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Celebrate Solutions: What Does Patient-Centered Family Planning Care Look Like?

By: Claire Watt Rothschild and Catherine Owinga, Jacaranda Health

“I’ve heard it’s a huge metal thing,” Njeri, a new mother, told Jacaranda Health midwife and nurse-in-charge Catherine Owinga at a recent family planning consultation. Njeri was describing what she knew about the copper-bearing intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD), or the “coil,” as it is called locally. Njeri’s fears about an IUCD – that it is so large that it has to be inserted under general anesthesia or can travel through your veins and get stuck in your heart – were familiar to Catherine. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Harnessing Peer Networks to Promote Family Planning

By: Claire Watt Rothschild and Shalmali Radha Karnad, Jacaranda Health

At Jacaranda Health, efforts to expand access to postpartum contraception have resulted in a rate of family planning that is more than three times higher than Kenya’s national average. Despite these successes, Jacaranda is still trying to understand why so many women do not adopt family planning at the recommended six weeks after childbirth. A key part of the human-centered program development is talking with clients – in focus groups, interviews, and informal chats – to understand their needs and build programs to address them. When postpartum clients were asked why they were not using family planning, the overwhelming response was that clients’ friends and family members told them six weeks was too early for family planning. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Engaging Men in Family Planning Decision-Making

By: Shalmali Radha Karnad and Claire Watt Rothschild, Jacaranda Health

On any given morning, the seats in the reception at Jacaranda Health’s Kahawa West maternity hospital are full – young mothers nursing newborns, pregnant women thumbing through antenatal care brochures, toddlers clambering over benches as they await their immunisations, and men – husbands, partners, fathers – all attending the maternity to support and care for their wives and children. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: How Do We Encourage Healthy Birth Spacing?

By: Claire Watt Rothschild, Jacaranda Health

Nearly half of women in Kenya who are new family planning users stop within the first year of use. It’s called “contraceptive (or family planning) discontinuation” and the high numbers of women in Kenya who stop using contraception early is of major concern. Family planning discontinuation has been called a “leaky bucket,” and high rates are undermining gains made in the number of women who start taking contraception (called “uptake”). Last week, this blog series highlighted how Jacaranda Health is encouraging family planning among postpartum women to encourage healthy spacing of delivery and pregnancy. While focusing on uptake is important, it is only part of the story. Healthy birth spacing requires women not only to decide to start family planning before the return to fertility, but also to continue using family planning – consistently and correctly – for nearly two years or longer. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Creating a “One-Stop Shop” to Encourage Postpartum Contraception

By: Claire Watt Rothschild, Jacaranda Health

Everyone said she could not become pregnant while breastfeeding. This is what Wanjiru*, a new mother, told a nurse midwife at Jacaranda Health’s Ruiru maternity hospital.  When she became pregnant just 3 months after the birth of her first baby, she felt lied to. Family planning use in the first year after childbirth – known as the postpartum period – is both essential and rare in Kenya. At Jacaranda Health, the aim is to make family planning acceptable and convenient for new mothers and their families in a setting where 90 percent of women are not using postpartum family planning at all or until after they are already at risk of pregnancy. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Creating Change through Collaboration

By: Brittany Tatum, Women Deliver

Business is at its best when it can help people, make profits, and create real change – this is the basis of “shared value,” a management strategy for companies to increase their value by addressing social problems that intersect with their business. It requires businesses to grow in new ways, learn new skills, and change fundamental thinking. And it’s the topic of the Shared Value Leadership Summit, on 12-13 May in New York City. Read More...

Celebrate Solutions: Boys Learning to Take a Stand against Violence in Kenya

By: Sara Pellegrom, Women Deliver

Violence against women is prevalent in Kenya. According to government data from 2008-2009, nearly half of Kenyan who have ever been married have been physically abused by husbands. The same survey showed that over half of women believe that men have the right to beat their wives.

Ujamaa Africa, whose mission is to promote health, personal security and economic empowerment for vulnerable women and children, is trying to change this. The organization is currently running a program called Your Moment of Truth, a project to end violence against girls and women in slums in Nairobi by encouraging adolescent boys to take action. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Investing in Local Communities to Transform Lives

By: Lauren Himiak, Women Deliver

Half of the world’s population is under the age of 30 making today’s generation of young people the largest in history. Their choices and opportunities define the present and the future of our world, yet barriers such as child marriage, HIV, poverty, and others, hold back our youth from realizing their full potential. Luckily, there are organizations working to combat these issues and empower the next generation of leaders. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: How Men Can Deliver for Women by Speaking Up

By: Melissa Hattab, Women Deliver

Yesterday, 8 March 2015, was International Women’s Day - global observance of the economic, political, and social achievements of women past, present, and future. We know that women cannot fight for gender equality alone – we need boys and men to stand up too. The issues that girls and women face globally are gaining traction in global development, as advocates continue to push for equality. From journalists, to global partnerships, the world is poised to make gender equality a reality and improve the lives of girls and women. To do this, we need all advocates – especially boys and men – to stand with us and demand equality. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: How Girls Can Realize Their Power Through Sports

