The Institute of International Education and the Maternal Health Task Force at Harvard School of Public Health are pleased to announce the 2013 Maternal Health Mentors!
Professor Nutan Jain
Young Champion: Ms. Priya John
Organization: Indian Institute of Health Management Research
Prof. Nutan P. Jain has a background in Psychology and Public Health. She obtained a PhD in Psychology from the Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Meerut, and a Masters in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA. She has over a decade of experience of working with national organizations like Central JALMA Institute for Leprosy, Council for Industrial and Scientific Research, National Institute of Health and Family Welfare and National Institute of Public Co-operation and Child Development. Presently, Nutan is Professor and Coordinator, Gender Heath Resource Centre at the Indian Institute of Health Management Research (IIHMR), Jaipur. During her tenure she has taught organizational behavior to post-graduate students, and conducted management development programs on leadership and management, gender and health at the national and international level. Her current research areas of interest are reproductive health with a special emphasis on gender and adolescent health, child rights, and monitoring and evaluation of health programs.
Established in 1984 Indian Institute of Health Management Research (IIHMR) is an organization deeply engaged in the improvement of standards of health of the people through management education, training and research in the health sector. It seeks to accomplish this through management research, training, consultation and institutional networking in a national and global perspective. One of the thrust areas is Population and Reproductive Health. For capacity strengthening of health functionaries, besides development of modules, various management development programmers including a series of “strategic leadership and management for reproductive health programs”, NRHM in India and South Asia region have been conducted. Gender Health Resource Center (GHRC) at the Institute aims at gender mainstreaming in health. The Institute, the only Non-Governmental Organization, has been designated as WHO Collaboration Centre for District Health Systems since April 1998. Institute has emerged as a leading player in this area of research on Reproductive Health. Learning is cyclic, means research survey findings are utilized for teaching and training, and on the other hand experiences of management development programs and students give ideas to think differently and find out evidences for the same.
Young Champion: Ms. Neha Rathi
Organization: Society for Nutrition, Education, and Health Action
Sushma Shende is currently overseeing the maternal and newborn heath programs of SNEHA in the capacity of Program Director. She holds a Master’s of Science in Anthropology from University of Pune. Sushma has been with SNEHA since 2002 and previously worked with KEM research center Pune and BAIF, both at Pune. She has 15 years of experience in handling health system research and development projects in tribal and urban areas. Her expertise includes improving public health systems and developing new public private partnerships and she has significantly contributed towards the process of building SNEHA’s partnership with Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai for improvement in the quality of care for mothers and newborn health. She has presented papers on maternal and newborn health in number of national and international conferences.
SNEHA (Society for Nutrition, Education and Health Action) was founded in 1999 in Mumbai by Dr. Armida Fernandez, a well known Neonatologist and ex Dean of Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital, known as Sion Hospital. SNEHA is all about the empowerment of women and children in urban slums with a holistic approach to address issues related to social inequalities and health by working in partnership both with the communities and health facilities. SNEHA believes that if women and their families are empowered to improve healthcare seeking behavior, and existing health systems are strengthened, then a significant change is brought about in the health status of women and children in urban slums. SNEHA runs four inter-related programs, two of which address primary health, and the other two address violence against women and children, and adolescent girls’ sexual and reproductive rights.
Dr. Pushpa Tiwari
Young Champion: Ms. Vasudha Chakravarthy
Organization: Tata Steel Family Initiatives Foundation
Dr. Pushpa Tiwari presently works for Tata Steel Family Initiative Foundation (TSFIF) as Joint Administrator and manages various Maternal and Child Health, and Family Planning programs. She has a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), and a Post Graduate Degree in Maternal and Child Health (PGDMCH). In addition, she is a Visionary Leadership Program Fellow of The David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Pushpa has experience working with international organizations such as CARE on a Child Survival Project and The David and Lucile Packard Foundation on an Adolescent Reproductive Health Project. She has over 16 years of experience in the implementation of health programs.
