Jobs and Java: MSH Kicks-Off First-Ever Women Deliver Career Fair

Leslie Duvall

Leslie Duvall. (Photo credit: R. Hassinger/MSH)

by Leslie Duvall

MSH kicked off Women Deliver’s first-ever Career Fair on Wednesday morning, May 29, with a panel at 7:30 am focused on mid-career professional advancement.

We had an excellent turn out–standing room only–and discussed several different effective approaches to career transition and advancement in the field of public health.

Tips on networking, interviewing, CV development and career selection were also given out to attendees.

Women Deliver's career fair kicks off with MSH's "Jobs & Java". (Photo credit: Ian Lathrop/MSH)

Women Deliver’s career fair kicks off with MSH’s “Jobs & Java”. (Photo credit: Ian Lathrop/MSH)

A special thanks to Jonathan Rucks (director of advocacy for Pathfinder International), Suzanne Diarra (senior technical advisor for Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services [SIAPS] at MSH), and Dr. Shariha Khalid (executive director and co-founder of Scope Group) for their participation on the panel and sharing with us their career backgrounds, experiences, and invaluable advice.

Leslie Duvall is a senior talent acquisition specialist at MSH.

Learn more about working with MSH.

Saving Lives of Women and Newborns by Improving Access to Essential Maternal Health Commodities

By Suzanne Diarra and Maheen Malik

Maheen Malik

Maheen Malik. (Photo credit: Rachel Hassinger/MSH)

Suzanne Diarra

Suzanne Diarra. (Photo credit: R. Hassinger/MSH)

For many women and newborns in developing countries, pregnancy and childbirth can be life-threatening. Ensuring access to essential high quality medicines and supplies across the continuum of care is often a hidden part of the solution.

Safe and effective maternal health medicines and supplies exist but are not often available when and where women, newborn and children need them the most.

These topics and more were discussed at a Maternal Health Commodities pre-conference event on Monday, May 27, sponsored by Family Care International, PATH, and Population Action International.

As maternal, newborn and child health medicines and supplies needs are being elevated on global agendas through global initiatives such as the UN Commission for life saving commodities for women and children, it takes multifaceted skills and efforts at country level to translate these global initiatives into appropriate local interventions that improve access to high quality medicines and supplies for women across the continuum of care.

MSH promotes a systems-strengthening approach to identify challenges with delivering essential pharmaceuticals and services to women, newborns and children by working with managers at all levels of health systems, policy makers, providers, and communities to build capacity and strengthen health systems to address these challenges and improve access of women and children to life saving medicines and supplies.

Suzanne Diarra and Maheen Malik are senior technical advisors for Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) at MSH.

Call for Universal Access to Cervical Cancer Prevention, Screening, Treatment, and Palliation: The Time to Act is Now

By Gloria Sangiwa

Gloria SangiwaOn Monday, May 27, MSH joined a group of international organizations to launch the Call for Universal Access to Cervical Cancer Prevention at the Global Forum on Cervical Cancer Prevention, one of the pre-conference events for the Women Deliver 3rd global conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

It Is Possible

It’s estimated that there 530,000 new cervical cancer cases each year, of which about 85 percent are in low and middle Income Countries (LMIC).  But the good news is that we know that cervical cancer is vaccine preventable. The cost of vaccines that prevent cervical cancers has been reduced significantly.

We also know that cervical cancer is treatable if diagnosed and treated early.

We have the tools, methods and diverse approaches for different settings. We know what works. We know what it costs. We have innovative game-changing solutions that can be taken to scale. And, we have a call to action that, if adopted and supported, would prevent suffering, avert millions of premature deaths among young girls and women, and would help promote a better quality of life for millions of girls and women in the world.

Through sharing and exchanging information at this conference, we were reminded that by addressing missed opportunities, and leveraging other global work and interventions like family planning and reproductive health; maternal, newborn, and child health programs; and all the progress made on infectious diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, we can significantly decrease the sufferings and death as result of cervical cancer.

For instance, we can translate the successes of immunization programs and decades of unprecedented global support for prevention and treatment of major killers like AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria prevention to potentially protect and reduce sufferings and death as a result of cervical cancer.

We know this is possible. Mildred is HIV positive and lives in rural Uganda. She was recently screened for cervical cancer. Because of community outreach, supported by the MSH-managed STAR-E project, funded by USAID, she went to a nearby clinic as part of the ongoing and expanded “Prevention for Positive” activities (Watch Mildred’s Story).

