Can Male Involvement Improve Maternal Health?

Posted on

By: Olena Ivanova, International Centre for Reproductive Health, Belgium

Since the 1994 International Conference on Population Development in Cairo, the importance of male involvement in reproductive health programs, including maternal health, has come into focus. In their roles as fathers, partners or healthcare workers, men influence not only their own health but also women’s reproductive health. Men tend to be the decision-makers within families and often take the lead in issues regarding the allocation of money, transport, women’s workload and access to health services, family planning and use of contraceptives… read more

Male Involvement in Maternal Health: Helpful or Harmful?

Posted on

By: Suzanne Kiwanuka, Makerere University School of Public Health, Uganda

Over the last several years, research on male involvement in reproductive and maternal health care has shown incredible impacts on the health outcomes of women and newborns. In response to this overwhelming research, Uganda officially launched a male involvement strategy in November 2014. The main objective of this strategy is to include men in all aspects of a family’s health: nutrition, water and sanitation, family planning, immunizations, and the fight against malaria and HIV/AIDS. However, this and other male involvement strategies have had unexpected consequences on women’s access to care… read more

Parasite Harms Reproductive Health and Increases HIV Risk

Posted on

By: Sally Theobald, COUNTDOWN Consortium & Research in Gender and Ethics: Building stronger health systems (RinGs), Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

I spent many of my teenage years living in Malawi, enjoying swimming in beautiful Lake Malawi. Wind on to age 30, and I was struggling to get pregnant. Eventually, following illness, I was diagnosed with schistosomiasis and told that I had probably been infected for a while and that it might be affecting my fertility. So I took praziquantel—the only available drug against the parasite—and soon after I was pregnant. Whilst the links between urogenital schistosomiasis (also called female genital schistosomiasis), sub-fertility and HIV have become increasingly well-established, sadly lacking is a combined and robust health system that brings together HIV, sexual, reproductive, maternal health and neglected tropical disease communities to address and scale up treatment for urogenital schistosomiasis… read more

Beyond New Facilities: Helping Politicians Understand Universal Health Coverage

Posted on

By: Dr. Oluwadamilola O. Olagoun, Project Manager, White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood

As we left the facility, my colleague and I shared a glance and giggled. I couldn’t help but express my mind. “You know if this was to be [the] only facility within my jurisdiction, [even though] the health workers are very friendly, I might still consider a home birth,” I said. How can I, a health worker advocating for respectful maternity care (RMC) and facility delivery, talk like this you may ask? By visiting some facilities, you would come to a conclusion that homes are many times cleaner and better equipped than some health facilities… read more

Women, Girls and Universal Health Coverage: Who Is Accountable?

Posted on

By: Belkis Giorgis, Global Technical Lead for Gender, Management Sciences for Health (MSH); Fabio Castaño, Global Technical Lead for Family Planning and Reproductive Health, Management Sciences for Health (MSH)

The burden of ensuring safe delivery does not fall solely on the shoulders of women and girls, but falls on all of us. Whether we are policymakers, service providers, development workers, husbands, fathers or mothers-in-law, we can all make a difference. It is our responsibility to do so. As a society, we owe it to women to ensure they have a safe delivery and access to family planning information and services… read more

Call for Posts: How a Woman-Centered Agenda Can Make Universal Health Coverage More Than a Mantra

Posted on

By: Kathleen McDonald, Independent Consultant; Katie Millar, Technical Writer, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Stacy Griswold, Senior Project Coordinator, University Research Co., LLC and Center for Human Services

As momentum builds towards the unveiling of the post-2015 agenda, the global health community has its eye on universal health coverage (UHC) as a priority for operationalizing the sustainable development goals (SDGs). The issue at hand is not whether UHC is achievable, but is ensuring that UHC researchers, implementers, and policy-makers collaborate to provide rich evidence to improve and ensure quality health care for all. In order to facilitate this collaboration, the Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) and USAID|TRAction hosted the session, Woman-Centered Care as the Engine for Universal Health Coverage, at the Third Global Symposium on Health Systems Research in Cape Town, South Africa on September 30, 2014.
Read more.