Established in 1950, the Tata Steel Family Initiatives Foundation (TSFIF) is committed to improving the quality of life of the people in its areas of intervention by improving reproductive health awareness and providing quality reproductive health services. The Foundation works in East Singhbhum, West Singhbhum, and Seraikela – Kharsawan on initiatives in four core areas: maternal and child health, adolescent reproductive health, HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support, and health resource centers. TSFIF provides education and services in ante- and postnatal care, immunization, family planning, and home based newborn care through village level volunteer visits to check newborn deaths, maternal and child health clinics, counseling services, and even street plays and road shows. Family Planning camps are organized for women and men to address the population problem. In addition, TSFIF resource center provides training for peer educators and NGOs on all four core areas and improves reproductive health through integrated capacity building and development programs.
Dr. Dereje Negussie
Young Champion: Mr. Solomon Abebe Addis
Organization: EngenderHealth Ethiopia
Dr. Dereje Negussie is a consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist and has been an assistant Prof. in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Dereje received his post graduate specialty training in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Post-Graduate Diploma training in Research Methodology from the Faculty of Life Science at Copenhagen University, in Denmark. His research interest is in maternal health in general and family planning and abortion care in particular. Previously, he led the joint Jimma University-DKT-Ethiopia reproductive health project, the joint Jimma University-Women and Health Alliance (WAHA) international fistula project, and the local chapter of the Ethiopian Society of Obstetrician and Gynecologists. Moreover, he had served as the Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Medical Director of the Jimma University specialized hospital.
EngenderHealth is a leading global women’s health organization that is working to ensure every pregnancy is planned, every child is wanted, and every mother has the best chance at survival. We train health care professionals and partner with governments and communities in more than 20 countries around the world to provide high-quality services in family planning, maternal health, and HIV and AIDS. We also work to promote gender equality and to advocate for sound practices and policies that support sexual and reproductive health. At Engender Health, we are committed to unlocking the full potential of women by enabling them to have the number of children they want—not the number their circumstances dictate.
Dr. Delayehu Bekele
Young Champion: Mr. Anteneh Asefa Mekonnen
Organization: Saint Paul’s Hospital Millennium Medical College
Dr. Delayehu Negussie is Assistant Professor of Obstetrician and Gynaecology at Saint Paul Hospital Millennium Medical College (SPMMC) and also the Project Director of the Health Facility Networking for Maternal Health Project, run by SPMMC in collaboration with the Maternal Health Task Force of Harvard University and Addis Continental Institute of Public Health. He has served as a Safe Motherhood Adviser at ICAP-Ethiopia and was involved in different emergency obstetric and neonatal care strengthening activities in the different regions of Ethiopia. He is also member of the Safe Motherhood Technical Advisory Group of the Federal Ministry of Health.
St. Paul's General Specialized Hospital was established in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, in 1969 with a primary goal of serving the poor. It currently has 360 beds and gives care to an average of 200,000 patients annually including delivery services for more than 4000 mothers who come from all corners the country. In 2007 which coincides with the new Millennium era of the Ethiopian calendar, it opened a medical school and became St Paul’s Hospital Millennium Medical College under the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health. The college is intended to alleviate the severe shortage of medical doctors in the country and is unique from the other medical colleges in the country by the new integrated curriculum it follows. The college has also started a postgraduate residency program in Obstetrics and gynecology and a master’s program in integrated obstetrics, Gynecology and surgery as of 2012. This is believed to provide the much-needed medical professionals in the field and help the efforts being undertaken to reduce maternal mortality in the country. It also has bachelor’s programs in critical care and OR nursing while graduate programs in the other medical disciplines are to be launched soon.
