blog
November 14, 2010

Facing the Challenges of Building Capacity in Nepal

Gabriele Mallapaty

I was living in Nepal and had been here several times before, so I knew the circumstances of the health system. But it wasn’t until I took the job as MLI country lead that I really understood the challenges facing Nepal’s Ministry of Health and Population. Working with the Ministry on a daily basis for the last two years has given me much more insight into the difficult circumstances the staff has to deal with and still deliver good work. In fact, the health sector’s progress has been so good that Nepal has received awards for its health sector improvements both from the United Nations and from the GAVI Alliance.

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November 10, 2010

Ethiopia Country Ownership: Becoming an "MDG Trailblazer"

Rahel Gizaw

When I was a public health graduate student at Johns Hopkins University, my native country of Ethiopia was all too often a topic of conversation. Every time talk centered on poor health indicators, Ethiopia was there. I asked myself why, despite the efforts of the government, donors and NGOs, the situation could not be improved. Hearing my country discussed this way strengthened my resolve to go back and work for Ethiopia.

As Ethiopia Country Lead for the Ministerial Leadership Initiative for Global Health (MLI), I have finally found some answers. I am convinced country ownership is the key to making significant improvements in health status.  Country ownership is when the government drives development of a sound national plan and strategies, and coordinates, mobilizes and streamlines existing and new local and international resources to support the plan. This is only possible with the establishment of collaborative, trusted and supportive relationship between the government, development partners and NGOs.

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November 04, 2010

"Patience, conviction and determination are required:" Mali's aim to improve health care access

Cheickna Touré

Mali aims to improve access to health care through a strategy to extend community based health insurance, or mutuelles, to 80% of Malians who lack health coverage. As part of peer sharing opportunities provided to MLI countries, officials from the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Social Development, civil society representatives and political leaders from Mali (along with colleagues from fellow MLI country, Senegal) participated in a study tour to Rwanda to observe its experiences with scaling up mutuelles nationwide. Cheickna Touré, Deputy Director of L’Union Technique de la Mutualité Malienne (UTM) reflects on key lessons from Rwanda he hopes can aid Mali in its endeavor to provide health care access to the country’s poor populations.

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November 01, 2010

Sierra Leone’s President Koroma: 'Something had to be done'

John Donnelly

Some people scoffed at Sierra Leone’s plan to make health care free for all children under five, pregnant women and mothers who were breast-feeding. How could a country at the bottom of the world’s health indicators suddenly open the doors to all government health facilities and say there is no charge for service?

Now, six months after the start of free health care, Sierra Leone has proven it could do it. Read on for H. E. President Ernest Bai Koroma's insight to the initiative, one of his personal priorities for his country.

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November 01, 2010

Photo blog: Promoting Family Planning in Nepal

John Donnelly

In the fourth of five segments, John Donnelly interviewed photographer Dominic Chavez about the images below. What follows are his perspectives on his assignment in Nepal, which focused in part on the Ministry of Health and Population’s efforts in promoting family planning:

“Nepal was really exciting. It was kind of energizing in the sense that to me it was an example of seeing families really empowered to make family planning choices. They are taking a proactive role in creating the right-sized family for them. And this, I believe, must have a profound effect on maternal mortality rate because many families are planning out when they are having children, and having fewer children."

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