By: Melissa Hattab, Women Deliver

The Women’s Sports Foundation strives to make every girl active and healthy. And we know that when we invest in women’s health, everyone wins. Their mission is one we at Women Deliver support wholeheartedly – “To advance the lives of girls and women through sports and physical activity." Founded in 1974 by tennis legend, Billie Jean King, the Women's Sports Foundation is dedicated to advancing the lives of girls and women through sports and physical activity. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: How Reducing Social Isolation Can Also Reduce the Risk of HIV Infection

By: Sara Pellegrom, Women Deliver

Despite years of investment and progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS, the disease remains the leading cause of death among girls ages 15 to 19 in Ethiopia. In addition, adolescent girls remain disproportionately at risk of infection. The Population Council’s Biruh Tesfa project is seeking to change this by taking a “whole girl” approach to addressing HIV infection – social isolation, economic insecurity, poor access to services, and sexual and gender-based violence. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: The Sisterhood in Girls’ Education

By: Melissa Hattab, Women Deliver

Sadhana is one of five sisters, living in a remote village in Maharashtra, India. Like many others, they were born to parents who felt that girls were a burden and who were therefore indifferent to them. We discovered her story hidden in the New York Times as an opinion piece. It was written by Priyanka Chopra, known globally as a prominent Indian actor but by her own preferred definition, a UNICEF ambassador devoted to promoting child rights. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Is Access to Safe Water A Secret Ingredient to Reducing Maternal Deaths?

By: Whitney Sogol, Women Deliver

In a recent PLOS article, “From Joint Thinking to Joint Action: A Call to Action on Improving Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Maternal and Newborn Health,” representatives from WaterAid, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, WHO, UNICEF, UN Population Fund, UNFPA, and the Share Research Consortium, put forward a case that access to safe water is an overlooked but essential tool for reducing maternal mortality—a development goal that has proven particularly hard to reach. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Micro-Entrepreneurship as a Tool for Women’s Empowerment

By: Emily Mello, Women Deliver

When you invest in girls and women, everybody wins.

Here at Women Deliver, we can’t say that enough. Economically empowered women not only raise the labor productivity of their countries, but also spend more of their earned income on their families. Hindustan UniLever Limited (HUL), India’s largest Fast Moving Consumer Goods Company, is applying this principle through Project Shakti. This entrepreneurial program offers rural women microgrants to become distributors of the company’s health and hygiene products. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: 2015, a New Year, New Resolutions, Important Remembrances

By: Melissa Hattab, Women Deliver

As we enter the New Year with good intentions, new resolutions, and re-commitments to issues that matter to us, we must resolve to keep in our collective memory the girls and women who have been lost in an effort to silence or end their human rights activism.

We at Women Deliver bring to your attention the powerful tribute to Feminists and Women Human Rights Defenders who have passed away created by the Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID) as part of the 16 Days Campaign Against Gender Based Violence (November 25 – December 10, 2014). Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Finding the Beauty in Education

By: Melissa Hattab, Women Deliver

Every girl deserves an education, and one major American magazine is joining the global campaign to prioritize the education of at-risk girls all over the world. Glamour magazine has collaborated with four nonprofits to raise money for girls to help them attend secondary school.

Cindi Leive, Glamour’s editor in chief, said that the magazine started The Girl Project in part because of recent world events, including the girls kidnapped from their school in Nigeria and the many schools damaged in Gaza. Read more..

Celebrate Solutions: Girls on the Run for a Better World

By: Joanna Hoffman, Women Deliver

Running will always be yours,” my Cross Country coach told me back in high school. “Anytime, anywhere you are, you can lace up your shoes and go.” In my own life, I’ve seen firsthand how running on a cross country team transformed me from a quiet, insecure girl to one with confidence, purpose, and a sense of peace. Running helped me to manage stress, and left me feeling proud of what I could accomplish with just my own two feet. Read more...

 

 

Celebrate Solutions: Driving Change and Saving Lives in India

By: Lauren Himiak, Women Deliver

Imagine waking in the middle of the night choking, unable to breathe, scared, and unsure what to do. One’s first response may be to call for an ambulance, but what if none were available? This was the case in 2004 for Shaffi Mather whose mother awoke to this terrifying situation in India. Unsure of what to do, Mather’s family drover her to the hospital themselves. Just a few days later, a similar situation happened to Ravi Krishna, but in New York where a 911 ambulance was on the scene within minutes. Seeing firsthand such a stark contrast of availability and accessibility of standardized emergency medical services (EMS), Mather and Krishna decided to act. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Building Relationships, Accelerating Action

By: Whitney Sogol, Women Deliver

Over the past decade the global health community has seen a proliferation of MNCH innovations. Research on the efficacy of these innovations has not kept pace. Similarly, traditional business models have failed when it comes to making MNCH innovations affordable and accessible to those with the least resources and greatest need. Under these unfavorable conditions, innovators struggle to secure funding for untested MNCH products or programs that promise minimal, if any, profit. Scarce resources and capacity forces innovators to abandon their work at early stages even as women and children continue to suffer or die. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Transforming Health Care Access in Africa

By: Rehema Namukose, Women Deliver

For pregnant women worldwide, lacking transportation can be a matter of life or death. A delay in reaching health care is one of the 3 delays that contribute to maternal mortality and morbidity. Riders for Health is working to address this and many other health issues in Zambia, The Gambia, Kenya, Lesotho, Nigeria and Zimbabwe by providing accessible, reliable transportation to people who need care, regardless of where they live. Read more...

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