News & Blogs

News & Blogs2019-09-24T06:57:57-04:00
1406, 2021

The Use of iDARE Methodology to Incorporate Community Cultural ANC Beliefs into ANC Services at Kabeywa Learning Site in Uganda

By Joyce Draru, Gender and Youth Specialist Joyce Draru, SBCA Gender and Youth Specialist iDARE work begins in the same fashion for every new site: with the formation of iDARE teams. The teams work with their Social Behavior Change Activity (SBCA) Gender and Youth Specialist to identify root causes in health care gaps related to gender, youth, and social inclusion (GYSI), design solutions to address the root causes, apply the co-designed solutions, record the results that they see from the solutions in their community, and then expand on solutions that have worked well, including sharing their experience. This was the process for the Kabeywa Health Center III (HC III) learning site in the Kapchorwa District in Uganda. iDARE teams were formed with health care facility providers, community health workers and volunteers (CHW/V), and people identified as social change influencers in the community. SBCA Gender and Youth Specialist, Joyce Draru, facilitated this team.  However, when the team started to address root causes impacting the uptake of early antenatal care (ANC) services in the first trimester, it was discovered they had missed a key influencer for the team. […]

1205, 2021

Mental Health is a Human Right: Greater Awareness and Capacity Building Support is Needed in Ethiopia and Beyond

By Krista Odom, WI-HER Program Coordinator Prior to the pandemic, a significant treatment gap existed in mental health services and resources when comparing high-income countries (HICs) to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Today, a year-plus into the pandemic, that gap continues to widen.  Making the work of the global development community particularly difficult is the lack of time-trend regression models that forecast mental health concerns, such as an increase in suicide risk, particularly in LMICs. Country governments, donors, researchers, development practitioners, and communities – we all have an important role in support of global mental health, and how we help those most at risk and vulnerable. One of the first people to befriend me when I moved to Ethiopia as a Peace Corps Volunteer was Dinkinesh, or Dink. We came to know each other in a remote village of less than 1,000 people in the Amhara District, two kilometers up a mountain from the nearest road, 15 kilometers from the nearest city, Dessie, and 415 kilometers from Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, and the nearest and only mental health specialty hospital in the country. […]

705, 2021

Tackling gender, youth, and social inclusion gaps to improve viral load suppression among men and children in Tororo district

 By Elizabeth Kemigisha, WI-HER’s Technical Specialist, Collaboration, Learning and Adaptation  Summary: This story highlights how identifying and tackling gender, youth, and social inclusion issues with community and facility influencers can impact viral load suppression among HIV clients who are not suppressing even when they are active in care. It draws from Nagongera Health Centre IV and Mulanda Health Centre IV experiences in Tororo district in Eastern Uganda. The project’s vision is committed to progressing USAID/Uganda’s Journey to Self-Reliance (J2SR) and the CDCS 2016-2021, which seeks to improve the adoption of priority behaviors at the individual, household, and community levels. The story connects to development objective 1, which aims to increase community and household resilience in select areas and target populations, i.e., applying iDARE methodology, a community-driven approach. Additionally, the story further links to sub immediate results 1.3, which calls for enhanced prevention and treatment of HIV, malaria, and other epidemics among the most vulnerable. This story highlights how the project tackles gender issues affecting men and children to increase treatment outcomes.  “Prior to applying the iDARE methodology, our numbers for unsuppressed clients were big, we didn’t look at them through the gender lens for example breaking them down by their gender and age and further tackling each. Conversations with men improve the adherence and viral load suppression of the entire family” – Apoya Christine Data Assistant, Mulanda HCIV […]

2604, 2021

Every Kid Healthy in Rwanda: Mentoring girls to thrive in healthy relationships

By Maddison Hall, MPH, WI-HER Program Officer Question: Thank you so much for sharing your experience today. To celebrate Every Kid Healthy Week, WI-HER is focusing on the ways we can support the health and wellbeing of adolescent girls and young women. To begin, can you introduce yourself, and tell us why you were inspired to work with girls and young women in your community in Rwanda? Clementine Tumwambaze, DREAMS Mentor (photo courtesy of Clementine) Answer: My name is Clementine Tumwambaze, I am Rwandan, and I am a volunteer mentor with the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) working with girls and young women in my community. I became a mentor because I am a young woman myself, and I wanted to help other people in my community, especially adolescent girls and young women in my village. I wanted to volunteer with girls and young women because I am passionate about helping other people in my community. […]