She was fortunate that her health care workers had the training to screen, diagnose and treat her pre-cancerous lesions correctly using the low cost innovative approach termed the Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid (VIA) method, and that health care providers and a community volunteer helped her to adhere to treatment.

Other women have not fared as well.

Opportunity and responsibility: Act Now

This is an exciting time: we can reduce the inequality of cervical cancer prevention, care and treatment; bridge the divide between and within countries and regions by:

  • leveraging existing platforms;
  • addressing missed opportunities;
  • advocating and increasing awareness to everyone, including legislators, parliamentarians, communities and health workers; and
  • acknowledging that integrated health programs serve families better

We need to debunk the myths; reduce barriers and stigma; promote community and country driven  responses and make products, technology and medicine accessible to all at an affordable cost.

But we need to act now because no girl or woman deserves to die from preventable illness like cervical cancer, especially when we have a vaccine. All beneficiaries, like Mildred, must benefit from a “whole system ownership” response with contributions from all sectors (public, civil society, and private). All beneficiaries must be involved in the design and implementation of health system innovations.

We must must make cervical cancer a priority and act now.

WOMEN LEAD: On Gender Equity, UHC, and Family Planning

Photo by Warren Zelman.

Photo by Warren Zelman.

The May issue of the MSH Global Health Impact newsletter (subscribe) features stories on gender equity, UHC, and family planning including:

Read newsletter now >>

(You might notice that our website has a different look and feel. We are in the process of redesigning; and YOU are getting a sneak peak of the site before our June 14 launch! More >>)

Stop Women From Dying: A Personal Reflection on Ending the Cervical Cancer Crisis

Shannon EnglandAt the Global Cervical Cancer Forum Monday, May 27, before the official start of Women Deliver 2013, I couldn’t help but reflect upon my family.

My aunt was diagnosed with cervical cancer when I was a student at university. At the time, she was pregnant with her second child. A little over a year after finding out she had cancer, she died.

She was only 31.

She left behind a newborn baby and an infant son—along with a devastated family who could not imagine how to move on from the death of their wife, daughter and sister. My cousins had to grow up without a mother.  And I could not understand how my “cool aunt”—the one who wore bell bottoms and introduced my “traditional” Midwestern family to the “radical” concepts of meditation and vegetarianism—could suddenly be gone.

We did not know back then that cervical cancer was caused by a sexually transmitted virus, HPV. We’ve come a long way since then. Today there is a vaccine can prevent HPV, prevent cervical cancer, and prevent women from dying.

Despite the proven technological advances and 70 percent efficacy, too many women and girls are not getting the vaccine. Some do not have access to it because they live in places where the vaccine is unavailable or too expensive. Some are thwarted by soundless fears that giving the vaccine to girls will increase promiscuity—despite research proving otherwise. For most women and girls, the story ends there: the virus is harmless. But some of the unlucky ones will later develop cervical cancer. And sadly, some of them, like my aunt, will die. The HPV virus is very common—and without intervention—the odds are high that women will become infected.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

I’m extremely proud to be working for MSH, an organization which, together with our partner, USAID, supports Ministries of Health in Uganda and Ethiopia in offering integrated basic screening and treatment services for cervical cancer. I’m hopeful we can expand to more countries as donor funding increases. I’m thrilled that the costs of HPV vaccines have gone down—so that future generations of girls and women around the world may never even need treatment. And I’m convinced that it will take all of us working together and spreading the word in our communities to combat myths about cervical cancer and the vaccine.

It is time to stop women from dying.

Because kids should never lose a Mom — or families a beloved aunt — from a disease we can prevent.

Shannon England is vice president of strategic development and communications at MSH.

Read more about our work in chronic diseases.

Confronting Global Health Challenges Together: MSH-Hosted Reception Highlights Public-Private Partnerships

Women Deliver 2013 – MSH Reception on Public/Private Partnerships

(Photos: Rachel Hassinger/MSH, Willow Gerber/MSH, and Ben Weingrod/CARE)

Over 150 people, including international health experts, donors, advocates, and policy makers, gathered Sunday, May 26 in Kuala Lumpur to kick off the Women Deliver 2013 Conference. Hosted by MSH and PSI, the evening reception celebrated the role of public-private partnerships in saving lives and building stronger health systems for healthier nations.

Special guests included Paul W. Jones (@AmbassadorJones), US Ambassador to Malaysia; Barbara Bush, CEO & Co-Founder of Global Health Corps (@ghcorps); Mandy Moore (@TheMandyMoore), singer-songwriter, actress and PSI Global Ambassador; Sharon K. D’Agostino (@SharonDAgostino), VP of Corporate Citizenship at Johnson & Johnson; Karl Hoffman (@KarlHofmannPSI), CEO of PSI; and Dr. Jono Quick (@jonoquick), President and CEO of MSH (@MSHHealthImpact).