Mr. Mekonnen Degu
Young Champion: Ms. Mahlet Atakilt Woldetsadik
Organization: Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia
Mr. Mekonnen Degu is the Southern Region Area Manager for Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia, an affiliate member of International Parenthood Program Federation. He is responsible for the strategic vision, design and development, and coordination of the integrated FP, MCH, and HIV Service Provisions offering women a broad set of family planning and maternal and child health services. Mekonnen earned his Master’s Degree in Sociology from Karnataka State University, India and Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from European ETS University, Kenya. Mekonnen has over 10 years of experience successfully managing maternal health and HIV/AIDS and development projects. Previously he worked in Care Africa, SOS Children’s village, World Vision-Ethiopia PC3 program, EMWACDO, CCF-America and ACCDA-Ethiopia in different positions.
The Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia is an indigenous, not-for profit, volunteer based organization with over 45 years of experience in providing dedicated, quality, and a broad range of Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services in Ethiopia, complementing the governmental efforts. The Association was established in 1966 by a few dedicated volunteers from health and social work backgrounds. Family Planning (FP) was hardly known in Ethiopia during the establishment, although there were growing incidence of morbidity and mortality of mothers, thus, the need for family planning was essential. Today, FGAE has expanded and reached the figure of 20 SRH Clinics, 27 Youth SRH Centers, 5 Confidential STI-MARPs outreach clinic, and is working with 47 CSOs in 86 sub cities across various projects. FGAE is committed to enable underserved and vulnerable population, with particular focus on adolescents and youth, to enjoy sexual and reproductive health (SRH) by ensuring access, choices and catalyzing the provision of integrated, comprehensive, quality, and gender sensitive SRH programs and services.
Professor Oladele Akogun
Young Champion: Ms. Oluwadamilola Olufunbi Olaogun
Organization: Common Heritage Foundation
Oladele Akogun is a Professor of Public Health and has spent over 25 years on health system research, focusing on access to and utilization of intervention services. He holds a PhD in Public Health and a Postgraduate Diploma in Education. Prof Akogun is a trained guidance and career counselor, a certified mediator, and holds a diploma in common law. Professor Akogun has worked with policy implementers at all levels in Northeastern Nigeria since 1986. He led the WHO team that mapped health facility locations. He was lead consultant for the child and maternal health landscape analysis in Taraba State and maternal survival initiatives in Zamfara. Professor Akogun is also the Director of Common Heritage Foundation which specializes in mentoring interns. Pan-American Health Organization honored him with the 2009 “Outstanding Contribution to South-South Cooperation Award” for spearheading research on access to interventions in Africa.
Common Heritage Foundation (CHF), a not-for-profit research and training organization with a track record in implementation research expertise. CHF has received several grants from several funding agencies including WHO and The Gates Foundation. CHF is probably the leading health system research organization in Northeastern Nigeria and great influence on policy. In 2011, CHF launched its office in Liberia where it is currently carrying out a modest HIV/AIDS operational research with a subgrant from UNICEF. CHF has a wide range of collaborators. CHF has strong collaboration with the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, Georgia, USA since 2002. CHF provides opportunity for MPH students from Emory University to carry out 3-month internship on grassroot community participation practice in its projects since 2005and with the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Maryland, USA for MPH student internship in 2001. In 2001 CHF collaborated with the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) on lymphatic filariasis research. Recently (August 2012), CHF and the University of Medical Sciences and Technology (UMST), Khartoum Sudan entered into collaboration for training and research.
Mr. Umar Farouk Wada
Young Champion: Mr. Ashiru Adamu Abubakar
Organization: Health Education Initiative for Women
Umar Farouk is a community-based researcher with special interest in participatory learning and action techniques. Umar was among the pioneers of the Safe Motherhood Initiative Demand-Side project. He was an integral part of a system which seeks to provide a safety net for those who are unable to pay for services, particularly maternal health services. He has worked in remote areas focusing his attention on excluded and isolated communities. He works with local heath committees to facilitate accountability in health care delivery. He is the founder of the Community Based Organization Health Education Initiative For Women, which is actively working at the grassroots level with organizations such as USAID, Institute of Human Virology, and the Jigawa state government to carry out several maternal health based interventions in northwestern Nigeria.
