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Celebrate Solutions: Delivering Family Planning with a Hashtag

By: Brittany Tatum, Women Deliver 

225 million – that’s the number of women in developing countries who have an unmet need for family planning. From financial issues to stigma, there are a number of barriers that block women from accessing the contraception they need. In order to raise awareness, each year on the 26 of September World Contraception Day (WCD) is recognized worldwide. Read More...

Celebrate Solutions: How Reusable Sanitary Pads are Empowering Women in Uganda

By: Brittany Tatum Women Deliver 

Imagine you are a young girl or woman, who has begun to menstruate and the only thing you had available to you in the realm of sanitary products were pieces of foam, toilet paper, or banana fibers. For some girls and women that’s a reality they face every month. They face embarrassment and vulnerability to infections, all because they can’t access or afford proper menstrual hygiene management (MHM).  This becomes an even larger problem when young girls miss school because of their periods. A study done in Uganda in 2013 showed that over 60 percent of girls skip school during their period. That’s where organizations like AFRIpads come into play. Read More...

Celebrate Solutions: Solar Suitcases Shining a Light on Maternal Health Across the Globe

By: Brittany Tatum, Women Deliver

Globally there are 800 women who die from pregnancy and childbirth-related complications each day.  Virtually all of these deaths (99%) occur in developing countries and most are preventable, which is exactly what Dr. Laura Stachel saw first-hand during a research trip in Nigeria in 2008. She found that one of the most frequent issues that occurred during her trip was health workers losing power in the middle of emergency operations. When the lights go out during these procedures there are not many options. Patients either wait to be treated until daylight, or get turned away. Read More...

Celebrate Solutions: Using Song to Memorize Antiretroviral Therapy Regimens in Angola

By: Sara Pellegrom, Women Deliver

Applauded by the World Health Organization, Option B+ offers all HIV-positive pregnant women a combination of three antiretroviral (ARV) drugs immediately upon their diagnosis, which they take throughout the course of their life. The goal is to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, as well as preserve the health of the HIV-positive woman so she can care for her baby. For many nurses in rural Angolan facilities, however, remembering the medication protocol was difficult. Read More...

Celebrate Solutions: Preventing FGM Through Safe Technology: There’s an App for That

By: Juliana Bennington, Women Deliver

How do you get educational and life-saving information to girls if having that information may put their lives in danger? Petals, a web-based application, which launched 7 July 2015, aims to make it safe for girls in the UK to get information about female genital mutilation (FGM) and allows them to securely access help if they feel they are at risk. What makes this app so unique is a security feature which allows girls (and boys) to learn about FGM almost anonymously, protecting those who may be worried that learning such information would be a risk to their safety. Read More...

 

Celebrate Solutions: How an App is Changing the Lives of Mothers & Newborns in Africa

By: Brittany Tatum, Women Deliver

Imagine you are birth attendant in a remote clinic in Africa. While helping a mother give birth, she begins to bleed - what do you do? You may not have clean, running water, or even electricity. You do, however, have a mobile phone. What does this mean for you and for the safety of the mother and the newborn? It means that you have access to mobile health interventions, such as The Safe Delivery App. Read More...

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...

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