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The Human Touch We Need for Universal Health Coverage (and all Global Health Goals)


Our first local photo exhibit is on display at FRANK Gallery in Chapel Hill, NC, through February 7, 2016.

Frame. Focus.

A midwife in Mali holds the arm of a pregnant woman while listening to her growing baby’s heartbeat. Click.

A nurse in India cradles a newborn’s head and shows the mother how to breastfeed. Click.

A nurse in Uganda carefully explains different types of contraceptive options to a new mother who isn’t ready for another pregnancy. Click. (I was there with my camera to capture this one.)

The human touch in health care has inspired us for 35 years.

Images like these help us at IntraHealth International get our point across: health workers are the ones who provide health care; health workers are the ones who save lives. And they do it even though in many parts of the world, they work in the toughest conditions, often without electricity, running water, or sufficient medicines and supplies.

The human touch in health care has inspired us for more than 35 years and throughout our work in more than 100 countries.

We know we in the global health field need to focus on health workers if we’re going to achieve universal health coverage and ensure access to the essential services we all need—including antenatal care and skilled birth attendance, family planning services, child immunization, HIV prevention and treatment, and more.

Because right now 400 million of us don’t have access to these life-saving health services. And there’s a shortage of 7.2 million doctors, nurses, and midwives around the world to provide them.

At IntraHealth, we envision a world where everyone, everywhere has the health care they need to thrive. And that means ensuring there are enough health workers trained and supported to provide the care clients need–the care to reach an AIDS Free Generation and end preventable mother and child deaths.

Share.

That’s the reason we make photographs, right? So people understand and care? We’re excited that, starting this week at the FRANK Gallery in Chapel Hill, NC, we’re bringing that vision home to our local community, where we started, where our headquarters office is, and where I work. Our first local photography show will include some of our favorite photos of our maternal and child health work. I’m delighted that two of my own photos, of dedicated health workers helping mothers in Ghana and Uganda, are included in the show.

Each photograph is a glimpse into our vision as it becomes a reality.

Our opening events are on December 11 and January 8, 6 – 9 p.m. If you’re in the Triangle area, please join us. We’ll be there and look forward to meeting you and answering any questions you might have about our work and the need to focus on the health workforce.

Click through our Flickr slideshow or the gallery to the right and get a preview of our show—The Human Touch: Portraits of Care. Then, please help us spread the word on Twitter and elsewhere:

Photo above by Trevor Snapp for IntraHealth International (A Malian midwife provides life-saving care)   

Photos

A Malian midwife provides lifesaving maternal care. Throughout Mali, women have a one-in-26 lifetime risk of dying from maternal causes. Access to a midwife or other skilled birth attendant during birth and immediately after would save the lives of many mothers and their babies. It would also prevent complications such as obstetric fistula, a debilitating childbirth injury that can occur during prolonged or obstructed labor. IntraHealth is partnering with the Ministry of Health and other local partners in Mali to address the health workforce crisis and to provide comprehensive maternal care, including repair surgery and care for women who suffer from obstetric fistula. Photo by Trevor Snapp for IntraHealth International.

A Malian midwife provides lifesaving maternal care. Throughout Mali, women have a one-in-26 lifetime risk of dying from maternal causes. Access to a midwife or other skilled birth attendant during birth and immediately after would save the lives of many mothers and their babies. It would also prevent complications such as obstetric fistula, a debilitating childbirth injury that can occur during prolonged or obstructed labor. IntraHealth is partnering with the Ministry of Health and other local partners in Mali to address the health workforce crisis and to provide comprehensive maternal care, including repair surgery and care for women who suffer from obstetric fistula. Photo by Trevor Snapp for IntraHealth International.

In India, maternal and child health is of particular concern, especially in rural villages and urban slums. Although the country has made notable progress, more than 775,000 newborns still die in India each year, and an estimated 50,000 women die from pregnancy-related causes. IntraHealth partners with India's national and state governments and other organizations to strengthen the health workforce and increase access to high-quality maternal, child, and reproductive health services. Last year alone, we trained 1,500 nurses and midwives in skilled birth attendance, expanding safe delivery care to 10 million people and improved the quality of care offered by more than 40,000 frontline health workers. Photo by Trevor Snapp for IntraHealth International.

In India, maternal and child health is of particular concern, especially in rural villages and urban slums. Although the country has made notable progress, more than 775,000 newborns still die in India each year, and an estimated 50,000 women die from pregnancy-related causes. IntraHealth partners with India's national and state governments and other organizations to strengthen the health workforce and increase access to high-quality maternal, child, and reproductive health services. Last year alone, we trained 1,500 nurses and midwives in skilled birth attendance, expanding safe delivery care to 10 million people and improved the quality of care offered by more than 40,000 frontline health workers. Photo by Trevor Snapp for IntraHealth International.

Alex Namala, a nurse at the Mukono District Health Center IV near Kampala, Uganda, explains the wide variety of contraceptives available to a young mother so she can choose the family planning method right for her. IntraHealth works in Uganda and throughout the world to support health workers and strengthen health systems to increase access to contraception for the more than 220 million women around the globe who want to avoid pregnancy, but are not using modern forms of family planning. Photo by Carol Bales for CapacityPlus and IntraHealth International.

