 2017, and in the lead-up to this year’s conference, we are coordinating Facebook Live conversations with experts who will be speaking there.
One U.S. expert who will present at the conference is Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Dr. Fauci was recently in Washington, DC, to speak at the annual meeting of the HIV Prevention Trials Network. After his plenary talk, Dr. Fauci sat down with FHI 360’s Dr. Otto Chabikuli, Director of Global Health, Population and Nutrition, for a Facebook Live chat on the science of HIV. Dr. Fauci talked about his experience working in HIV research for more than 35 years, addressing issues such as what a cure for HIV might look like, the multiple ways to prevent HIV infection, treatment as prevention, and the projects that his team is currently working on.
The World Health Organization estimates that the current shortage of global health care workers is 7.2 million. Without intervention, this number will soar to 18 million by 2030. Rachel Deussom, an FHI 360 expert on the health workforce and Senior Technical Officer, Human Resources for Health, Health Systems Strengthening, hosted a conversation with other FHI 360 colleagues to examine the shortage, its underlying causes and potential solutions.
The full version of this post originally appeared on R&E Search for Evidence. Reposted with permission.
The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is a remarkable success story built on the effective use of data. The achievements of this landmark initiative have played a central role in getting us to the point where we can finally talk about controlling the HIV epidemic and creating an AIDS-free generation.
Through 2016, US$70 billion has been invested in this unprecedented disease control effort. The accomplishments to date have been extraordinary and unimaginable just a few years ago: In 2016 alone, 74 million people were tested for HIV infection; since the start of PEPFAR, 2 million babies were born HIV-free due to women receiving prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) treatment; 12 million voluntary medical male circumcisions have been performed; and PEPFAR accounted for 12 million of the 18 million people globally receiving life-extending antiretroviral therapy (ART).
Zika infection during pregnancy: Why we need gender and social norms changes for girls and young womenWritten by
A version of this post originally appeared on Devex. Reposted with permission.
The link between Zika virus infection during pregnancy and birth defects poses yet another threat for girls and women of reproductive age in the Americas as they struggle to chart a positive course through life transitions.
Unfortunately for girls and young women, the choice of whether or when to become pregnant is often not their own. Age and power dynamics heighten the impact of traditional gender and social norms for girls and young women and can inhibit informed decision making and positive sexual and reproductive health behaviors. Lack of empowerment leaves them more vulnerable to gender-based violence, increasing the risk of unintended pregnancy, while fear of discrimination from health providers or condemnation from family and community means girls and young women delay seeking and receiving contraception or antenatal care.The Zika virus is another threat for girls and women as they chart a positive course through life. Click To Tweet
A public health response to the Zika virus must include addressing some of these root causes that preclude girls and young women from realizing their sexual and reproductive health choices — and social norms that inhibit contraceptive use for girls and young women need to be addressed in programming.
Note: The authors would like to thank their colleagues from the Passages project team. FHI 360 is part of a team of global health organizations implementing this new reproductive health initiative in Asia and Africa, which aims to improve the healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies by youth and first-time parents in developing countries.
Read the entire blog here.
Imagine the potential if each one of the 600 million adolescent girls in developing countries could have full control over her reproductive life. She would be able to stay in school, delay marriage, postpone pregnancy, and support herself and her community. Yet, approximately 16 million girls between the ages of 15 and 19 give birth each year and one-third of girls give birth before their 20th birthday.
To advocate for young people’s access to safe, reliable contraceptive information and services, FHI 360 co-hosted a meeting today on youth and long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCS). With participants including the LARC and Permanent Methods Community of Practice Secretariat, Population Services International, Marie Stopes International and Pathfinder, the meeting highlighted the range of highly effective contraception methods available and provided a platform for tackling tough questions about how to effectively promote LARCs for youth.
There is no question that the greatest health achievements under the Millennium Development Goals have focused on single diseases. Arresting the spread of HIV and AIDS and malaria is perhaps the most significant development success of the new century. And vaccination, especially of measles, is one of the reasons that deaths among older children have fallen faster than deaths among infants or women during pregnancy and childbirth.
In contrast, the lowest-performing areas across all eight MDGs — reducing infant and maternal deaths — are targets that don’t lend themselves to a single disease strategy. Just six countries have met the MDG target for reducing infant deaths, and only 15 countries have achieved the target for reducing maternal deaths.
Could these targets have actually been achieved if we had pursued an integrated approach to advancing the health of women and children? Did our fascination with and confidence in the segregation of single-disease initiatives cost us achievement in other areas requiring more complex solutions?
Read the remainder of the blog here.
Bitra George, India Country Director at FHI 360, discusses the role of innovation in human development.
The human population surpassed seven billion in October 2011, a milestone noted by many concerned about our planet’s capacity to sustain additional billions in the coming years. Inspired by this milestone, FHI 360 hosted a symposium on “Population, Development, and the Environment: Integrated Solutions for Global Challenges” on February 19, 2012 at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting in Vancouver — one of the world’s largest and most diverse general scientific gatherings. Presented with our colleagues Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka and Vicky Markham, the symposium follows on a 2010 Policy Forum in the journal Science that addressed the ways in which population growth intersects with other areas of human development, including reproductive health, social and economic development, and environmental sustainability.
First, we highlighted the connection between sustainability and the 215 million women worldwide who have an unmet need for family planning. In particular, we demonstrated how improving women’s access to contraceptive choice positively affects other areas of human development such as maternal and child health, educational attainment, HIV prevention, gender equity, and social and economic development. We underscored the critical role the scientific community has in further examining and addressing these essential connections.
We also shared the preliminary outcomes of a groundbreaking project in Uganda that aims to improve the health of both human communities and mountain gorilla communities, demonstrating that economic development and environmental sustainability can go hand in hand.
Finally, we explained how the United States has an essential role to play as it represents only 1/20 of the planet’s population but consumes one quarter of its natural resources. We looked at the impact of these factors on both the global environment and on women around the world.
The session was very well attended. Our audience included scientists, engineers, development workers, students and technology professionals, all of whom expressed enthusiasm about our message that healthy people and a healthy planet are interdependent.
Connections are at the heart of sustainable development — connections among population growth, reproductive rights, global and public health, food security, livelihoods and environmental preservation. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with champions from diverse fields to achieve truly comprehensive global health and development.