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Why Global Handwashing Day Matters


One of the top three killers of children under the age of five globally is diarrhea. Human feces carries diarrhea pathogens and  “a single gram of human feces can contain 10 million viruses and one million bacteria“. An easy way to curb deaths of children under five is to simply wash one’s hands. This goes for pneumonia as well, another global killer of children in low- and middle-income…

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How PSI Reinforces Positive Reproductive Health Messaging Through Branding, Edutainment


In Tanzania, orange has increasingly become the recognized color of family planning and reproductive health services. Population Services International’s orange Familia brand is quite common in most regions of this coastal country of 49 million. PSI, a global non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health of people in the developing world, has consistently and effectively branded…

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A Day in the Life of a Family Planning Health Worker

Blandina Mpacha

Salasala, Tanzania — It took over an hour in notoriously congested Dar es Salaam traffic and gingerly moving through winding, narrow, dirt roads to visit Blandina Mpacha. Mama Blandina, as her community affectionately calls her, is a PSI health worker who teaches women, men, and whole families about the importance of family planning. This isn’t something new to her. Mama Blandina has been a…

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Traveling to Tanzania With PSI, IntraHealth International, and Mandy Moore

Traveling to Tanzania With PSI, IntraHealth, and Mandy Moore

Dismus - Frontline Health Worker

Over the years I have had the distinct privilege of meeting health workers around the world from Ethiopia and Kenya to Tanzania and South Africa to India and Brazil. Health workers, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, are the unequivocal backbone of health systems that can oftentimes be severely taxed due to the overwhelming number of people who rely on them for care to the disarray…

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Why Secondary Education for Girls Reduces Child Marriage, Early Pregnancies

UNESCO just released its report, Sustainable Development: Post 2015 Begins With Education, that takes a look at the critical importance of education on the post-2015 agenda. The core stance in the report portends that without greater access to education poverty eradication will become increasingly difficult to achieve by 2030. The betterment of women’s and girls’ lives across the globe, most…

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It’s Time to End Violence Against Girls in India #EndViolence

Schoolgirls in Delhi, Protsahan

Last year I visited Protsahan, a small, but innovative social enterprise in Delhi that helps young girls who are victims of abuse through arts education. Some of the girls, who live and work in the red-light district in one of Delhi’s poorest slums, are forced by their families to work in brothels to contribute to the family’s paltry income. The girls can be victims of drug abuse and some of the…

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Why Getting Women to Deliver in Health Facilities May Be Harder Than We Think

Maternity Ward - Siaya District Hospital - Kisumu, Kenya

Every day 800 women die from preventable causesduring childbirth. That is 292,00o women too many each year. One of the ways in which this statistic can be reduced is by simply encouraging women in low- and middle-income countries to deliver in health facilities with skilled health workers. That sounds simple enough, but it has been challenging. The number of midwives in most sub-Saharan…

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805 Million People Still Remain Malnourished, According to New Report


The State of Food Insecurity in the Worldreport, a collaborative report from Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization, World Food Program and International Fund for Agricultural Development, was released Tuesday. According to its topline data, there are now 805 million people around the world who are chronically malnourished; that is a steady decline of 100 million people over the last…

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New Report on Child Mortality Trends Released

Today a collaborative report on trends in child mortality was released by the World Bank, UNICEF, the United Nations and the World Health Organization. According to the Levels and Trends in Child Mortalityreport, child mortality has dropped by 49 percent since 1990. Even so, Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG 4) has yet to be reached. In fact, if current trends persist only Latin America, the…

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As a mother of three children age 4 and under, I understand the meaning of a full day of work at home, and my kids are healthy. They were all born at well-equipped hospitals with educated staff and access to any medicine they may have needed. In fact, my oldest daughter was born via an emergency c-section; without our access to quality health care she and I may not have survived her birth.

 It may be surprise you, like it did me, that a staggering 18,000 children die every day from preventable causes and over one million newborns do not make it past their first day of life, with newborns accounting for 4 out of 5 deaths of children under the age of 5. These numbers are too high and we need to work together to make a positive change.

The United Nations Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) look to reduce preventable child deaths by two thirds by 2015. We as a global community need to invest in women of all ages and provide them with the education and care they need to succeed. Reaching out to women and girls in countries with the poorest access to high quality health care will make a huge impact in the future of our universe.

I believe that access to quality health care is a RIGHT for girls and women regardless of where they live, not a privilege. Please visit and become accountable. 


Sometimes I feel like the seasons have a theme. Since it’s Labor Day here in the U.S. — the unofficial end of summer and correspondingly, the start of autumn — I’m reflecting on the last few months and examining whether there was a unifying thought or idea.

For me, there definitely was:…