Global Cervical Cancer Forum: Live Webcast Here

Watch The Global Forum on Cervical Cancer Prevention opening and closing plenaries from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Monday, May 27, 2013 (time conversions below).

Tune in here for lively conversations with global leaders, including: Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO, GAVI Alliance; Ms. Genevieve Sambhi, cervical cancer survivor; Ambassador, Power Over Cervical Cancer; Mrs. Graça Machel, Foundation for Community Development and Graça Machel Trust; Mr. Yuvraj Singh, cancer survivor, Indian Cricketer; Dr. Felicia Knaul, Director, Harvard Global Equity Initiative; Dr. Christine Kaseba-Sata, First Lady, Zambia; and Dr. Awa Marie Coll Seck, Minister of Health, Senegal, among others.

Speakers will discuss ways to push forward cervical cancer prevention efforts and call on the global community to sign a call for universal access to cervical cancer prevention.

The forum is one of several pre-events to the Women Deliver 3rd Global Conference.

Time Zone Conversions

Opening Plenary: Breaking Down Barriers in Access will stream live at 9am MYT on Monday, 27 May. This is equivalent to:

  • 9:00pm EDT (Sunday, 26 May)
  • 6:00pm PDT (Sunday, 26 May)
  • 1:00am GMT
  • 3:00am SAST/CEST
  • 6:30am IST

Closing Plenary: Making Universal Access a Reality will stream live at 4:30pm MYT on Monday, 27 May. This is equivalent to:

  • 4:30am EDT
  • 1:30am PDT
  • 8:30am GMT
  • 10:30am SAST/CEST
  • 2:00pm IST


Join MSH at Women Deliver

MSH: Stronger Health Systems, Stronger Women & Children
Please join Management Sciences for Health (MSH) and our partners during these featured events at Women Deliver 2013.


Women Deliver and MSH Career Fair

We are proud to partner with Women Deliver to host a career fair on Wednesday, May 29. With so many individuals attending who are dedicated to working together for women, it is an opportune time to connect job seekers and job makers.

Jobs & Java – A Sunrise Conversation about Mid-Career Professional Advancement

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 | 7:30am – 8:30am | Room 309

  • This session will kick off the all-day Career Fair with an interactive panel discussion and networking opportunity. Tea and coffee will be served.
  • Moderated by Leslie Duvall, MSH
  • Panelists
    • Jonathan Rucks, Pathfinder International
    • Suzanne Diarra, MSH

To The Point

Join MSH President and CEO Dr. Jonathan D. Quick on “Why universal health coverage is a women’s issue” at To The Point— A series of thought-provoking, passionate talks on the conference themes and a bit more (Please note change in date from Wednesday to Thursday).

Thursday, May 30, 2013 | 11:00am – 1:00pm | Plenary Hall

  • Moderator: Michelle Goldberg, Author, The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power and the Future of The World
  • Speakers
    • Feminism and family planning | Poonam Muttreja, Population Foundation of India (PFI)
    • Intimate Life in A Changing Arab World | Shereen El Feki, Author
    • Why universal health coverage is a women’s issue | Dr. Jonathan D. Quick, MSH
    • Effective advocacy for universal access to contraception | Valerie DeFillipo, Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) Reference Group
    • Why I perform abortions | Dr. Nozer Sheriar, International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO)
    • The price of defending freedom of expression | Mona Eltahawy, Columnist
    • Women and Micro Credit | Vicki Escarra, Opportunity International
    • Save Our Midwives; Save Our World | Ibu Robin Lim, Bumi Sahat Foundation
    • Don’t just do something; simply do everything | Dr. Imane Khachani, Maternity Hospital Les Orangers, National Reference Center in Reproductive Health
    • Faith, family planning and HIV | Reverend Canon Gideon Byamugisha, African Network of Religious Leaders Living with or Affected by HIV and AIDS (ANERELA), Uganda


Task Sharing and Task Shifting: Investing in Frontline Health Workers Pays in Lives Saved

Tuesday, May 28, 2013 | 11:30am – 1:00pm | Room 404

  • Moderated by Leo Bryant, Marie Stopes International (MSI)
  • Panelists
    • Fabio Castaño, MSH and Frontline Health Workers Coalition
    • Laura Hoemeke, IntraHealth International and CapacityPlus
    • Mengistu Asnake, Pathfinder International
    • Jameel Zamir, International Planned Parenthood Federation South Asia Regional Office