Health Education Initiative for women (HEIFOW) is a community based organization founded in the year 2003 and registered with the Jigawa State Ministry of Information, Youths, Sport and Culture and Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare in the year 2006. Heifow was designed as a a Non-Governmental organization concerned with the necessity to educate and mobilize the youths and women in the pursuit of development related issues such as poverty alleviation, youth development, health, education, environment, good governance, conflict mitigation and management, HIV prevention and care and support for orphan and vulnerable children. Heifow currently has ten (10) full time staff and is also working with over two hundred (200) Volunteers in the area of Local Health Committee (LHC) strengthening initiative of community participation in health, Care and support for Orphans and Vulnerable Children, Safe motherhood initiative – Demand Side (SMI-D) and Community engagement on HIV prevention. The organization has an office accommodation at No. 298, Shuwarin-Dutse of Kiyawa LGA of Jigawa state.
Dr. Emeka Nwachukwu
Young Champion: Ms. Chinomnso Traffina Ibe
Organization: E&F Management Consult
Dr. Nwachukwu is a Clinical Epidemiologist with technical expertise in qualitative and quantitative research methods, programs design and implementation, monitoring and evaluation, data analysis, capacity building, health systems strengthening, and program management. His research interests are epidemiology of infectious disease, maternal/child health, and sexual/reproductive health. He is the Project Director of the CDC/HHS funded EFMC/REACH project. He coordinates all program and clinical activities relating to prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and maternal health services, including the prevention activities of HIV/AIDS. He is also supporting a USAID funded Health Project of the FUTURES GROUP to work with the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood to develop statistical models that support integrating family planning in maternal health services for reduction of maternal mortality in Nigeria. He has developed family planning projections for Gombe State and national projections through support from the SURE-P project under the office of the Minister of State for Health.
Excellence and Friends Management Consult (EFMC) was established in the year 2000 and is located in a village at the outskirts of Abuja in the border with Niger state called Kubwa. Excellence & Friends Management Care Centre located in a road that bears its name has a comprehensive state of the art treatment center that provides clinical, laboratory, preventive and advisory services to pregnant women and other patients in the area that has very poor basic health care and a high poverty rate. EFMC also partners with community-based organizations and NGOs to provide community based health services including maternal health and sexual and reproductive health services. The institution staff strength of forty-one (41) full time staff, 15 volunteers, self-owned corporate headquarters, EFMC has a tripartite program:
- Public Health Services including research
- Capacity Development
- System strengthening and maternal health interventions
Recent projects include $2,000,000 US Corporative Agreement through the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention for the provision of comprehensive HIV services in Nigeria. Within a period of 12 months, EFMC was able to activate 41 new sites including four comprehensive centers, and 6 PMTCT sites; provide HIV counseling and testing to more than 96,000 people and ARV to above 5000 people. There home-based PMTCT and Maternal health services are pioneer projects that have shown great success.
Dr. Rosario Cardenas
Young Champion: Ms. Luz Maria Soto Pizano
Organization: Observatorio de Mortalidad Materna
Dr. Cárdenas is a MD with training in Population Studies. She earned a Master´s degree in Demography from El Colegio de México and a ScD in Population Studies and International Health from Harvard University. She has been carrying out research on population and health for more than a decade and is involved in training of human resources in Medicine, Demography, and Population Studies. Currently she is a Professor at Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in Mexico City where she is conducting research on socio-demographic determinants of health differentials, utilization of health services and quality of health care. She has been involved in analyzing maternal mortality conditions in Latin American and the Caribbean, its relation to social, political, and cultural factors and the need to improve and reorganize health services.
Observatorio de Mortalidad Materna (OMM) is an organization that was created with the support of Organización Panamericana de la Salud (OPS) and the World Health Organization (WHO). It is an independent organization formed by people, civil national and international organizations, academic and research institutions and government. Based on human rights they work to achieve its main goal, to reduce the maternal health death among the country/region.