Africare in the News

Africare Awarded for Innovative Mobile App Developed to Measure Anemia

Africare’s Mwanzo Bora Nutrition Program (MBNP) team received one of three USAID’s Global Development Lab’s “Innovation to Action Awards” last week in Washington, D.C. The award recognizes the impact this innovation will have: breaking the cycle of malnutrition and anemia passed from mother to child, and engendering good nutrition and health in the crucial first 1,000 days of life, ensuring children grow, learn, and thrive.

The Africare-developed Hb Meter is a mobile device app for Android® smartphones developed to help program staff measure anemia levels in communities in Tanzania. It can tell if a person is anemic within 15 seconds without drawing any blood. Simply put an index finger on the device and the camera’s flash is able to filter through the skin to measure relevant blood levels, categorizing the result as “severe”, “mild”, or “no anemia” in line with World Health Organization standards. The app provides the results electronically on site, and can feed the data directly into health systems databases and dashboards, codified and anonymized to protect the privacy of each individual.

MBNP Testing at Muhimbili Hospital, Tanzania

Before the app trained staff has to draw blood, run a test, and read the results to diagnose anemia; this process took several minutes and was dependent on the individual being comfortable with having their blood drawn. The breakthrough of this invention means easy, fast identification of anemia without specific clinical training requirements, needles, or test kits; especially useful when working with infants or vulnerable adults, and in remote areas.  The cost of the test was also greatly reduced from about 62 cents per individual to 1 cent per individual.

An indicator of poor nutrition or underlying illness, anemia results in poor health, including loss of energy and reduced physical capacity. In Tanzania, over half of all pregnant women, and more than 1 in 3 women are likely to be anemic. Anemia in pregnancy is associated with illness and death of both the mother and baby, including increased risk of miscarriages, stillbirths, premature birth, and low birth weight. Africare’s Mwanzo Bora Nutrition Program, funded by USAID and implemented in Tanzania, aims to eliminate 20% of all anemia in the first 1,000 days of life using social and behavior change communication to improve nutrition.

Throughout the continent Africare has been recognized for its program implementation excellence. As a top global innovator in Senegal, Africare received the Innovative Solutions Award to Prevent Infant/Maternal Deaths at the “DevelopmentXChange” Saving Lives at Birth Conference for a groundbreaking ICT platform to improve care in pregnancy, delivery and right after childbirth for both mother and baby in remote areas of Senegal.

Africare’s MBNP team was honored for this breakthrough mobile app at an award ceremony during Global Innovation Week held at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center in Washington D.C.

[More]

Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre Scales Up Africare’s Mwanzo Bora’s U.S. Government-supported SBCC Kit

Approximately 40 participants from 15 different organizations came together for a national Training of Trainers (TOT) training conducted by the Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre (TFNC), co-facilitated by Africare’s Mwanzo Bora Nutrition Program (MBNP), to scale up the project’s Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) Kit—Mkoba wa Siku 1000. The kit uses peer support learning to replace negative nutrition behaviors with positive nutrition behaviors.

An estimated 2.7 million Tanzanian children under the age of five suffer from stunting, a measure of chronic malnutrition. But investments in nutrition activities by the Government of Tanzania and its partners have begun to turn the tide, with childhood stunting declining sharply in Tanzania between 2010-2014. During this period, the Mkoba wa Siku 1000, developed by MBNP in close collaboration with the TFNC, has been part of this reversal. Since the project’s inception in 2011, MBNP has contributed to significant reductions in stunting in Dodoma (56 percent to 36.5 percent); Morogoro (44 percent to 33.4 percent); and Manyara (46 percent to 36 percent). These gains have been made been possible through the use of the Mkoba wa Siku 1000.

[More]

Africare, Robert L. Mallett, and Evelyn B. Simmons Featured Online This Month

Not only was Africare recently featured in Black Coffy, an urban affairs & news blog, but two interviews of Africare executives have also been published online this month:

Africare President Robert L. Mallett discussed his distinguished career, the people who have inspired him, and his guilty pleasures in this interview by the Dubrof Group consulting firm, and Africare’s Chief of External Relations & Partnerships, Evelyn B. Simmons discussed public-private partnerships and the path that led her to Africare in this Q&A with Inside NGO.