904, 2021

Health worker efforts to improve GBV case management in Kenya

By: Hayley Hoaglund, MPH/MBA candidate at JHU and a WI-HER Intern Gender-based violence (GBV) affects millions of women and men worldwide. In Kenya, its implications are long lasting and devastating, as physical violence affects 49% of girls and 48% of boys aged 13-17 years, and sexual violence affects 11% of girls and 4% of boys, according to Brookings. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, domestic violence has been exacerbated through stay-at-home orders. These numbers are underreported due to the fear and stigma that often accompanies violence. GBV poses a substantial threat to the growth and prosperity of adolescents and children, and in recognizing this, WI-HER, through the USAID funded Afya Nyota ya Bonde Project, applied WI-HER’s innovative iDARE methodology to improve the identification and management of cases through survivor centered care models. […]

2203, 2021

Harnessing evidence for impact and inclusive development: Announcing WI-HER’s collection of gender, social inclusion, and health desk reviews in Nigeria

“Evidence suggests that women in Ebonyi have limited access to assets and financial resources, and also experience concerning levels of controlling behaviors in marital relationships. Women face restrictive norms that limit their ability to make decisions about their own wellbeing, finances, and health. Women’s subordinate status also exposes them to risk of gender-based violence, and Ebonyi has some of the highest levels of sexual violence in the country. While men have greater decision-making power and access to resources, the limited evidence available suggests that norms about masculinity deter men from seeking health services and can also encourage them to participate in high-risk behaviors like unprotected sexual activity. Youth in Ebonyi have few opportunities for education or economic independence and have limited knowledge of and access to health services, especially for sexual and reproductive health services.” – Desk Review on Gender and Social Inclusion Issues Affecting Health in Ebonyi State, Nigeria When WI-HER expanded our work in Nigeria to Ebonyi State in 2020, we immediately began gathering evidence and information to learn more about gender, social inclusion, and health in Ebonyi. We asked ourselves key questions: Who uses the health system? Who has access to resources? What unique risks and barriers do marginalized groups face? How can we harness opportunities to overcome challenges and barriers? […]

903, 2021

Adding Value with Inclusive Development: Involving Adolescents in Strategic Planning to Improve Health Systems

By: Emilia Eyo Okon, Gender, Social Inclusion, & Community Engagement Advisor, WI-HER On the USAID Integrated Health Program (IHP) in Nigeria, led by Palladium, WI-HER prioritizes the inclusion of beneficiaries in its efforts to support the state to strengthen the health system and improve access to and quality of health services. As such, during the development of the Ebonyi State Strategy for Gender in Health, WI-HER’s Gender, Social Inclusion, and Community Engagement (GSI&CE) Advisor Emilia Eyo Okon advocated to invite beneficiaries of the health system to the Gender Desk Review Dissemination and Strategy Development Workshop and other planning meetings so their voices could be heard. Several beneficiaries were able to attend, including adolescents and youth. Emilia Okon held a short interview with Chukwu Onyinyechi, one of the adolescents who attended the strategy development workshop, to talk about herself, her experience during the meeting, and how this has impacted her life. Emilia Okon (E.O.): Tell us about yourself. Ms. Onyinyechi shares her thoughts during the workshop. Chukwu Onyinyechi: My name is Chukwu Onyinyechi. I am 19 years from Ohoazara Local Government Area (LGA) in Ebonyi State. I am currently a student studying English and Literature in the Ebonyi State University. I also volunteer my time as a gender desk officer for an organization called Health for the Society Justice and Peace Initiative. I am a young mother who had a child as a teenager. […]

602, 2021

International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation: Obstetric Fistula and Female Cutting in Sokoto – A Preventable Scourge

By Aisha Ahmed, WI-HER, Gender, Social Inclusion and Community Engagement Advisor for USAID IHP in Sokoto State, Nigeria  “A young girl had an obstetric fistula at a young age. She was married and pregnant. Unfortunately, the girl was living with her mother in-law because her husband had travelled to make ends meet in another State. Her mother in-law did not give permission for her to be taken to the hospital when she was in labor. The girl spent three days in labor and was later put to bed. After some days she began leaking and even lost the baby. She smelled of urine every day, and as a result was divorced by her husband and left in a pathetic state.” – Hajiya Asabe, Family Planning Focal Person of the Sokoto State Primary Health Care Development Agency (SSPHCDA) IHP GSI&CE Advisor, Aisha Ahmed, stands for violence against violence against women in all its forms! The above story is sadly not a rarity in Sokoto, but an all too true reality for hundreds of girls and women in the State. The complications of obstetric fistula, both physical and psychosocial, are debilitating to women. The uncontrollable leaking of urine or feces gives women an unpleasant odor, and they can experience ostracism from their family and friends. This ostracization can lead to divorce or separation, depression, or exclusion from social activities, which can in turn affect the woman’s financial outcomes if her condition is a cause of her unemployment. […]

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