Programmers Embrace International Standards for Zimbabwe’s Health Worker Registry

Carol BalesThis post originally appeared on IntraHealth International’s Tumblr.

These programmers see the light and embrace international standards for the Zimbabwe Ministry of Health and Child Care’s new national health worker registry.

The registry is a database that will pull together a basic set of data on health workers from various information systems in the country.

Once the data are available, health leaders can use them to make all kinds of decisions that can improve the health of Zimbabweans—from influencing health workforce policy to improving the delivery of clinical services. Read more »

Building the Workforce to Help Orphans and Vulnerable Children

Maurice MiddlebergShe’s 14 years old and HIV-positive. She has been taking ARVs her whole life but no one told her why she was taking medications. She finally confronted the doctors and asked for an explanation as to why she was taking the pills. The doctors answered her questions. She then had something of a crisis and became quite depressed. We have been working with her and we’re very happy because she seems to have recovered. You can see she is back playing with the other children and smiling again.”

This story was told to me during a recent visit to Haiti by a staff member at an NGO working with orphans and vulnerable children (OVC). It is a poignant reminder of the terrible costs of the HIV pandemic, which has created a large number of children who have lost a parent or live in a household with a seriously ill adult. In Haiti there are more than a million such children. This problem was exacerbated by the January 2010 earthquake, which resulted in an additional 150,000 orphans.

The needs of OVC extend beyond health services to include mental health care, schooling, food and nutrition, shelter, and protection from abuse and exploitation. The clinician or community health worker is usually ill-prepared to arrange and integrate the array of services needed by OVC. These are the skills of the social worker. Read more »

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