Black Coffee article on Africare: http://blackcoffy.com/2017/03/09/arfricare/
Robert L. Mallett interview: http://dubrof.com/portfolio_page/robert-mallett-201703/
Evelyn B. Simmons interview: https://www.insidengo.org/blog/member-profile-evelyn-boyd-simmons-africare

Africare’s President and CEO, Robert L. Mallett

Robert L. Mallett, President

Evelyn B. Simmons, Chief of External Relations & Partnerships

 

 

[More]

Africare’s Power Forward project highlighted in Nigeria’s “Daily Trust” newspaper

Copied from the Daily Trust website, view at the original source here  

Group to sensitize IDPs, students on lifesaving skills

Group to sensitize IDPs, students on lifesaving skills

Internally displaced persons (IDPs), students and vulnerable communities in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), are part of the 10,000 people targeted to benefit from Africare Nigeria’s  Power Forward project on public health and life saving skills this year.

Country director, Africare Nigeria, Dr Orode  O. Doherty made this known yesterday in Abuja during a stakeholders meeting to launch its 2017 strategy.

She said the non-governmental organisation will be carrying out the Power Forward project in partnership with Exxon Mobil and National Basketball Association (NBA) .

“The strategy is to reach more indirect beneficiaries with public health and life saving skills learning, supplies distribution and behavior change interventions.

“This will be achieved by expanding programming into IDP camps, providing hand washing stations in 20 schools, planting of trees project amongst others,” she said.

Also speaking, Mrs Victoria Uno George, deputy director, Secondary Education Board, Abuja, said the 2017 strategy will give opportunity to more children.

“Africare’s 2017 strategy is wonderful because the schools are actively involved, and now, more children who don’t have opportunities will be reached.”

[More]

img_6562-1

By Aliza Moorji-Hasham

Communications Specialist

Mwanzo Bora Nutrition Program

A U.S. Government supported program used to improve nutrition among mothers and children was formally adopted by the Government of Tanzania as it seeks to accelerate gains in reducing stunting among Tanzanian children under the age of five. The Mwanzo Bora Nutrition Program’s National Nutrition Social and Behavior Change Communication Kit (also known as Mkoba wa Siku 1000) was nationalized at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre as a part of the Joint Multisectoral Nutrition Review meeting.

The Mwanzo Bora Nutrition Program and the launch of the kit has been supported by Africare Tanzania as the prime partner, with a consortium of partners of COUNENUTH, Deloitte, and the Manoff Group.

The kit was distributed to various stakeholders, nutrition partners and NGOs (as pictured), as well as Regional and District Nutrition Officers from around the country.

The Mwanzo Bora Nutrition Program is a 7-year project funded by USAID as part of the Feed the Future initiative. The project’s goal is to improve the nutritional status of children and pregnant and lactating women, thereby reducing maternal anemia and childhood stunting by 20 percent in six regions in Tanzania.

 

[More]

ExxonMobil, NBA, Africare Reinstate Commitment to Power Forward

pf

October 1, 2016: ExxonMobil, NBA, Africare have reinstated their commitment to youth and sports development as they sponsor the third season of the Power Forward programme at the National Stadium in Kukwaba, Abuja.

Power Forward, a partnership between ExxonMobil, the NBA and Africare, uses the game of basketball to teach and mentor students from secondary schools in Abuja about health literacy and life skills such as leadership, respect and personal responsibility.

The event which had in attended former NBA player, Kelenna Azubuike, featured boys and girls championship games, performances from the Philadelphia 76ers Flight Squad and other youth competitions.

According to Dr. Paul Arinze of ExxonMobil, “Power Forward, through its focus on health, builds on efforts by the ExxonMobil Malaria Initiative to combat malaria in Nigeria.  The successful initiative works with a range of partners to prevent, treat and, ultimately, eliminate malaria especially in pregnant women and children under 5 who constitute the most vulnerable.”

