IntraHealth International

Our commitment: IntraHealth is a global champion for health workers. We have pledged to double our impact between 2011 and 2015 to ensure that more health workers are present, ready, connected, and safe. Mission: IntraHealth empowers health workers to better serve communities in need around the world. We foster local solutions to health care challenges by improving health worker performance, strengthening health systems, harnessing technology, and leveraging partnerships. ...
Aug 9, 2016

What's the Cure for Stigma?

Welcome center for victims of fistula
Welcome center for victims of fistula

The stigma surrounding fistula is a challenge to overcome in its own right. Education and awareness campaigns are essential to overcoming the stigma that surrounds this devastating birth injury. Stigma is often the culprit that prevents women from seeking the medical help they need to heal. The Restore Dignity project seeks to counter stigma in a variety of ways, from radio messages and TV ads, to working with community health workers to identify those in need of treatment. Women who have undergone fistula repair surgery are often key ambassadors in helping identify and contact other women in the community who are in need of treatment but do not feel comfortable or safe seeking it out.

The Restore Dignity project takes into account the suite of barriers that prevent women from seeking care and undergoing surgery – a simple surgery that will change their life for the better and allow them to reintegrate into society. The project and its partners seek to advance the global community’s understanding of the physical, social, and financial needs of women who have suffered, or continue to suffer, the scourge of fistula, and to augment the innovations and resources aimed at ending fistula and restoring women’s dignity.

This holistic approach this project takes to fistula treatment and prevention has yielded impressive results. The training and recruitment of health workers at all levels has resulted in 609 women receiving surgical fistula repair and 78% of eligible women repaired are now using a family planning method. The increase use of family planning is a result of the education and awareness campaigns which are interwoven into the care package. In addition, treatment addresses women’s physical and psychosocial needs.

During the World Fistula Day celebration on May 23, two IntraHealth staff members – the Mali Country Director and the International Program Director for West Africa – received awards from the Mali Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene for the project’s dedication to restoring the dignity of women suffering from fistula. These leaders and their teams have overseen the opening of a new welcome center for fistula clients at Sikasso Hospital, distributed 280 dignity kits to women undergoing repair, expanded the availability of repair services into two additional districts, implemented income generating opportunities for 50 women, and planned mental health interventions for all affected women.

Despite these achievements, the need is still great. Every year more women and girls develop fistula. It is imperative that the treatment approach include an understanding of societal norms in Mali and address not only physical needs, but also the deep-seeded societal stigmas that played a leading role in creating the problems to begin with. 

Health workers receiving certificates
Health workers receiving certificates
Jun 9, 2016

Ethiopia Final Report

This project supported the training of community nursing students in Ethiopia's Alkan Health Science College. Originating from rural communities, the nursing students completed a 36-month program at Alkan's Dessie campus in the rural highlands of the Amhara region. In addition to formal medical training, these students also gained a concrete understanding of the importance of returning to their remote communities after graduating in order to increase access to primary health care services.  

Many of these students have first-hand experience of how challenging it can be to find a health worker when a family or community member is facing a medical emergency. IntraHealth International has been helping Ethiopia to strengthening the country’s systems to train, manage, recruit, post, and retain a high-quality and equitably distributed health workforce, yet much remains to be done to ensure every family has access to high-quality, integrated health services. The country’s health system continues to face challenges and human resources for health are both insufficient and poorly distributed, leaving many—particularly rural communities—without access to trained and supported health workers.

While the effort to scale up the health workforce in Ethiopia is ongoing, this project has had a positive impact increasing the number of health workers. This project has come to a close but it is our hope that the students who received training will inspire others to seek similar opportunities.

IntraHealth is extremely appreciative of the support this project received. We encourage our donors and supports to check out our other project on Global Giving, “Restore Dignity to Women in Mali.” Please also follow us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/IntraHealth/?fref=ts) and Twitter (@IntraHealth). You can also stay in touch by signing up for our newsletter: http://intrahealth.us1.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=24ebd0d55aceda622cfea925c&id=c460ab6686.

May 26, 2016

Final Report

The Afya Elimu Fund, Swahili for Health Education, provided loans to students in Kenya who were interested in pursuing an education in health care. Like many countries around the world, Kenya has a serious shortage of health workers. There is only 1 doctor, nurse, or midwife for every 1,000 people, less than half the minimum recommended by the World Health Organization. The deficit is even worse in hard-to-reach areas since most health workers prefer to live and work in urban areas.

IntraHealth International has been helping Kenya strengthening the country’s systems to train, manage, recruit, post, and retain a high-quality and equitably distributed health workforce. While there are still not enough qualified workers to make high-quality services available to everyone, this project has had a positive impact and increased the number of health workers in Kenya. This project has come to a close but it is our hope that the students who received training will inspire others to seek similar opportunities.

IntraHealth is extremely appreciative of the support this project received. We encourage our donors and supports to check out our other project on Global Giving, “Restore Dignity to Women in Mali.” Please also follow us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/IntraHealth/?fref=ts) and Twitter (@IntraHealth). You can also stay in touch by signing up for our newsletter: http://intrahealth.us1.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=24ebd0d55aceda622cfea925c&id=c460ab6686.

 
   

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