Alex Namala, a nurse at the Mukono District Health Center IV near Kampala, Uganda, explains the wide variety of contraceptives available to a young mother so she can choose the family planning method right for her. IntraHealth works in Uganda and throughout the world to support health workers and strengthen health systems to increase access to contraception for the more than 220 million women around the globe who want to avoid pregnancy, but are not using modern forms of family planning. Photo by Carol Bales for CapacityPlus and IntraHealth International.

After a safe labor and delivery at the Seventh Day Adventist Akumadan Health Center in Kumasi, Ghana, a health worker dresses then hands a baby back to her mother. Ghana has fewer than half the number of doctors, nurses, and midwives it needs to provide adequate access to maternal care and other vital health services. But schools like the nearby Garden City University College, with which IntraHealth partners, are starting new programs to train more midwives and other types of health workers. Photo by Carol Bales for CapacityPlus and IntraHealth International.

After a safe labor and delivery at the Seventh Day Adventist Akumadan Health Center in Kumasi, Ghana, a health worker dresses then hands a baby back to her mother. Ghana has fewer than half the number of doctors, nurses, and midwives it needs to provide adequate access to maternal care and other vital health services. But schools like the nearby Garden City University College, with which IntraHealth partners, are starting new programs to train more midwives and other types of health workers. Photo by Carol Bales for CapacityPlus and IntraHealth International.

Nurse Christine Minayo attends to an expecting mother at Friends Kaimosi Hospital in Kenya. Thanks to recent training for its health workers, the hospital now offers comprehensive care and integrated maternity services. IntraHealth is supporting the government of Kenya's goal to provide essential health services to all of its citizens by strengthening systems to train, manage, and retain a high-quality health workforce. Photo by Trevor Snapp for IntraHealth International.

Nurse Christine Minayo attends to an expecting mother at Friends Kaimosi Hospital in Kenya. Thanks to recent training for its health workers, the hospital now offers comprehensive care and integrated maternity services. IntraHealth is supporting the government of Kenya's goal to provide essential health services to all of its citizens by strengthening systems to train, manage, and retain a high-quality health workforce. Photo by Trevor Snapp for IntraHealth International.

Midwife Celine Nataye Sow cares for a baby born earlier that day under her supervision. Sow manages the Sampathe Health Post in Thiès, Senegal, which serves almost 20,000 people in this town about 50 miles from the country's capital, Dakar. One of only a few midwives in Senegal working as a health post manager, she usually sees 40 to 45 clients per day while also serving as a constant mentor to busy staff. IntraHealth partners with Senega's Ministry of Health and other local and international organizations to support midwives like Sow and other health workers to offer comprehensive maternal, child, and family health services. Photo by Clement Tardiffe for IntraHealth International.

Midwife Celine Nataye Sow cares for a baby born earlier that day under her supervision. Sow manages the Sampathe Health Post in Thiès, Senegal, which serves almost 20,000 people in this town about 50 miles from the country's capital, Dakar. One of only a few midwives in Senegal working as a health post manager, she usually sees 40 to 45 clients per day while also serving as a constant mentor to busy staff. IntraHealth partners with Senega's Ministry of Health and other local and international organizations to support midwives like Sow and other health workers to offer comprehensive maternal, child, and family health services. Photo by Clement Tardiffe for IntraHealth International.

A clinical officer tests a young child for HIV at a rural health facility in Kakamega, Kenya. Approximately 1.6 million people live with HIV in the country and only about 650,000 of them have access to antiretroviral treatment. Although new HIV infections have dramatically decreased, more than 100,000 new HIV infections still occur each year. Kenya, like many other countries, has a shortage of health workers available to provide HIV prevention, care, and treatment services. There is only one doctor, nurse, or midwife for every 1,000 people, less than half the minimum amount recommended by the World Health Organization. The deficit is even worse in hard-to-reach areas such as Kakamega. That's why IntraHealth teamed up with the Ministry of Health to contract and deploy over 3,000 health workers to 219 health facilities in underserved areas that have high prevalence of HIV. Photo by Tobin Jones for IntraHealth International.

A clinical officer tests a young child for HIV at a rural health facility in Kakamega, Kenya. Approximately 1.6 million people live with HIV in the country and only about 650,000 of them have access to antiretroviral treatment. Although new HIV infections have dramatically decreased, more than 100,000 new HIV infections still occur each year. Kenya, like many other countries, has a shortage of health workers available to provide HIV prevention, care, and treatment services. There is only one doctor, nurse, or midwife for every 1,000 people, less than half the minimum amount recommended by the World Health Organization. The deficit is even worse in hard-to-reach areas such as Kakamega. That's why IntraHealth teamed up with the Ministry of Health to contract and deploy over 3,000 health workers to 219 health facilities in underserved areas that have high prevalence of HIV. Photo by Tobin Jones for IntraHealth International.