He added that, “Our appreciation to the National Basketball Association, Africare, the NBA Talents, National Malaria Elimination Program of the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, the Power Forward Schools and everyone for their support for this initiative.

The Power Forward project was initiated 2013 in partnership with ExxonMobil, the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Africare to implement a youth development program that incorporates both life-skills training and public health education, using the convening power of basketball.

[More]

First Maternity Waiting Homes Completed and Opened in Zambia – ZaMs Project

homes

Africare Zambia recently completed and opened its first six Maternity Waiting Homes. Lively community events were open to the community at each site. Local leaders from the area, including government officials, were in attendance. Three homes are in Mansa District, Luapula Province located at Mano, Fimpulu and Lubende Rural Health Centers and three are located in Lundazi District, Eastern Province: Nyangwe, Nkhanga and Mwase Lundazi Rural Health Centers.  Jessy Mtenje, Lundazi District Coordinator for the project states, “These homes are set up to be community managed entrepreneurial enterprises with a variety of income generating activities as mechanisms for the homes to be financially sustainable, adequately maintained and also a sources of pride for women in the region”.

Click here to watch a time-lapse video of the one of the homes in Lundazi. This effort falls within the larger Maternity Homes Alliance efforts in Zambia that includes additional districts.

In rural Zambia, health facilities are sparse, roads are unpaved and transportation is unreliable. Women often have to travel long distances to reach the nearest health facility, making it difficult for them to get the care they need during pregnancy, childbirth and immediately postpartum. In fact, in Zambia, distance challenges are considered a leading contributor to the country’s high maternal mortality ratio of 224 maternal deaths for every 100,000 live births.

Maternity waiting homes, residences near health facilities where pregnant women can stay until they go into labor and immediately after childbirth, can help overcome these distance challenges by enabling women to reside closer to health facilities as they approach the end of their pregnancies.

The government of Zambia has included maternity waiting homes in the country’s efforts to reduce maternal mortality. The goal is to make these homes sustainable by empowering local communities to both effectively manage them and generate income to support their operations through creative entrepreneurial activities, therefore ensuring the homes and the services they provide are available for the long term.

Eden Ahmed Mdluli, Senior Technical Specialist, who supports the project from Africare headquarters in Washington, DC, says “Africare is energized to work within the alliance and collectively achieve more for vulnerable communities in Zambia and elsewhere”.

MSD, through MSD for Mothers, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The ELMA Foundation are supporting the Maternity Homes Alliance in Zambia to build and strengthen 24 maternity waiting homes throughout the country – all of which will be located near high-functioning health facilities equipped to provide quality care and manage life-threatening emergencies that can arise during pregnancy or childbirth. Africare, in collaboration with the University of Michigan, and Boston University, in collaboration with the Zambia Center for Applied Health Research and Development, are leading the program, supporting local communities to manage the homes.

The three-year project focuses on the districts of Mansa, Chembe, Lundazi, Kalomo, Choma, and Nyimba, and it builds on the existing efforts of each organization to lower maternal mortality in sub-Saharan Africa – where more than half of all maternal deaths occur. The project also represents part of MSD for Mothers’ commitment to Saving Mothers, Giving Life, a public-private partnership led by the U.S. Government to reduce maternal deaths in the region. 

The program is creating entrepreneurial models of these homes to test a variety of income generating activities to promote their long-term financial sustainability. The program will include an in-depth evaluation to help the maternal health field determine whether maternity waiting homes can be both an effective and sustainable solution to help women overcome distance barriers to quality care. 

[More]

Africare NIgeria Receives Award from McCann Global Health for Cookstoves

cookstove

As part of efforts to drive adoption of clean cook stoves and fuels around the world, the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves has announced awards to four organizations to design and manage behavior change communication (BCC) interventions in Bangladesh, Kenya and Nigeria. Africare Nigeria has received one of the sought after awards from McCann Global Health.

