Our “Best 9” stories in 2017

Vicky Ramirez

Consultant, USAID ASSIST Project/URC

Looking back, 2017 was a great year for us at ASSIST. In 2017, we were featured in USAID’s Exposure; we collaborated with a number of partners to publish ICHC Blog Series, which was cross-posted on The Huffington Post; and we ran a blog series in honor of Health Worker Week. After our resources page, our blog was the most visited page on our website. In case you missed some of these highlights, we’ve put together our “Best 9” stories. These posts illustrate the stories behind the great work employed by our country teams, partners, and individuals. Let us know which story you loved the most!

1. In Zika’s Wake: Strengthening skills of health workers in Honduras

In 2017, the USAID ASSIST Project worked in 6 countries across Latin America to strengthen the capacity of Zika-related health services. This feature on USAID’s Exposure site narrates the frontline work employed by ASSIST to provide care to women, children, and families affected by the Zika virus in Honduras. En Español.  

2. Challenges facing the ASHA female community health workers

Accredited social health activists (ASHAs) are a pivotal part of the health system in India. In 2014, we interviewed 49 ASHAs to understand the challenges and opportunities they faced. Here’s what we found

3. Success story: All she needed was continuous engagement with the health facility to achieve HIV viral load suppression

ASSIST began supporting Palabek-kal in October 2016 with a goal to help children and adolescents in HIV care achieve viral suppression. In this short story, we find how small changes allowed A.D., an 8-year-old, to change her HIV viral load from high to ‘not detectable.’ Read her story.

4. The role of breastfeeding in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV

HIV-positive moms face a high risk of transmitting the virus to their babies. However, when antiretroviral therapy is provided to her during pregnancy and continued during breastfeeding, the mother-to-child transmission rate for HIV can drop to under five percent. Read more.  

5. Addressing the needs of vulnerable girls in Malawi to improve educational outcomes

Our work in Malawi has shown that using a quality improvement approach to identify and address the needs of vulnerable girls and boys and to identify and respond to gender-related gaps works well, and we are already seeing improved educational outcomes among both vulnerable girls and vulnerable boys. Read more.

6. What we learned while improving care for 180,000 babies annually in India

In India, the USAID ASSIST Project worked with over 400 facilities – delivering approximately 180,000 babies per year – to use quality improvement (QI) approaches to provide better care to women and babies before, during, and immediately after delivery. Here are some of the lessons we learned

7. Improving data visualization: Using overlapping bar charts to present actual vs target data

A large part of development work is presenting results, specifically, conveying a message through data. Using this accomplishment from Uganda, we illustrate how to improve data visualization by adapting a clustered column chart to an overlapping data bar. See how

8. Strengthening and sustaining community support for community health workers

In honor of Health Worker Week, USAID staff Shayanne Martin and Rhea Bright sit down with Dr. Ram Shrestha to talk about the pivotal role of community health workers and the challenges ahead. Read this interview.

9. What I’ve Learned: Reflections on a Quality Improvement Journey

As we close down our project in India, one of our staff reflects on what she learned about improvement. “Before joining URC, for me ‘quality’ was just ensuring that standards were met—but working on the ASSIST Project taught me an altogether different perspective of quality improvement (QI).” Read more.  

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