Gender

Women, men, boys, and girls should have equal opportunities to be healthy and to reach their full potential. Yet differing health-related needs and different social, economic, and cultural barriers to accessing care thwart the ability of certain groups to access and benefit from health care services. Gender is a social determinant of health across all countries and cultures. Gender gaps and issues affect access to, utilization of, and quality of care for women, men, boys, and girls. To truly improve the quality of all care for all, these gender gaps and issues must be explicitly recognized and addressed by providers, facilities, and health systems, and this is especially true in quality improvement activities. In this video, watch Dr. Taroub Harb Faramand of WI-HER, LLC explain how addressing gender considerations in improvement work leads to better outcomes.

Community Quality Improvement Team in Buikwe, Uganda

We take an improvement approach to integrate gender through the USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) project. By collecting and analyzing sex-disaggregated data and systematically identifying and analyzing gaps in outcomes among women, men, boys and girls, we evaluate what is causing poorer outcomes among one group, and design activities to respond to the needs of males or females to close the gap. We do this in improvement activities across health areas and beyond, including non-communicable diseases (NCDs) programming, HIV and ART services, OVC services, and more. We promote partner involvement in programs targeting either males or females, such as engaging male partners and fathers in ANC visits and PMTCT programs to improve outcomes for mothers and babies, and engaging female partners of males who undergo the VMMC procedure to improve follow-up and decrease adverse events. 

Our innovative and effective six-step approach to identify and close gender-related gaps improves health outcomes for all, and we utilize locally-owned, culturally-sensitive, and innovative models. We recognize that myriad factors at multiple levels of society affect gender norms that influence risk factors, access to care, utilization of care, and equality of treatment and we work to respond to these norms in concert to generate shifts in thinking and behavior. We address gender gaps and issues at the individual, household, and community levels, when necessary, though staff and community sensitization trainings, and we consider the varied contextual factors that drive outcomes for women, men, boys, and girls in the design, implementation, and evaluation of our programs.

To learn more about gender and how to integrate gender in improvement work, download A Guide to Integrating Gender in Improvement.

Gender integration in Zika response at medical and nursing schools in Nicaragua

Ivonne Gómez Pasquier

Chief of Party, Nicaragua, USAID ASSIST/URC

Elga Salvador

WI-HER/ Senior Gender Advisor

By: Ivonne Gómez, Chief of Party ASSIST Nicaragua and Elga Salvador, Senior Gender Advisor for WI-HER, LLC

Ideas de cambio con perspectiva de género se destacan entre las principales buenas prácticas en la atención prenatal en el contexto del Zika en la República Dominicana

Elga Salvador

WI-HER/ Senior Gender Advisor

Por Elga Salvador, asesora en género senior, WI-HER, LLC

El 10 de abril 2019, el equipo del Proyecto de USAID Aplicando la Ciencia para Fortalecer y Mejorar los Sistemas de Salud (ASSIST) de la República Dominicana llevó a cabo la Segunda Sesión de Aprendizaje de Equipos de Mejora de la Calidad del Colaborativo de Atención Prenatal, integrado por el personal de salud y autoridades de hospitales de distintas regiones de salud del país. 

Gender integration strategies stand out among the best practices in prenatal care in the context of Zika in the Dominican Republic

Elga Salvador

WI-HER/ Senior Gender Advisor

By Elga Salvador, Senior Gender Technical Advisor, WI-HER, LLC

On April 10, the USAID-funded Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Health Systems (ASSIST) Project held the second “Learning Session” with the Quality Improvement (QI) teams of the Prenatal Care Collaborative in the Dominican Republic. This Collaborative is implemented by health authorities and staff from hospitals located in different regions throughout the country.

Two to Tango: How Men’s Health-Seeking Behaviors May Influence the Spread of Zika in the Caribbean

Morgan Mickle

WI-HER, LLC

On February 1, 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Zika virus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) (I) after information surfaced that linked Zika virus infections with clusters of microcephaly and other neurological complications. While not new (1), the virus began to rapidly spread across the Americas after first being recorded in 2015. By February 4, 2016, 26 countries reported Zika virus infections (II).

Adolescentes embarazadas y las barreras que enfrentan para prevenir el zika

Elga Salvador

WI-HER/ Senior Gender Advisor

Por: Elga Salvador

El Hospital Universitario Maternidad Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia (HUMNSA) fue escenario del primer nacimiento del 2019 en la República Dominicana; el mismo día el mismo hospital cuenta con otros récords: registra el primer niño a nacer en el año por el sexto año consecutivo y cuenta la tercera adolescente como madre del primer bebé a nacer [1,2]. Esto tal vez ya no cause asombro en un país donde desde el 1996 nunca se ha registrado un porcentaje de embarazo en la adolescencia inferior al 20% [3].

Adolescent Pregnancy and Barriers to Zika Prevention

Elga Salvador

WI-HER/ Senior Gender Advisor

By: Elga Salvador

The maternity hospital, Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia, holds the record of the first birth of 2019 in the Dominican Republic for the sixth consecutive year. On the same day, the same hospital also holds another record: this is the third year in which the first baby was born to an adolescent mother [1,2]. This is no longer a surprise in a country where the percentage of pregnancy in adolescents has never been lower than 20% in the last 23 years [3].

Ecuador y el machismo como barrera para prevenir el Zika. Combatirlo es una ganancia para todos, no solo para las mujeres

Elga Salvador

WI-HER/ Senior Gender Advisor

Por: Elga Salvador

Por el machismo’ ha sido el leitmotiv que ha emergido de todas las consultas y entrevistas realizadas por WI-HER en los diferentes países de América Latina y el Caribe dirigidas a identificar obstáculos a la prevención de la transmisión sexual del Zika [1,2],  en el marco del Proyecto de USAID, Aplicando la Ciencia para Fortalecer y Mejorar los Sistemas de Salud (ASSIST).

Machismo as a barrier to prevent Zika in Ecuador: Fighting it is a win for all, not only for women

Elga Salvador

WI-HER/ Senior Gender Advisor

By: Elga Salvador

Por el machismo” (because of machismo) has been a constant theme in the focus groups, interviews, and training conducted by WI-HER throughout Latin America and the Caribbean aimed at identifying obstacles to the prevention of sexual transmission of Zika [1,2], under USAID’s Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Health Systems (ASSIST) Project.

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