McCann Health is the world’s most-awarded professional and consumer health network, and is fully integrated into McCann Worldgroup, the largest marketing communications agency network in the world. Africare Nigeria engages in projects that leverage local resources for under-served communities to solve their own development challenges, prioritizing the cross-cutting themes of economic development, nutrition, water, WASH, women’s empowerment, and youth engagement.

According to Africare Country Director Orode Doherty, Africare began working on cooking related issues in 2012, and have since worked with the Nigerian LPG and cookstove community to develop programs aimed at increasing uptake of cleaner stoves and fuels across 11 states in Nigeria. The team will focus efforts in two states in Nigeria, with a primary goal of motivating women to make the switch from kerosene to LPG for cooking. They will leverage the expertise of the McCann communications network to develop a mass media campaign, and build on Africare’ s existing community level programs and relationships with the LPG community in Nigeria, including their work with over 100 women’s cooperatives, to integrate more women into the LPG distribution chain.

Selected from more than 60 proposals, the BCC interventions will take place over the next two years and are expected to deliver impactful, evidence-based communications aimed at influencing consumer purchasing decisions and encouraging consistent use of cleaner cooking options.  The interventions will employ a variety of outreach tools, communication channels, and creative concepts, including a new cooking-focused reality TV show, radio programming, mobile messaging, roadshows, street theater, and more.

“These behavior change interventions will help increase consumer demand for a range of higher-performing cookstoves and fuels, improving lives, protecting the environment, and enabling manufacturers to meet the needs of more and more households,” said Brian Smith, Chief Operating Officer of the Alliance. “The Alliance’s added focus on demand creation comes at a time when there’s a wider selection of higher-quality stoves available than ever before.”

The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is a public-private partnership hosted by the UN Foundation to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and protect the environment by creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions. The Alliance’s 100 by ‘20 goal calls for 100 million households to gain access to clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels by 2020. The Alliance works with a strong network of public, private and non-profit partners to accelerate the production, deployment, and use of clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels in developing countries.

 

 

[More]
Africare’s President and CEO, Robert L. Mallett
Africare’s President and CEO, Robert L. Mallett

Monthly President’s Message – Social Media

The world is getting smaller. We are connected through the power of technology.  The internet. Smart phones. Computers, large and small.  Skype. FaceTime.  And on and on and on.   A few weeks ago Africare conducted staff training on how to use Twitter at headquarters and for 10 of our countries in Africa. The reviews suggest that it was a success.  (More on that later).

This training, as well as others we will undertake, is part of my key objective to create “One Africare”.  As many of you have heard me say before, our organization has its headquarters in Washington, D.C., but our mission is accomplished in districts and villages in the countries where Africare has a program presence. What weaves us together is that each of us, wherever we do our work, is committed to making African lives better.  That is the objective we share, and it is the driving force of our collective efforts.

To be “One Africare,” and to achieve our organizational objectives, we have to commit ourselves through a process of setting goals and financing them.  We do not just commit to donors.  We commit to each other.  We commit to our partners, with, and for whom, we undertake our work. I want to share with you what I believe these commitments are:

  • First, we commit to honesty and integrity.
  • Second, we commit to excellence.
  • Third, we commit to timeliness and responsiveness.
  • Fourth, we commit to innovation and entrepreneurship.

I am heartened by the stories coming from the people we work with in Africa.  Our programs continue to be designed to meet the needs of the communities we serve. Cookstoves in Nigeria, funded by McCann, maternity homes in Zambia funded by Merck, these are all examples of our projects and the depth and breadth of what we do on the Continent.

The mission of Africare is pretty spectacular. We enhance lives for the people of Africa. We see that conditions can change for the better. We work hard to make an impact. The people we touch will never know any of our names, and we may never know many of theirs.  But together we are making a difference. For now, that is enough.

Circling back to the beginning, I do hope you will follow us on Twitter. @Africare, our handle at headquarters, has been in existence a few short years and has already gained over 8,500 followers. We are currently following over 4,200 accounts and have Tweeted close to 6,600 times. You can also follow me at @AfricarePrezMallett.

I hope to “see” you soon.

[More]
12345...10...
Next