Women Deliver as Those Who Manage, Lead, and Govern for Health

Tuesday, May 28, 2013 | 2:45pm – 4:15pm | Room 305

  • Moderated by James Rice, Leadership, Management, and Governance (LMG) Project, MSH
  • Panelists
    • Fauziah Rabbani, Aga Khan University, Pakistan
    • Constance Newman, IntraHealth International
    • Hon. Ruth Kavuma Nuvumetta, Member of Parliament, Uganda
    • Belkis Giorgis, LMG Project, MSH, Ethiopia

Let Girls Be Girls, Not Brides: Working Together to End Child Marriage

Tuesday, May 28, 2013 | 2:45pm – 4:15pm | Room 306

  • Organized by Girls Not Brides, MSH, and the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)
  • Moderated by Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, World YWCA
  • Panelists
    • Sarita Prabhakar Wagh, India
    • Suzanne Petroni, ICRW, USA
    • Lakshmi Sundaram, Girls Not Brides (global)


Community-Based Access to Injectables (CBA 2I)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013 | 2:45pm – 4:15pm | Room 304

  • Moderated by Victoria Graham, Office of Population and Reproductive Health, USAID
  • Panelists
    • Morrisa Malkin, FHI 360
    • Vincent Kahi, International Rescue Committee (IRC), Kenya
    • Winifred Mwebesa, Save the Children USA
    • Bocar Daff, Ministry of Health, Senegal
    • Hedayetullah Mushfiq, Scaling Up Family Planning Program, MSH, Afghanistan
    • Sein Hlaing, IRC, Myanmar

Making Maternal and Newborn Health Safer in Humanitarian Crises

Tuesday, May 28, 2013 | 2:45pm – 4:15pm | Room 402

  • Organized by the Inter-Agency Working Grou p (IAWG) on Reproductive Health in Crisis.
  • Moderated by Susan Dentzer, Health Affairs
  • Panelists
    • Sandra Krause, Reproductive Health Programme, Women’s Refugee Commission
    • Kristin Cooney, MSH
    • Catrin Schulte-Hillen, Médecins Sans Frontières
    • Teresita Artiaga Elegado, Family Planning Organization of the Philippines

Financing Progress: Paying for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health (RMNCH)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 | 2:45pm – 4:15pm | Plenary Theatre

  • Moderated by Peter Berman, Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard School of Public Health, USA
  • Panelists
    • Justine Hsu, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
    • Ravi Rannan-Eliya, Institute for Health Policy, Sri Lanka and Asia-Pacific National Health Accounts Network
    • Geir Lie, World Health Organization (WHO)
    • Dan Kraushaar, MSH
    • Henrik Axelson, The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH)

Universal Health Coverage through Health Financing

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 | 2:45pm – 4:15pm | Room 404

  • Moderated by France Donnay, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Panelists
    • Dr. Jonathan D. Quick, MSH
    • Peter Okwero, World Bank
    • Abdus Salam Khan, WHO South-East Asia Office (WHO-SEARO)
    • Ben Bellows, Population Council
    • Nirali Chakraborty, Population Services International (PSI)
    • Alysha Beyer, African Health Markets for Equity (AHME), MSI


Women play a crucial role in ensuring the health of communities. MSH builds the capacity of women as leaders and managers, health providers, and community health workers. For over 40 years, in more than 150 countries, MSH has promoted equal access to health care for women, men, girls, and boys. Our programs empower women, sensitize men, and integrate maternal, newborn, and child health, family planning and reproductive health, and HIV & AIDS services to improve access to quality care.

WOMEN LEAD: Strong Women Save Lives

Join us at Women Deliver’s 3rd Global Conference for more discussions on how Women Lead on Tuesday, May 28, and at the MSH booth: #277/283/284.

Belkis Giorgis

Belkis Giorgis

Strong Women Save Lives

At Management Sciences for Health (MSH), we say that leaders aren’t born: Leadership is learned.

If we only look to those in official positions of power, whether in the health system or in political offices, we may be missing the most influential leaders to develop and empower: the women in the households and on the frontlines of the health system.

Head of household

As health caretaker for her family, a woman requires all the characteristics of a good leader. She has to multi-task, prioritize, negotiate, manage, inspire, and persuade. The stakes are high: the strength of her leadership can ensure the survival of her family.

