As the year winds down, MCSP continues to ramp up. We’re now providing technical assistance in nearly 40 countries, working to improve the lives of women and families in some of the world’s most difficult health arenas. We rapidly responded to new work this year – from the Zika epidemic in the LAC region and Haiti, to the plague in Madagascar, to polio outbreaks in Ukraine and DR Congo – while continuing our work on Ebola and the everyday work needed to strengthen health systems and enable families to thrive.
But trouble spots remind us that we must stay vigilant. Threats to our progress include inequity and an inability to reach those most in need as we scale up high-impact interventions for all mothers, newborns and children. In addition, WHO reports that progress against malaria is stalling – and even reversing – in some regions. Similarly, the 2017 Global Nutrition Report shows that malnutrition remains a stubborn and deadly health problem in most countries analyzed. In fact, more people are going to bed hungry today than in 2015.
At MCSP, we’re meeting women where they are – in the community and at the facility – to close access and equity gaps and ensure high-quality services reach every doorstep. In 2018, we’ll be keeping our eyes on the prize, striving to “reach the unreached.” We know healthy women and children are the backbone of stable, thriving communities. One competent, skilled provider, one stronger health system, and one empowered community at a time, we will be on our way to meeting their needs.
Sharing our work is of critical importance to us. Just this year we hosted 30 events, had visitors from nearly 200 countries to our website, developed 50 technical resources, and published 17 articles in peer-reviewed journals.
It makes me very proud to be associated with a program that is able to contribute to these global issues and impact change at the country level. Wishing you a healthy, happy holiday season! Thank you for joining us on this journey.
Koki Agarwal, MD, MPH, DrPH