I thought this brief video is a great mini-summary of the types of work that community health workers do. Short, sweet, and to the point!
Prior to the recent APHA Annual Meeting, the CBPHC-WG held a day long workshop focusing on Community Health Workers. There were over 110 attendees including presenters and organizers. This was the largest workshop our group has held in the 13 years we have been conducting these workshops. It was a great feeling to see APHA functioning at its best in providing a venue where those from MCHIP, CORE group, academics, members of other NGOs, not-for-profit and for-profit organizations and consultants could share their views in an open, mutually respectful environment and learn from each other. This year JSI personnel, under the leadership of Mary Carnell, worked in partnership with Working Group members in all stages of workshop planning and implementation. The work of Agnes Guyon (who lead the workshop), Sandee Minovi and Kimberley Farnham, all from JSI, and our own Sandy Hoar, Vina Hulamm, Melissa Freeman, Laura and David Paragon, Tonio Martinez and Larry Casazza were outstanding.
Our norms were: use of an evidence-based approach, the right for all participants to be heard and for their viewpoints to be respected. At this time, renewed attention is being given to the role of CHWs with recognition becoming more widespread now that the Millennium Development Goals, especially those for women and children, cannot be met without community involvement. The 8 large group presentations and 16 small group discussion sessions covered well a wide range of perspectives on CHW motivation, retention and performance. I am sure some participants were being exposed to different points of view from their own for the first time.
I would especially like to highlight the area of internal motivation of CHWs. Through Pink’s book “Drive” many of us are becoming acquainted with the “modern” approach to the importance of autonomy, mastery and purpose in motivation. Yet several NGO presentations, such as those by Tom Davis of Care Groups and Connie Gates of Jamkhed, demonstrated that these elements have already been addressed by NGOs for decades as appropriate to local circumstances.
Melissa and I will prepare a report of the workshop to be disseminated early next year. There were many lessons to learn from conducting this workshop that should remain with the International Health Section for years to come. One of the key lessons was that with enough goodwill and cooperation from individual members – things work best with at least 8 volunteers for such an event – memorable events can be implemented by the Section. With enough “hands” each contributing a relatively small amount, things go much more smoothly than if all sit back waiting for a few to do all the work.
Paul Freeman is a physician with advanced training in tropical disease control and general public health, health personnel education, and health program management and evaluation. He has over two and a half decades of experience in capacity building and the design, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of primary health care, child survival and malaria control programs in developing countries and for deprived rural indigenous populations in developed countries. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Washington School of Global Health and the Chair-Elect of the International Health Section.
The Advocacy/Policy Committee would like to invite you to participate in our first Advocacy Day, led in partnership with the Global Health Council. The day, scheduled for Thursday, November 3rd, 2011, immediately following the annual meeting in Washington, D.C., will be an opportunity for us to voice support for a continued focus on international health to our elected officials. With the intense Congressional pressure to cut the budget, our voices can make a real difference. As a participant during this exciting day, you will be provided with training materials on effective advocacy techniques to ensure your message is clearly heard. Even if you do not have advocacy experience, you need not hesitate to sign up because you will be teamed with others. Please consider joining your fellow International Health Section members on Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 on Capitol Hill to advocate for a healthy globe. Interested parties should register here. Please note that registration will close on October 14th. Any questions should be directed to Peter Freeman, Advocacy/Policy Committee Chair, at email@example.com or 773.318.4842.
POLITICS AND POLICY
- GOP Presidential hopeful Michelle Bachmann has been slammed by scientists, doctors and others for claiming that the HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccine can cause mental retardation. An ethicist has now put up money behind his challenge to her claim.
- A commitment by G20 nations to strengthen agricultural research in developing countries will help reduce food insecurity as long as it focuses on small farmers and their needs, officials and experts said at a G20-backed conference this week.
- The Gates Foundation is often, not always fairly, criticized for being a techno-fix bunch. Melinda Gates heralds the value of community health workers in poor communities and their powerful, inexpensive ability to save lives.
- One of the international community’s goals is to eliminate mother-to-child-transmission of HIV by 2015 by expanding access to drugs for HIV-infected mothers and pregnant women.
- A primary school in the South African city of Port Elizabeth has given girls a contraceptive injection to prevent early pregnancies, angering some parents.
- Andrew Harmer reflects on what will happen to the MDGs as the original 2015 deadline draws nearer and draws some parallels to the traditional Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling.
- The Gates Foundation has presented the Harvard School of Public Health with a $12 million grant to support its maternal health task force.
- USAID is teaming up with former President George Bush to reduce cervical cancer deaths by 25% in five years for target developing countries.
- The magic number may be $6 billion to make a real dent in ending the spread of AIDS.
- A collaboration between UK and US funding agencies has announced more than £3.5M new funding for research aimed at controlling the transmission of diseases amongst humans, animals and the environment.
RESEARCH AND INNOVATION
- The number of African countries with national policies on traditional medicine increased almost fivefold between 2001 and 2010, according to a report on a decade of traditional medicine on the continent.
- The recently published results from two malaria vaccine trials appear to show that scientists are getting closer to developing a vaccine against the mosquito-borne illness.
- Effective nursing is the backbone of a high quality health care delivery system. GHDonline’s nursing community will discuss how ongoing mentoring and training programs can enhance nursing in an expert panel discussion September 19-23.
- The number of young women with breast cancer has more than doubled worldwide since 1980, say researchers at Seattle’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.
- After 2 years of analyzing the results of the largest AIDS vaccine clinical trial ever held, the so-called Thai prime-boost trial, and the only one so far to show some protection against HIV, researchers say they have discovered insights that could lead to an effective vaccine.
- IUDs can prevent cervical cancer, finds a study published in the Lancet.
- Reducing the incidence of malaria could also drastically reduce the number of deaths from bacterial infections among children in Africa, a study has found.
DISEASES AND DISASTERS
- Authorities worry that tropical mosquitoes found in San Gabriel Valley could spread disease if they gained a foothold in Southern California.
- A human rights investigator for the United Nations says up to a quarter of the world’s trash from hospitals, clinics, labs, blood banks and mortuaries is hazardous and much more needs to be done to regulate it.
- A report from UNICEF and the WHO shows the decrease in the rate of deaths for children under the age of five.
- The WHO warns that thousands may die if multi-drug resistant and forms of tuberculosis continue to spread throughoutEurope.
- One of the scientific advisers to the new blockbuster movie “Contagion” says the “risks are very real — and are increasing drastically… Our vulnerability to such diseases has been heightened by the growth in international travel and the globalization of food production.”
FOCUS – NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASES
- Cancer, cardiovascular disease, respiratory illness and diabetes account for 63 percent of all global deaths, yet up to half could be prevented, according to a new report, Noncommunicable Diseases Country Profiles 2011, released Wednesday by the World Health Organization.
- The WHO released a 207 page “global score card” on the prevention of chronic illness, one week ahead of the NCD summit at the UN.
- Eli Lilly and Company has committed $30 million to the Global Health Initiative. The Lilly NCD Partnership will work to identify comprehensive, sustainable approaches to patient care. Initially it will concentrate on diabetes.