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Youth Can Take the Lead in Health Governance and Accountability

This post originally appeared on VITAL, the blog of IntraHealth International.

Dr. Kate TulenkoDozens of young people participated in the 67th World Health Assembly last month in Geneva, including young people from HIV-positive communities, sexual minority communities, and health professional students and recent graduates.

Throughout the meeting, the World Health Organization (WHO) and partner leaders championed the cause of involving young people in local, national, and global health agendas. Panels on universal health coverage, HIV/AIDS, and health systems included youth speakers. The young people added energy, vibrancy, and new ideas to the meetings.

Yet beneath the enthusiasm lay some discontent. Read more »

“I Can Improve Things”: An HIV Peer Counselor in the Dominican Republic

“It was very, very bad treatment that I received,” recalls Mercedes (not her real name), a young mother living with HIV.

Five years ago—at one of the largest maternity hospitals in the Dominican Republic—she was diagnosed as HIV-positive. Although she enrolled in the hospital’s program to prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT), she felt discriminated against for her status, and that the health workers’ actions toward her lacked compassion.

But she decided her experience as a victim of stigma would not stand in her way of helping other HIV-positive pregnant women. Read more »

Your Voice: Frontline Health Workers Are the Unsung Heroes of Global Health Progress

This post originally appeared on USAID’s FrontLinesYour Voice, a continuing FrontLines feature, offers personal observations from USAID staff and development voices. Chris Thomas is a communications adviser in the Bureau for Global Health.

With her 3-month-old son, John, lethargic, feverish and vomiting, Korto Kinne sought help in the remote Sinje resettlers camp in the northwestern corner of Liberia. Musu Kpakar, a community health worker, administers a rapid finger-stick test to see if malaria parasites are present in John’s blood. Read more »

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