Empowering women on the frontlines

Women are more likely to work on the frontlines of the health system but less likely to hold formal positions of leadership in the health system.

While much of the health worker data in developing countries is not disaggregated by gender, one study in Ethiopia found men accounted for 80 percent of clinicians and specialists—those at the top of the health worker pyramid.

Women health practitioners are more likely to face discrimination based on marital status, be expected to conform to male work models, be subjected to harassment and violence while working, and be employed in low and entry level positions. Furthermore, women often are compensated poorly, resulting in a cadre of quasi-volunteerism: unpaid or underpaid. In all industries combined, women are compensated at a rate of 40 percent less than men for their work.

A woman talks with Belkis (right). (Photo credit: Dominic Chavez)

A woman talks with Belkis (right). (Photo credit: Dominic Chavez)

The personal safety of women health care workers is also a primary concern in many countries. Women are often subjected to harassment or sexual violence as health workers. One Rwandan study found 39 percent of health workers experienced some form of workplace violence. This affects recruitment as well as retention of women in critical health care positions.

And the global need for more skilled health workers is great. Over 70 percent of maternal mortality in developing countries could be prevented if every woman had access to a skilled health worker when giving birth.

Despite these global hardships, women are major contributors to positive health outcomes, from promoting health in the household, to reducing maternal and child mortality in communities.

My colleague, Celia Tusiime Kakande, blogged about this on International Women’s Day:

“For most of my life, women in Uganda—as in most countries—were treated as inferior to men. Girls were less likely to be educated than their brothers, and had little control over the direction of their lives Many girls grew up being told how to act, eat, and talk; many women were regarded as little more than domestic caregivers.

Women in Uganda now hold more leadership positions than ever before—35 percent of the seats in Parliament are now occupied by women, and our Speaker of Parliament and Minister of Health are women. Quality family planning, safe motherhood, and HIV & AIDS services have helped lower the maternal mortality rate from 435 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2006 to 310 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2010.

This translates to 1,700 women’s lives saved each year.” 

Celia Tusiime Kakande

Celia Tusiime Kakande

Empowering leaders

At MSH, our work to advance the well-being of women and girl extends to leadership development, clinical training, technical assistance to programs that use community health workers (most of whom are women) and literacy programs. Through one five-year project, MSH trained or provided technical assistance to more than 4,000 senior female leaders and engaged 27,000 women in learning programs.

It’s not only about getting women to leadership and management positions, but also making sure that women see themselves as leaders wherever they are in the health system. If a woman is impacting the life and wellbeing of others, then she is a leader.

As Celia said:

“Ugandan women have gained ground at the highest levels of leadership. They are taking control of their lives and their families’ health.”

It is this spirit that inspires MSH to continue our work in Uganda, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, and in over 60 countries worldwide.

By creating, legitimizing and empowering women leaders, we will empower beneficiaries of the health system, save lives, and improve health outcomes for all.

Follow this blog and hashtags #WOMENLEAD and #WD2013 on Twitter @MSHHealthImpact for live updates from Kuala Lampur. We are a proud gold sponsor.

Belkis Giorgis, PhD, is senior technical advisor for the Leadership, Management and Governance Project, led by MSH. Celia Tusiime Kakande, MA, is Chief of Party of STRIDES for Family Health, a project led by MSH.

(Portions of this post were published on the MSH Global Health Impact blog.)

Women Deliver 2013 begins four months from today!

More than 5,000 participants are expected to descend upon Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to attend plenaries, workshops, and forums to discuss building a better world for women and girls.This 3rd Global Conference could not be more timely as the public health conversation evolves from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and their successes and failures to the challenges that await women and girls worldwide in the post-2015 agenda.

As a Women Deliver conference advisory group member and gold-level sponsor of this conference, MSH is honored and proud to support this conference. For over four decades, MSH has promoted equal access to health care for women by strengthening health systems. “MSH improves services that directly affect women— maternal and child health, family planning, HIV & AIDS—through the integration of those services, enabling more accessible and efficient care for entire communities. The success of this work depends on building the capacity of women as leaders and managers, technical experts, clinicians, and community health workers,” said Dr. Jonathan D. Quick, MSH President and CEO.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon offers his encouragement saying, “A [Women Deliver] global conference in 2013 offers an opportunity to keep up the pressure and to affirm our plans for the period ahead. By giving mothers-to-be the services they need before, during, and after pregnancy, and by providing quality health care to all women, we can save lives, prevent suffering, and accelerate progress toward all the Millennium Development Goals.”

In the lead up to the conference, be sure to check back here for the latest updates from MSH.