- New Law on Child Adoptions Launched in Haiti
- PETION-VILLE, Haiti—In partnership with the Institute for Social Welfare and Research (l’Institut du Bien-Être Social et de Recherches, or IBESR), the HPP AKSE project in mid-July organized a high-level workshop to discuss the "Adoption Reform Act" in Haiti. The new law, passed in October 2013, was designed to enshrine the principle that international adoptions should be considered above all as a measure to protect the welfare of children and to ensure that children’s best interests are taken into account in adoption proceedings.
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- Demographic Dividend Analysis Generates Support for Family Planning in Uganda
- KAMPALA, Uganda—Stating that “family planning is good for the children…for the family welfare, and for the country,” President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda made a landmark declaration of support at the country’s National Family Planning Conference on July 28. With birth spacing and timing, “the family would spend less on children and their needs. In turn, they would save and make wealth,” he said.
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- What Are You Doing About Stigma and Discrimination that Pose Barriers to Accessing Health Services?
- Posted July 25, 2014 MELBOURNE, Australia–Nearly every plenary speaker at the International AIDS Conference this past week—from political leaders to scientists to community activists—called for greater attention to stigma and discrimination as a barrier to achieving success in the global AIDS response. What an important step forward!
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- A (Cyber) Space for Community for HIV prevention
- Posted July 23, 2014 MELBOURNE, Australia–Social media and Internet and communication technology (ICT) use for HIV prevention isn’t just for fun – it’s an innovative and important means of going further in coverage and scale for these programs.
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- Communicating Out of Isolation: HIV and Harnessing Communication Technology Among Gay Men, Men Who Have Sex with Men, and Trans Persons
- Posted July 23, 2014 MELBOURNE, Australia–Hankies, earrings, phone lines, the walls of bathrooms, bars, and bath houses, chat rooms, message boards, web sites, and apps. All modes of communication, for their respective eras, of gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) and trans persons to link up, hook up, hang out, and organize.
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- Financing the New Global HIV Treatment Vision – Advocacy and Economics
- Posted July 23, 2014 MELBOURNE, Australia–Here at the 2014 International AIDS Conference, UNAIDS has put forward a vision for global HIV treatment – “90-90-90 by 2020" – 90% of those living with HIV diagnosed, 90% of all those living with HIV on sustained antiretroviral therapy (ART), and 90% of those on ART successfully suppressing the virus. The world must prepare the resources needed for this type of effort, which would contribute significantly to halting the spread of HIV.
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- Sustainable VMMC programs: They Didn’t Mean To!
- Posted July 21, 2014 MELBOURNE, Australia--Dr. Dino Rech of the Centre for HIV and AIDS Prevention Studies (CHAPS), a regional NGO based in South Africa, told participants at the International AIDS Economists Network (IAEN) pre-conference about how USAID’s shift from a cooperative agreement to a fixed-fee contract helped push his organization closer to sustainability – “but, they didn’t mean to!”
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- When HIV Research and Data Collection Is at Odds with “Do No Harm”
- Posted July 19, 2014 MELBOURNE, Australia—Using maps to understand spatial patterns in disease epidemics is nothing new. Nineteenth century epidemiologist John Snow’s cholera map was a game-changer, allowing him to trace cholera’s devastating path at the most granular, household level. Within the HIV field, multi-colored push pins and paper maps were being used just a few years ago to identify the location of existing health facilities in order to inform where facilities were still needed in order to increase coverage and inform strategic planning.
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- The Voice of Public Health Leadership Globally: Marginalized
- Posted July 18, 2014 WASHINGTON, DC—In both Uganda and Nigeria, several pieces of legislation recently adopted or under consideration could transform the legal landscape surrounding HIV—and not for the better. The new “Anti-HIV Bill” pending in Uganda would make “willful transmission of HIV” a punishable offense. The pending “NGO Bill” in Uganda, similar to one before legislators in Nigeria, would restrict the freedom of nongovernmental organizations to engage in public debate, receive grants from global donors, and champion issues of their choice.
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- Demographic Dividend Model Launched in Kenya
- Posted July 17, 2014 NAIROBI, Kenya—The Demographic Dividend model (DemDiv model) was launched at an event attended by government officials and partners and representatives of agencies working in the health and economic sectors. It has been pilot-tested in the country in a project led by the National Council for Population and Development (NCPD), and funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Health Policy Project.
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- Health Policy Project Helps Kenya to Secure US$223M for HIV Programs
- Posted June 30, 2014 NAIROBI, Kenya—The Health Policy Project (HPP) team in Kenya recently provided technical assistance to Kenya to prepare a successful application for funds for HIV programs from the Geneva-based Global Fund for AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis (Global Fund). In April 2014, the Global Fund approved Kenya’s application for a grant of US$223 million to cover HIV activities between 2014 and 2017. HPP’s assistance in the process included conducting financial analyses that provided justification for the budget levels requested.
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- Building Public-Private Partnerships to Improve Health Services in Afghanistan
- Posted June 3, 2014 KABUL, Afghanistan—In 2012, with support from the USAID-funded Health Policy Project (HPP), the Directorate of Private Sector Coordination (DPSC) of the Afghan Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) established the Public-Private Dialogue Forum, which engages key private sector entities and MoPH staff to discuss private health sector concerns and reviews policies and regulations that affect the private health sector and potential public-private partnerships. The forum, which meets quarterly, offers a valuable opportunity for leaders in the private health sector to meet face-to-face with Minister of Public Health Dr. Suraya Dalil, who chairs the gatherings.
