Encouraging innovation, meeting health worker shortages

In the News

As of September 1st, HMRI will no longer be affiliated with the health information program 104 Advice. The Times of India reports that they lost their contract with the Indian government, who will be replacing the organization with a new contractor to run the program.

The private sector in Nigeria got a boost this week from Mrs. Toyin Saraki, Founder and President of the Wellbeing Foundation. Speaking at an event for the United Nation's Every Woman, Every Child Initiative - which she is leading in Nigeria - Mrs. Saraki emphasized that commitment from an organized private sector remains the only way for the country to meet the Millennium Development Goals.

Sadly, Independent Monitoring Board of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative is reporting that the world is not on track to eliminate Polio by 2012 as was previously hoped would be accomplished. While eradication is “still feasible” it will require extra effort from affected and non-affected countries alike. Experts blame a combination of lack of funding and inconsistent campaigns as the sticking point in the effort.

Eradication of many vaccine preventable diseases, including Polio, could be put at risk due to the reports coming out regarding the CIA’s involvement in health missions in their effort to track down Osama Bin Laden. The CIA used a real immunization effort in Pakistan in order gain access to DNA. Experts believe that as this information leaks out, those already weary of health workers may be even more so, limiting their cooperation when it comes to preventing illness.

Meeting Health Worker Shortages

In addition to these potential obstacles to vaccination is newest report from Save the Children that at least 40 million children are currently living in “health care deserts” or areas where there are no health care workers in order to vaccinate or treat various preventable or curable diseases. The report shows a global shortage of 3.5 million health workers.

CHMI has several programs that give potential alternatives to traditional health workers, such as Arogya Ghar, which uses technology to train health workers quickly and cheaply to use kiosk clinics in rural India, or the Ethnic Minority Midwives Project, which takes trains local women in villages in Viet Nam to be midwives in areas where healthcare is lacking.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Encourages Innovation

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one of CHMI’s funders, is holding a new challenge in the name of sanitation. They have given eight grants to a various universities who have accepted the task of creating a new toilet with focus on making it accessible to developing nations. The innovative ideas can be read in full online, and are expected to be ready for use within four years.

As always, have a wonderful weekend and please follow us on Twitter at CHMInnovations and on Facebook to keep track of the latest health innovations!