CapacityPlus NewsletterJune 2014
Gender eLearning Course

A new course on the Global Health eLearning Center, Gender and Health Systems Strengthening, is intended to assist USAID field-based health officers, foreign service nationals, and US government partners to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in health systems strengthening efforts.

Women and men have different opportunities and constraints, needs, power, and access to the resources affecting their health. Promoting gender equality in all six components of the health system, as described by the World Health Organization, means assuring fairness and justice in the distribution of benefits, power, and resources.

Learners will gain an understanding of how these six health systems components—service delivery, health workforce, health information systems, access to essential medicines, financing, and leadership—interact with each other, how gender plays a role in each component, and ways to address gender issues in order to improve health and social outcomes. Read more »

Knowledge-Sharing Event

On May 6, CapacityPlus hosted its third knowledge-sharing and dissemination event, Better Data, Stronger Health Workforce: The Open Source iHRIS Approach. Held at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, the event showcased iHRIS, the leading open source software for tracking and managing data on the health workforce.

iHRIS supports strengthening the health workforce by providing accurate and up-to-date data on health workers for planning and decision-making. IntraHealth International, through the USAID-funded Capacity Project, first launched iHRIS in 2007. CapacityPlus continues to enhance the core iHRIS software while a global community of developers now provides country customization support and contributes improvements. Nineteen countries are currently using the software with more planning to implement it soon. Because the software is free to download and use, these countries have saved over $149 million in licensing fees alone.

Through a combination of presentations by USAID and CapacityPlus, interactive roundtable discussions, software demonstrations, and a moderated question-and-answer session, participants experienced each of the five iHRIS applications (Manage, Train, Qualify, Plan, Retain), learned about success stories resulting from countries using iHRIS, and discussed the power of open source approaches for maximizing local ownership, capacity-building, innovation, and partnership. Read more and access videos and presentations »

“I Can Improve Things”: An HIV Peer Counselor

“It was very, very bad treatment that I received,” recalls Mercedes (not her real name), a young mother living with HIV.

Five years ago—at one of the largest maternity hospitals in the Dominican Republic—she was diagnosed as HIV-positive. Although she enrolled in the hospital’s program to prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT), she felt discriminated against for her status, and that the health workers’ actions toward her lacked compassion.

But she decided her experience as a victim of stigma would not stand in her way of helping other HIV-positive pregnant women.

Two years later Mercedes met a staff member at the hospital who asked if she wanted to work as a volunteer HIV peer counselor. This was her chance to make a difference. “I can be there,” Mercedes replied. “I can improve things. And I can provide better information to patients.” Read more »
DRC Spotlight
A young boy—we’ll call him Mani—was living on the streets of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). He had no one to look after him, nowhere to go. He was just nine years old.

Mani’s situation is not unique. One quarter of all Congolese youth under age 18 are considered to be orphans and/or vulnerable children, according to the most recent Demographic and Health Survey. And nine out of ten don’t receive adequate financial, emotional, or other types of support. Helping these children is an enormous challenge for the DRC—as well as an opportunity. Read more »

On Our Blog
Picturing Our Work: Improving Preservice Education of Health Workers in the DRC

Youth Can Take the Lead in Health Governance and Accountability

Your Voice: Frontline Health Workers Are the Unsung Heroes of Global Health Progress

More »

"I'm a Health Worker"
Cecile Matiaba, Social Service Worker in the DRC
Cecile Matiaba, head of the social interventions division at DISPE, the DRC’s national-level division of child protection, tells a story about a boy who was living on the streets—and how she was able to help.

More »

20th International AIDS Conference
July 20–25, Melbourne

Third Global Symposium on Health Systems Research
September 30 – October 3, Cape Town

8th Asia-Pacific Action Alliance on Human Resources for Health Conference
October 27–31, Weihai

The Network: Towards Unity For Health Annual Meeting
November 19–23, Fortaleza

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The CapacityPlus Partnership
IntraHealth International (lead partner), Abt Associates, IMA World Health, Liverpool Associates in Tropical Health (LATH), Training Resources Group, Inc. (TRG).

Associate Partners
African Population & Health Research Center (APHRC), Asia-Pacific Action Alliance on Human Resources for Health (AAAH), West African Institute of Post-Graduate Management Studies (CESAG), Partners in Population and Development (PPD).

The views expressed in this message do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Agency for International Development or the United States Government.

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