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- Kenya Parliamentary Committee on Health Deliberates over Proposed Health Policy
- Posted May 6, 2014 NAIROBI, Kenya—Kenya’s Parliamentary Committee on Health begins a three-day meeting this week to conduct a final review of the Kenya Health Policy, which provides the framework that will guide health sector operations between 2014 and 2030. The workshop, supported by the USAID-funded Health Policy Project in Kenya (HPP/Kenya), will also review the draft Kenya Health Bill, a proposed law which will be the primary health law in the country, and on which other health-related laws will be based. The health bill will establish the legislative environment necessary to support the implementation of health-related provisions in the Constitution.
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- Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision for HIV Prevention
- Posted May 6, 2014 Washington, DC—A new collection of 13 research studies, featured in PLOS ONE and PLOS Medicine and funded by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, provides evidence from five African countries that safe, high quality voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) services performed by trained healthcare professionals in low-resource settings can be implemented and sustained at scale and have the potential to significantly prevent new HIV infections in adolescent and adult men [ more ]
- The Most Important Meeting in Town
- Posted April 16, 2014 WASHINGTON, DC—Last week, as thousands of people gathered in Washington to admire the cherry blossoms, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank held their annual spring meetings. A key event of the meetings, co-hosted by the World Bank and World Health Organization, was titled “Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by 2030,” and it was described by one of the meeting’s panelists as the “most important meeting in town." [ more ]
- Charting a Course Toward Universal Health Coverage in Kenya: Experts See Efficiency, Governance, and Sustainable Financing as Keys to Success
- Posted March 20, 2014 NAIROBI, Kenya—Universal health coverage (UHC) has the potential to transform the lives of thousands of Kenyans—guaranteeing access to lifesaving health services while helping individuals and families avoid crippling health expenses that push so many into poverty. Yet, achieving universal coverage is a daunting task. [ more ]
- Afghanistan Pursues Global Investment in the Health Sector
- Posted March 11, 2014 KABUL, Afghanistan—On February 2, 2014, and March 11, 2014, Afghanistan’s Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), with support from the USAID-funded Health Policy Project (HPP), held its first international investment promotion events in Kabul and Dubai. Aimed at attracting private investment to Afghanistan’s hospital sector, these events were attended by over 180 participants, including investors, operators, and potential partners from around the world. [ more ]
- Dominican Republic's National Council for HIV and AIDS Celebrates Zero Discrimination Day
- Posted March 6, 2014 SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic—The National Council for HIV and AIDS (Consejo Nacional para el VIH y el SIDA [CONAVIHSIDA]) celebrated the first Zero Discrimination Day with an event addressing the impact of stigma and discrimination on individuals and public health efforts to reduce HIV transmission. Key government officials, including the Minister of Public Health, Attorney General, and the U.S. Ambassador attended the half-day event on March 6. [ more ]
- The Lancet Profiles PPD ARO Leader
- Posted January 22, 2014 LONDON, England—The January 4, 2014 issue of The Lancet features a profile of USAID-funded Health Policy Project (HPP) partner, Dr. Jotham Musinguzi. Dr. Musinguzi is the regional director of Partners in Population and Development Africa Regional Office (PPD ARO), which works to strengthen political support for family planning in Africa. Through HPP, PPD ARO provides technical assistance for advocacy targeting parliamentarians and other stakeholders in four countries (Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, and Uganda). [ more ]
- Saving Mothers, Giving Life: A Year of Results and Lessons Learned
- Posted January 15, 2014 WASHINGTON, DC—The USAID- and PEPFAR-funded Health Policy Project (HPP) joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), USAID, and Columbia University at an event celebrating the successes of the first year of the Saving Mothers, Giving Life program. Saving Mothers, Giving Life (SMGL) is a five-year public-private partnership aiming to drastically reduce maternal mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. Since the program’s inception in June of 2012 maternal mortality rates in pilot districts were cut by a third, with a 30 percent decrease in maternal deaths in Uganda, and a 35 percent decrease in Zambia. [ more ]
- Dr. Suneeta Sharma Appointed HPP Project Director
- Posted January 8, 2014 WASHINGTON, DC—The United States Agency for International Development (USAID-funded Health Policy Project is pleased to announce Suneeta Sharma, PhD, as its new project director. Dr. Sharma brings more than 20 years of experience in health policy, financing, and equity. She has worked in both academia and global health programming, focusing on policy and evidence-based solutions to health systems challenges at the country level. [ more ]
- New Skills Help Afghan Ministry of Public Health Track Expenditure Data
- Posted January 6, 2014 KABUL, Afghanistan—When governments are able to track health spending, they benefit from increased accountability and transparency, as well as better-informed decision making for budgeting. To monitor the country’s health spending, since 2008 the Afghanistan Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) has used the powerful National Health Accounts (NHA) tracking tool to understand who is spending health funds and where and how those funds are being spent. [ more ]
- Building Afghanistan’s Capacity to Improve Healthcare Efficiency and Sustainability
- Posted January 6, 2014 KABUL, Afghanistan—In 1979, the year the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, Mohammad Zawoli was born in a village in the eastern province of Ghazni. Throughout the war-torn years of his childhood, a time when many Afghans lost access to even basic education, Zawoli learned to read from his family’s library of religious books, and enrolled in a local school that reopened when he was 12. He let nothing get in the way of his education, and eventually graduated with a degree in macroeconomics from Kabul University. [ more ]